Trying to make a seat reservation before I depart for Europe

How can I reserve a train and sleeper berth before I depart for Europe?

7 replies

Userlevel 7
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The recommendation from the experienced travellers in the community is to only make reservations through the Eurail website if no other options are available. 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 +4

Oops. Just re-read that you want to travel on the 20th. In that case, the availability is still there for Interrail reservations, but the separate ticket idea doesn't work - tickets are very expensive for that date.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Also, it’s worth knowing that you can often buy a full ticket (including sleeper) for less than the cost of the supplement you would be paying with a pass. 

Seems like this is true on the 18th. You can get a ticket including private sleeper for €99.90 on the early train, or €83.90 on the later one. No or limited changes and refunds allowed.

Have a look at - you'll need to use Italian place names etc.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

They’re a bit fiddly to book via Interrail. You need to use the website, not the app, and it only allows you to book couchettes if you have a second class pass, even though you would be entitled to buy a sleeper as well.

I see availability for both couchettes and sleepers on the 20:31 and 23:00 departures on the 18th. €43 for a shared couchette bed, €124 for a private sleeper (if you have a first class pass.)


I live in Toronto, Canada

Arriving in Rome and activating my 3 month global pass on April 18th. Trying to book an overnight train on April 20th to Sicily.  Can’t manage to do it on the app.  Am concerned that if I wait until I arrive on the 18th and try to book it in the train station in Rome the train or seat reservation may well be sold out. So I cannot book my accommodations in Sicily in advance.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

You’ll have to give us a clue!

Which route and dates, and where are you?