From 1 June to 1 September 2024, international EC trains between the Czech Republic and Germany on the line from Prague via Dresden and Berlin to Hamburg and other northern German cities can only be used with a compulsory seat reservation. This temporary change is being introduced by the partner carrier “Deutsche Bahn”, which operates these trains on the territory of Germany. The reason for this step is the expected higher demand for travelling, including in connection with the EURO 2024 European Football Championship.

Nothing changes in the national section of the Czech Republic (i.e. between Prague, Ústí nad Labem and Děčín) where seat reservations are only recommended. Nevertheless, if the passengers cross the state border between Děčín and Bad Schandau, a seat reservation will already be compulsory at least for the section from the border crossing point Schöna Gr. to Bad Schandau. In practice, however, passengers will purchase a seat reservation for the entire route which they wish to take, e.g. from Prague to Berlin or in the opposite direction.

Passengers who purchase seat reservations for daily EC trains, such as Berliner or Hungaria, or for the railjet Vindobona train simultaneously with their train tickets will receive seat reservations for these cross-border trains free of charge. This is a standard regime in the ČD E-shop or in the My Train mobile application, and it will also be possible at ČD international ticket offices between 1 June and 1 September 2024. The seat reservations purchased separately without train tickets cost CZK 77 (EUR 3) in the standard price mode.

Vlak EC v Drážďanech

For travellers passing through Germany and crossing state borders with other countries on the follow-up Deutsche Bahn train connections, we would still like to point out that compulsory seat reservations will also be introduced on other cross-border sections during the same period. The sections where passengers will be obliged to reserve a seat are listed in the electronic connection search engines, but we recommend verification of this information directly with the carrier Deutsche Bahn.

Seat reservations are an important part of the check-in procedures if you want to travel long distances. When purchasing tickets in the ČD E-shop or the My Train mobile application, passengers can buy seat reservations for cross-border trains without a compulsory seat reservation requirement for free. In addition, the online environment enables the carrier to communicate with passengers more easily, which is particularly important in cases where there are extraordinary changes to the timetable or train configurations. ČD has also recently launched a "semaphore" in the online check-in channels, which indicates the expected utilisation of individual long-distance connections.