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Advance booking of couchettes for late August/early September

I'm looking at taking four night trains (Barcelona to Paris; Paris to Munich; Munich to Florence; and Venice to Vienna) while travelling this summer in late August and early September. I have already purchased my Eurail global pass.
My question:
Should I book the couchette in advance from Canada (home) or will a day or two in advance in the Europe be sufficient for late summer? (I'm concerned about if trains would be sold out...)

Posted by
18688 posts

This is a question that you should have asked before purchasing a railpass. "Reservations" for accommodations on night train are difficult or expensive to get from over here and will undoubtedly be sold out before you arrive.

The national rail lines often have discount fares on the entire package (rail plus reservations), but don't even give you the option of passholder reservations online. Your choices are paying a higher price (relative to over there) to reserve through a site like RailEurope or buying reservations at the same price as in Europe (actually bought in Munich) through Euraide, but paying Euraide $50 for the service.

In your case, with four night train reservations, you should probably go with Euraide.

And, BTW, you may find many of these reservations already sold out.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the reply Lee.

I did go ahead an reserve for all four nights and got all four. I used Travel Cuts (a travel agency chain often found at Canadian universities). In addition to the couchette price it seems to have only cost me $25 Cdn+tax to have reserved all four nights on days/times I wanted. It seemed like she got me the cheapest (pass holder?) price for the couchettes (e.g. My T6 was Cdn$34 from Munich-Florence).