Seat reservations

  • 3 February 2023
  • 7 replies

  • Rail rookie
  • 2 replies

echoing what several others have said here - 

i just bought a 2month/15day 1st class global pass.

but as i start to look at schedules for all the trips i want to take - MOST of them are coming back with “No Prices Available” because the pass-holder quota of seats (i guess) are all sold out.


so - i am starting to question the usefulness of this pass.  just spend $650 - and haven’t been able to find ANY reservations for anu train i’ve wanted to get on (Stockholm - Oslo, Oslo - Bergen, Zurich - Brussels, St Moritz - Zermatt, etc).  for travel in March.


anyone else feel this way?  any advice on canceling my pass and getting a full refund?  and just buying point-to-point tickets?


Appreciate your advice.  I am a first time user here.



7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Hi, without knowing the route, and date and best also the time we can't help here in this community.


Like I said - its not a specific train/route.

All trains I have checked so far - for dates in md March - for several routes (also mentioned above) are coming back with NO Prices Available.

Really looking for advice on just canceling this pass - and my options for getting a full-refund on an un-activated pass I just purchased yesterday.  

Very disappointed.

Badge +5

Please read the reservations section on the site. For example Oslo to Bergen cannot be booked online. You need to phone. You can’t reserve trains to Zermatt as they are local trains. You need to do some research!!!!!!

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

There are many ways to get seat reservations. Please read this community made guide mentioned below very carefully. You’ll be able to find a lot of reservations by following the steps mentioned in this topic (and often cheaper than on the Interrail/Eurail reservations

The majority of trains in Europe, don’t require any reservation at all. As a tourist, you’ll be mostly travelling on international, long distance or high speed trains where a lot of mandatory reservations are needed.

Luckily, quite often, you can work around this. Eurostar is a notable exception, you should book these asap.

Some of your connections you mentioned, are not direct connections. Zürich - Brussels, can be done via various routes. Zürich-Paris-Brussels, or Zürich-Basel-Köln-Brussels. The latter option only has optional seat reservations e.g., so you can just hop on, find a free seat and enjoy your ride.

If you have any difficulties finding availability, feel free to come back here and ask concrete questions, mentioning your preferred travel date, hour and route from A to B. Just by panicking and asking very generic questions, we cannot help you properly. Trains are not planes, and are a bit more difficult to research and plan. It takes more time, but in the end it’ll be very rewarding seeing Europe in a different way and you’ll get good value from your pass.

A lot of experienced railers linger over here, they can help you finding the right routes, reservations or alternatives when you want to avoid some trains with expensive mandatory reservations.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

There are better ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website. Please read more about that below. 


Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 


The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 


The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process you choose the start day of the validity of the pass. Once the validity has started it can't be changed even if you haven't travelled. The advice is therefore to wait with activating the pass and starting the validity until the first day of your travel as you only can deactivate the pass no later than 23.59 CET on the day before the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you can't deactivate the pass and change the validity. 

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Stockholm-Oslo can be booked on

For Oslo-Bergen it's best to call Entur (add +47 for Norway). Reservations in Norway are free of charge with a 1st class pass when booking via Entur.

For other questions, please mention route, date and departure time.

Thank you all.

Will revert if/when I have more to ask.