How do I buy JUST a seat reservation on Bahn?

Hello, I bought seats on a train from Venice to Innsbruck on bahn.com awhile back. Seat reservations were not available yet, so I just bought the tickets themselves because the price was so good. The site told me reservations would be available on April 15th, but now that I log back into the ticket purchase with Bahn, I cannot find a way to purchase that seat reservation. There is a little tab to just purchase a seat reservation, but when I start that process, the system boots me out saying that for an international journey I must also buy a train ticket. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11256 posts

Since you are asking about seat reservations, not sleeping accommodations, I assume you are talking about one of the ECs that runs from Italy to Munich via Innsbruck, probably the EC that goes all the way from Venice (13:34) to Munich. That is a German train, so you can buy tickets online for a segment entirely outside Germany, but you still can't get reservations alone, even for a segment with one end in Germany. You will be able to get a reservation-only from a ticket counter in Europe. There will probably be seat reservations available right up to train time. If you want reservations sooner, try calling German Rail at 49 1805 99 66 33.

Posted by Claire
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
12 posts

I too had difficulty buying reservations on the Bahn website. I have a Global Eurail Pass - How early do we need to buy reservations? Can we wait until we are in Europe or should we buy them now, even though they are more expensive? What happens if we get to the train station and there are no reservations left? Any info would be great!
Thanks!!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11256 posts

"should we buy them now, even though they are more expensive?" More expensive? The Bahn sells reservations online or at the counter for the same price (4€/seat). Only agencies like RailEurope sell reservations for more. The Bahn only consistently sells reservations-only online for trains running entirely within Germany. For train routes with one end outside Germany, passholder reservations are usually not available online, and German Rail only rarely sells reservations online for train routes entirely outside Germany. Other than the rare ICE Sprinter, reservations are not mandatory on German trains. However, you should be able to purchase just seat reservations for any Bahn train (ICE/IC/EC) running entirely within Germany online. Regional trains in Germany do not have reserved seats. You cannot get seat reservations for regional trains anywhere. In my experience, trains with reservable seats can be SRO, but many occupied seats will still not be reserved. You should be able to get reservations right up to travel time. If you are worried, buy your reservations over there a few days in advance. If you are really worried, bite the bullet and pay too much to get them from RailEurope.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8731 posts

Claire, where are you trying to get reservations for? You can't reserve trains, like Regional trains, which don't offer reservations. You are not required to have reservations in Germany unless your particular ticket requires them (it wouldn't with a Global Pass), or you are trying to get onto a ICE-Sprinter (unlikely for most tourists). If your journey is outside Germany it is unlikely that DBahn, the German railway, would be able to sell you reservations.