Many trains offer you a choice of seat types. For day trains, your choice of seating depends on the amount of leg-room, and extra facilities. For night trains, your choice ranges from a reclining, airline-type seats, to a private cabin with a comfy bed. Your journey, your choice.
Day trains have 2 types of seat:
- Coach car seating (open with center aisle and 2 seats on either side)
• 1st class
• 2nd class
- Compartment car (separated into cabins which open into a corridor)
• 1st class compartment for up to 6 people
• 2nd class compartment for up to 8 people
When reserving seats, you may:
- choose a window seat.
- take an aisle seat.
- reserve adjoining or opposite seats, sometimes with a table.
- choose a seat in a dining car or a panorama car.
Night trains are a convenient way to travel long distances while you sleep. You can save on the cost of hostels or hotels, as the reservation fee for night trains is usually much cheaper. It’s also a unique experience to travel across Europe by night train.
Please note: If you cross a border on a night train, you will probably be asked to hand your Eurail pass and passport to the train conductor. This way, the border crossing security checks can happen while you sleep. Rest assured that your documents will be returned to you when you arrive at your destination.
The most common accommodation types on night trains are:
- Reclining seats
If you book a bed (sleeper or couchette), a sheet, blanket and pillow are usually provided.
Sleeper compartments usually include 1, 2 or 3 beds. This is usually the most comfortable way to travel as the beds are of good quality. Often, these compartments have separate berths for men and women, unless it is reserved by a couple or a family.
|Sleepers for one person, called ‘special’ or ‘single’, are available for holders of a 1st class Eurail
|Double compartments, sometimes called ‘T2/Tourist 2’.
For holders of a 1st class Eurail pass, sometimes for 2nd class passes, too.
|Triple compartments, called ‘T3/ Tourist 3’ are available for all Eurail pass holders.|
Couchettes are a standard type of sleeping accommodation. They offer a place to lie down with a pillow, a blanket and a sheet. There are usually compartments with couchettes for 4 or 6 people. Washrooms and toilets are located at the end of each car. Couchettes are available for 1st and 2nd class pass holders.
|Couchette for 4 people||Couchette for 6 people|
In some night trains, airline-type reclining seats are also available, and offer the best value for money.
Seat reservations in France
Please note that the number of seats available for Eurail pass holders is limited on the following high-speed trains in France:
- TGV: all domestic and international routes.
- Thalys: on all routes between France and the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
- InterCité trains: on some routes that require reservations.
- ICE: Paris – Frankfurt route only.
We recommend that you make reservations as soon as possible, ideally 2 months in advance. To check availability for the train, contact a booking center or visit a European railway station.
If a train is fully booked for pass holders you can:
- check our alternative routes.
- buy a full-fare ticket (if this is the only train you take that day it saves you a travel day).