When to Make a Reservation

Purchasing a train ticket means you have bought the right to travel from one city to another by train. Many tickets, however, do not specify the date of travel or even the exact train. That is what reservations are for, so for some train trips you'll need both a ticket and a reservation.

All reservation holders must be in possession of a valid rail pass or city-to-city ticket that covers the routing of the train they have reserved. Not all trains require reservations, but they are required on the following trains:

  • High-Speed Trains (e.g. Eurostar, TGV, TAV, Thalys)
  • Long Distance and Express Trains in Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe
  • Long Distance and Express Trains during high season (Jul-Aug)
  • Sleeping accommodations on all overnight trains not on day trains

It's also possible to purchase reservations on some trains that do not require them. This may be advisable during high season travel, but it's entirely up to the passenger.