Do I need a railway seat reservation?

Railway seat reservations are not always compulsory. We issue seat reservations free of charge with every ticket if it is required to travel on your chosen train. For trains with optional seat reservations we will let you choose to reserve a seat if you want one. Some routes don't have seat reservations at all, so you can sit in any free seat on the train.

Compulsory seat reservations

If reservations are compulsory for your train, you will be automatically assigned seats when you add your tickets to your basket. You can request the type of seat you would prefer.

Optional seat reservations

Reservations are usually a good idea on trains that don’t require them, just in case the train is full. The only trains currently sold on Rail Europe with optional seat reservations are those operated by the German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn and the Austrian rail operator, ÖBB. For these trains, seat reservations can be added for an extra fee, and you can do this on the Ticket Details page:

All first class tickets are automatically assigned a seat reservation, which is included in the ticket price.

If you did not select an optional seat reservation, this can be purchased separately from Deutsche Bahn or ÖBB. For more information about how this can be done, please see our article Seat reservations on German trains.

Trains without seat reservations

Lots of regional trains do not have seat reservations at all. Most regional trains typically have plenty of spare seating for all passengers, though you may find that they are busy during peak commuter travel times (when people travel to work in the early morning and return in the evening).