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10 replies
Train seat reservations
Charles89
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My girlfriend and I have just finished booking pretty much everything for our upcoming eurotrip this august !!!! We have booked our hotels and hostels and 2 inter-europe flights for longer trips. We have also bought an Eurail pass for the other trips. We bought the 3 country 6 days pass (even if we will be having 7 train trips, one will be very cheap).

My question is : should we reserve seats for train trips that only go daily (like the Barcelona to Nice or the Nice to Genova). Should we reserve them today or wait to reserve them when we arrive in the cities from which we leave ? ( I heard it was cheaper at the train station than online).

Thank you !!

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $3800 for 29 days
Paris, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, Cinque Terre, Rome, Amalfi, Florence, Venice, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Sights
Ads
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We reserved the Nice-Barcelona train once we got into Nice (not on the day we were leaving though) and it was ok.

From what little I learned (and BOY DID I LEARN), just book your outbound train tickets on the day you arrive. You can always change them if need be.

Adski

oldlady
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There are numerous trains every day on these routes, so I assume the issue is one specific train (hopefully overnight on the Barcelona/Nice run) that you want to take???? Assuming you want a specific overnight train, I’d book at least 3 or 4 days in advance — longer if they involve a Friday night or a Sunday night. Since your trip is pretty much set, I’d try to book them in Paris.

There are always other options — slower train, more connections, different sleeping accommodations — in the unlikely event that what you want is sold out, so you don’t run a huge risk if you wait until a couple of hours before train time, but I try to reserve at least a day in advance for day trains and 3 days for overnight. As Ads says, booking the train you’re going to take when you leave a city before you leave the train station when you arrive in that city is a good plan.

Charles89
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I couldn’t find an overnight train for these trips and pretty much only found 1 option on http://www.raileurop… :

TRN Autres 73 8:45AM
Barcelona-Estacio De Franca to Montpellier St-Roch,
17 Aug 4hr 37min CONNECTING TRAIN
Comfort Day Train4656 2:16PM
Montpellier St-Roch to Nice Ville,
17 Aug 4hr 22min

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $3800 for 29 days
Paris, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, Cinque Terre, Rome, Amalfi, Florence, Venice, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Sights
oldlady
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Raileurope — a competitor to the folks who kindly sponsor this site — lists only a small fraction of the available trains. Use the German national rail company website for schedules anywhere in Europe: http://reiseauskunft… It’s the most complete and the easiest to use in English. To price and buy tickets on-line use the individual national rail company websites. The links are in a sticky at the top of this forum and under “transportation” on the “travel tips” tab. There are few options on this route and the train you’ve found is probably the best one. Have you looked at EasyJet from Barcelona to Nice or switching your trip around to take advantage of an overnight ferry from Barcelona to Genoa? I wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of a 10 1/2 hour ride on a day train.

Charles89
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Thx for the link, it really helped me ! There are far more trains than I thought, which pleases me and reliefs me (my girlfriend and I tend to be late, so having only 1 train a day…the chances of us missing it is kind of high) .

I liked having some long train trips. I’ve cut Paris – Valance and Venice – Paris, because they were too long. Thx for the advice tho !

PS : The website you gave me is much better than your competitor’s !

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $3800 for 29 days
Paris, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, Cinque Terre, Rome, Amalfi, Florence, Venice, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Sights
oldlady
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Raileurope is a travel agency that sells railpasses. Like all such sites, (railpass.com, ricksteves.com, eurail.com) it has good information about buying and using a railpass. Which site you use to buy your railpass is pretty much a toss-up for you, but buying here helps supports this site.

Travel agency sites aren’t a good source for schedule information, buying point to point tickets or (if you can avoid it) buying reservations. Use the national rail company websites for schedule information and to price and buy point to point tickets.

Prabha
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Hi,

I am traveling from end of July to end of Aug as well and from what I’ve read, most websites advice that it is better to reserve tickets if traveling in June, July or August. I’ve purchased my eurail tickets and leave in a week but still stuck on the dilema.. to reserve or not reserve???

I am leaving from singapore with $2500 for 38 days
Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Paris, London, Nice, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Madrid
Requesting help with Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights

p

oldlady
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Crowded trains really isn’t an issue — there’s another train in a hour between most of these cities, if one train is full. The issue is that some specific trains REQUIRE reservations — you have to have a reservation to take that train.

DO NOT RESERVE on-line from the sites that sell railpasses. For one thing, it’s probably too late as they actually mail you a paper reservation. Secondly, with inflated reservation prices, shipping and handling fees, reservations from the travel agency sites cost about double what they do at the station in Europe.

Unfortunately your trip starts in Italy where, 1) a lot of the trains at the most popular times of day require reservations and 2) it’s a pain to buy reservations. I prefer not to use a railpass in Italy because it usually doesn’t save much money. While it’s quick and easy to buy a ticket (with reservation, if needed) from the automated kiosks, you almost always have to wait in a line to buy “just a reservation” to use with your railpass in Italy. However, according to this old post you can now buy “just a reservation” from the kiosk — which would be a Godsend in Italy. Give it a try and please report back here on how it works. http://www.eurotrip….

If that doesn’t work and you have to wait in a line to buy a reservation, buy reservations for all the trains you intend to take in Italy at once, so you don’t have to wait in line numerous times. You can buy your reservations at Rome’s Termini station when you arrive there on the train from the airport.

Prabha
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thank you for clarifying, will def do that.

I also have a spain-france flexi pass. Is it possible to reserve tickets from Bordeaux to Barcelona, lets say in Paris train station? I’ve booked my accommodation and need to be in Barcelona on that specific date..

I am leaving from singapore with $2500 for 38 days
Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Paris, London, Nice, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Madrid
Requesting help with Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights

p

oldlady
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Quote:
Is it possible to reserve tickets from Bordeaux to Barcelona, lets say in Paris train station?
Yes. It’s generally possible to make reservations for any train in Europe at any major train station. You may have to do some hunting to find the right window/office to buy this reservation, but you should be able to do it at any of the 5 or so major train stations in Paris.