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Seat Reservations - Lyon- Barcelona and Barcelona - Valencia


Hi Interrailers! 
I have a question about two seat reservations between Lyon-Barcelona and Barcelona-Valencia  - I can see that other travellers had similar problems with seat reservations on these routes.

I called RENFE (Spanish Train Operator) and they told me that it is not possible to make seat reservations for these trains online (wtf) and that you HAVE to reserve seats at a physical train station. 

That is problematic because I have a 6 hour train ride beforehand from Zürich to Lyon, and it would be stupid to show up in Lyon if the train is fully booked - and again stupid to show up in Barcelona later that day if that is fully booked(:     

 

Do you know a way around to reserve online? Or do you know if I can reserve seats from an Austrian train station? 

Or if my friend in Spain can make the seat reservation for me and then send me the reservation with email?

Stay safe! 

Allan

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Best answer by Nanja 13 July 2021, 12:27

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Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Hi, 

You can book your reservations for trains in Spain the following ways:

  • Locally at the train station
    • From February 2020, reservations for domestic and long-distance trains in Spain can only be made locally at the ticket desk of a Spanish Long Distance railway station. Find a list of long distance train stations here. You can make reservations on the day of travel or for up to 3 months in advance.
       
  • Pre-reserve seats by calling Renfe phone sales: +34 91 232 03 20
    • Pre-reserving a seat is possible up to 24 hours before a train's departure. You will receive a PNR code which you must use to pick up and pay for your reservation at a local station ticket office, making sure to show your Interrail Pass. You must collect your reservation within 72 hours. After this time the pre-reservation will expire. 
    • Please note that a pre-reservation is not the same as a reservation. It only holds a seat for you for 72 hours.
       

You can also find this information here

Cheers :relaxed:

Hello Nanja,

 

thank you for the answer though we had already called Renfe before making the post. 
The problem is that we would have to pick up the ticket 24 hours before departure, but we are not living in Lyon. We travel from Zurich in the morning so we are not sure if there are seats available when we get there and we cant make use of the pre-reserved option.

 

But thanks for the answer! 

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Hi, you are welcome! I understand the inconvenience it's causing, but unfortunately this is the only way. Although I cannot guarantee anything, I expect there will be reservations available when you get to the departure station as all Eurail and Interrail travelers will have to make their reservations locally. Enjoy your trip! :relaxed:

Hi, thanks again Nanja - actually I tried to call SNCF and they were actually able to make a seat reservation from Lyon - Barcelona. However, they told me I would need an American Credit Card to be able to purchase the reservation by phone which I haven’t unfortunately ): 

 

But thanks for the help!

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

It's unfortunate that this is not an option for you. Thanks for posting it in the community, anyway as it can certainly help travelers. Cheers

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

@Allan Nielsen Hadzimahovic

What date do you want to book for Lyon - Barcelona?

I can reserve places for a date in August ...

Hi Sven,

we are trying to reserve seats for Sunday - train departure at 14.28 (:

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hi Sven,

we are trying to reserve seats for Sunday - train departure at 14.28 (:

 

It is not possible via interrail because apparently there must be 1 week between the reservation and departure for these and many connections. Really sorry!

 

You could travel via Montpellier, and from there on a regional train.

 

Unfortunately, I don't see any other option via Interrail.

 

A lot of courage!

Userlevel 6
Badge +3

You can book your reservations for trains in Spain the following ways:

  • Locally at the train station
    • From February 2020, reservations for domestic and long-distance trains in Spain can only be made locally at the ticket desk of a Spanish Long Distance railway station. Find a list of long distance train stations here. You can make reservations on the day of travel or for up to 3 months in advance.

RENFE (Spanish railways) are their own worst enemy.

Interestingly though, Deutsche Bahn state in their documentation (page 59; link will remain valid for a few months probably) that they can book a pass reservation for RENFE domestic long distance trains. I haven't tried that recently though. Anyone else maybe?

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hi Sven,

we are trying to reserve seats for Sunday - train departure at 14.28 (:

 

I'm curious how you have booked tickets for Lyon - Barcelona.
Could you please let me know?

Thank you!

I have the same problem.

And also from Barcelona to Valencia.

I know you need reservation, otgerwise they don't let you on the platform.

And we have only 28 minutes to change. I am afraid that is not enough to get a reservation. Someone have the same?

Userlevel 6
Badge +3

I have the same problem.

And also from Barcelona to Valencia.

RENFE is not really cooperative. You can try:

  • RENFE (by phone or at the ticket office)
  • SNCF (by phone or at the ticket office)
  • DB (by phone (+49 30 2970; collect at DB ticket machine) or at the ticket office

Domestic reservations in Spain are not limited by quota though, so a few days in advance is usually OK.

Reservations between Spain and France (such as Lyon - Barcelona) are only available on paper and have limited availability. you can book them via the the same channels but you need to allow time for delivery via the post if you buy by phone.

NS and NMBS also sell them but NS has an extra charge of at least EUR 7.50.

I tryed at ns- international, but they say they can't…

 

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