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2 replies
Making rail reservations
backpacklady
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I just purchased a European East Pass through raileurope.ca (for $344 CDN)
I was advised to buy first class by others who have travelled by train in Europe.
I have a few questions:
Is it necessary to buy a first class pass to reserve a first class seat on a train? (may be obvious but just trying to figure everything out)
And…
I would like some advice regarding reservations. I am going to be travelling during the month of August (high season!) Would it be a bad idea to wait until I get to Europe to make my reservations?
I hear they’re way more expensive online but I worry that everything might get booked up. (especially the night train I hope to take from Warsaw to Budapest)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. All of this is a little overwhelming.

I am leaving from Edmonton with $2500 for 26 days
Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Český Krumlov, Prague
Requesting help with Hostels, Nightlife, Sights
backpacklady
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Oh and when booking reservations in Europe, is it possible to book ahead? (for example: in warsaw can I get them to make my reservation for a future train ride from vienna)
And would I go directly to a train station or could I go to a travel agency?

I am leaving from Edmonton with $2500 for 26 days
Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Český Krumlov, Prague
Requesting help with Hostels, Nightlife, Sights
oldlady
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Quote:
I was advised to buy first class by others who have travelled by train in Europe.
This may be mistake #1. 2nd class is perfectly acceptable in Western Europe and many parts of Eastern Europe. You’re a lot more likely to meet locals and other backpackers instead of business suits and American/Canadian tourists if you’re in 2nd class.
Quote:
Is it necessary to buy a first class pass to reserve a first class seat on a train? (may be obvious but just trying to figure everything out)
You must have a 1st class ticket or railpass to sit in 1st class. You can sit in 2nd class with a 1st class railpass.
Quote:
I would like some advice regarding reservations. I am going to be travelling during the month of August (high season!) Would it be a bad idea to wait until I get to Europe to make my reservations?
I hear they’re way more expensive online but I worry that everything might get booked up. (especially the night train I hope to take from Warsaw to Budapest)
Since you’re going to be in Poland for 12 days before this trip, I’d wait until I got there to book the reservation — particularly since you aren’t traveling on Friday night. I can’t imagine a problem with this much time unless there’s some sort of festival, rock concert, whatever in Budapest that day.
Quote:
Oh and when booking reservations in Europe, is it possible to book ahead? (for example: in warsaw can I get them to make my reservation for a future train ride from vienna)
And would I go directly to a train station or could I go to a travel agency?
Yes, you should be able to make reservations for any leg of your trip at any major train station — although it’s probably easier in Western Europe. I would buy reservations at the train station (sometimes the reservations office is actually a travel agency that’s in the train station). Reservations will be slightly more expensive from a travel agency and it’s actually fairly tough to find a full service travel agency that deals with train reservations. Most travel agencies only deal with plane tickets and packaged tours.