Could you please advise if we will need seat reservations when travelling in Germany and Switzerland first class 17th jan- 4th Feb 2007,
You will not need seat reservation in Germany or Switzerland, whether 1st or 2nd class. In Switzerland, nobody reserves anyway except for large groups. In Germany, you will not need a reservation for the 1st class at all, but in 2nd on the main North-South lines during the main weekend commuting periods (Fr and Su afternoon/evening) it might be advisable.
Bear in mind that many local trains don't offer 1st class at all.
It depends on where you are travelling, some trains may need compulsory reservation, especially the high-speed trains. I would always suggest reserving seats on long journeys and the cost is so small.
the question was about Switzerland and Germany - and in these two countries there are no trains with compulsory reservations. Glacier Express is an exception, but it is (in my eyes) to be avoided.
It is indeed recommendable to reserve a seat for a long journey on a main travel time. Reserving for, say, wednesday noon time is a waste of money. And in Switzerland, nobody reserves a seat, even though it is technically possible.
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