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Europe by rail Thalys | Eurostar | TGV | ICE

Seat reservations on international trains

TGV interior

 

With our without seat reservation?

 

With your comfort in mind, seats can be booked in most international trains. In fact, booking is actually compulsory in some trains, and is often included in your fare. The methods and timings of making bookings depend on whether you're travelling in a high speed train, an overnight train with a fixed price, or a traditional train (day or night).


On Eurostar, Thalys and TGV, seat reservation is compulsory, and automatically included in the fare.

 

  • With Eurostar, booking is possible as from 6 months before departure.
  • With Thalys and TGV, booking is possible as from 3 months before departure.

 

Of course, these are the general booking delays. There may be exceptions (e.g. for the skiing season, when the bookings start earlier than usual).

 

More about Eurostar  >

More about Thalys  >

More about TGV  >  


ICE makes a distinction between the ticket for your journey and your seat reservation, which states the date of your journey, time of departure, time of arrival and your carriage and seat numbers. On ICE trains, reservation is not compulsory, as you are free to move your departure earlier or later. However, if you would still like to reserve a seat (which is strongly recommended), the reservation would usually cost you € 5 per journey.

Reserving your seat on classical trains depends on the train type (InterCity, EuroCity, regional trains etc...) and on the country.

In the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), you will travel on classical trains without any seat reservation

 

Many ther trains all over Europe allow you to book numbered tickets  for seats, couchettes, and berths.

 

When to book?

Depending on the country and the type of seat, these bookings can be made from 2 months or 3 months before the train departure date. Please note! You cannot travel with a seat reservation only; you must also have a valid ticket.
  

Fixed price night trains  
Whether you're travelling in a couchette, a sleeping car or a seat, booking is compulsory and is automatically included in the fare. This applies particularly to City Night Line and Thello night trains.

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Do you have a Thalys TheCard or Eurostar Frequent traveller loyalty card? Enter your card number at the next step to earn points with your travel!
Do you have a discount card for travelling at a reduced fare? Select your card at the next step.
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(I already have an Interrail Pass)

Set off and explore your limits with the Interrail Pass. Cross 30 European countries in comfort and at your own pace. Find out which Interrail Pass is right for you and board the train for an incredible life adventure!


With the Interrail Global Pass, you can enjoy unlimited travel across 30 countries within a period of your choice. Head for your dream destinations and bring back lots of happy memories!

More information about the Global Pass >

Book now


The Interrail One Country Pass is the best choice for exploring one European country from top to bottom. Pick a country of your choice, decide on your travel dates and embark on the journey of a lifetime!

More information about the One Country Pass >

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Do you have an Interrail or Eurail Pass? Would you like to travel with Thalys during your journey? If so, Thalys offers a budget-friendly pass fare valid for most Thalys lines.

Book now