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Seat Types on European Trains

Many trains offer you a choice of seat types. For day trains, your choice of seating depends on the extra facilities and amount of legroom. For night trains, your choice ranges from a reclining airline-type seat to a private cabin with a comfy bed. Your journey, your choice.

Day trains

 ICE interior
ICE interior

Day trains have 2 types of seats:

1. Coach car seating

Coach cars are open with a center aisle and 2 seats on either side.

  • 1st class

  • 2nd class

2. 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

Reserving seats

When reserving seats, you may choose:

  • a window seat.

  • an aisle seat.

  • adjoining or opposite seats, sometimes with a table.

  • a seat in a dining car or a panorama car.

Night trains

1st class, Elipsos, night train

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.  If you book a bed (sleeper or couchette), a sheet, blanket and pillow are usually provided.


Please note: If you cross a border on a night train, you will probably be asked to hand your Interrail 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:

  • Sleepers

  • Couchettes

  • Reclining seats



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 beds for men and women, unless it is reserved by a couple or a family.



Sleepers for one person, called ‘special’ or ‘single’, are usually only available for holders of a 1st class Eurail Pass.



Double compartments, called ‘T2/Tourist 2’. Available for holders of a 1st class Interrail pass and sometimes for 2nd class Passes.



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.

Reclining Seats

In some night trains, airline-type reclining seats are also available and offer the best value for money.



Reservation Service

Lets you book reservations for most European trains. Notable exceptions are the UK, Portugal, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and the Baltic countries. 


  • Book your e-ticket reservations through our Reservation Service up to 3 hours before your train's departure. You will receive an e-ticket which we recommend you print at home.
  • You can also book paper ticket reservations at least 6 days before your train's departure. You will receive paper tickets through registered mail.
  • You can make reservations for yourself and other Pass holders sharing your order number. 

  • Please note that the Self-Service system automatically assigns seats on the train.