Can I avoid trains with reservations?

Two girls in regional train. the Netherlands

You may want to keep the costs of your trip down by avoiding trains that need to be reserved. Or you might find that the train you want to reserve has no seats left for pass holders, which means you’ll need to find an alternative train or route to make your journey. You can use the Eurail timetable to look up alternative ways to make your journey. Do keep in mind that there aren’t always alternative options available, but it’s worth checking.


Search the Eurail timetable for trains without reservations

  1. Go to the Eurail timetable.

  2. Enter your departure and arrival stations, as well as your departure date and time.

  3. Click on 'Show more options' and check the 'Avoid trains that require reservations' box. Show more options
    Screenshot showing how to search for trains that avoid reservations

  4. Click on ‘Find you train route’ to check the list of train routes that don't require a reservation. The journey times of the listed routes may be longer than if trains with reservations are selected.


When you follow the steps above, you will be given the best alternative travel options. Usually, this means that the trains shown don’t require any reservations. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid trains that require a reservation, but even in that case you will still be shown the best option that will keep the additional reservation fees as low as possible.  

Avoiding trains with reservations on French routes

Many French trains need to be reserved in advance, except for the slower regional trains. The number of seats available to Eurail pass holders is limited on these trains. Once the train is full, you'll need to pay for a full fare ticket or find an alternative way to make your journey. 

Read more about limited seats on French trains.

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