Is it Necessary to Make a Reservation when using the Eurail Pass?

When To Make Reservations When Using The Eurail Pass

by Jack Ryan | Published: April 15, 2018

Traveling by Eurail through Europe
Image by Jack Ryan © Trifargo

If you have bought an Eurail pass you would have known that it gives you unlimited travel on almost any train in Europe depending on the type of pass you bought. The Eurail Global Pass for example lets you travel through 28 European countries with just one simple pass (looks like a ticket) and you can hop-in and hop-out of any train, anytime during the validity period of your pass!


You can choose between 5 or 7 travels days within a month or up to 15 days within 2 months. You can also purchase a 22 days continuous travel pass or up to 3 months continuous pass. Of course, the price increases with the increase in number of travel days.

Many travelers have asked whether the pass is worth it or is it cheaper to buy on the spot. With the Eurail pass there is no worry of missing a train as you can always take the next one. You can even take an earlier train as you do not have to purchase a ticket which will require you to fix your date and time.

Traveling by Eurail through Europe
Image by Jack Ryan © Trifargo

In countries like Germany and Austria, a short 50 km ride may cost up to €20 and a longer ride will cost €40 or more. Fares for countries like Czech and Hungary may be cheaper so you will need to do some research on whether the amount of travel you will be doing is worth buying an Eurail pass which is not really cheap either. To see if an Eurail pass is worth it, you will have to consider the number of trips you are going to make and also the average price of a ticket.

You can download the Eurail app to plan your trip and the app is really good at working out the best trains to take. The app even works offline and you can be sure of finding your train even if you lose your internet connection, which will happen often when you are traveling across countries. Unfortunately the app does not tell the ticket price at this moment but you don’t need to know the price once you have bought the pass!

Another advantage of the Eurail pass is that you get a huge discount if you are below 27. You also get a choice to purchase a 1st class or a 2nd class pass at any age. Going first class allows you more comfort and less crowded cabins although the perks may vary according to the train companies which will change when you change countries. Be aware that anyone can buy a first class ticket and the price difference may not be much in certain countries which will result in the limited first class cabins filling up easily. For this reason alone it is always better to make a reservation if you intend to travel first class even though your Eurail pass or app says it is not necessary!

Making a reservation with Eurail is easy as you can do it online or at the train stations before you leave. You will need to pay an additional reservation charge but this is necessary especially if you want to book a night berth. Of course the earlier you make the booking the better as you will have more choice of seats e.g. booking for 4 persons sitting facing each other with a table in between!

It is always safer to make a reservation on high speed trains too as these trains get filled up fast and you might find that even second class seats are filled up on certain routes.

For more information on whether reservation is needed on Eurail see here.

Happy travels!