Do I need a seat reservation?
High speed services
A seat number is automatically issued with Eurostar and Thalys high-speed train tickets. The cost of a seat reservation is included in the ticket price.
Seat reservations on German ICE trains are optional for passengers travelling at the standard fares. This gives customers the flexibility to catch any ICE service on the date indicated on their tickets. However, seat reservations are available to purchase, normally for €4 per journey.
Certain German saver fares, such as the Sparpreis and Europa Spezial, require passengers to travel on specific trains. For these fares seat reservations are compulsory, but included in the price.
InterCity and regional trains
Domestic train services, such as SNCB's InterCity and regional services, do not require a reservation and tickets don't indicate a seat number or departure time. You're therefore free to jump on any train you want on the route and date mentioned on your ticket.
On EuroCity trains, seat reservation is optional. You may reserve a seat in advance if you wish by contacting the SNCB Europe call centre.