Travelling is a luxury a lot of people tend to give up when having a pet; but it doesn’t have to be that way. Holidaying in Europe with dogs is very well regarded by most pup-parenting Europeans.With an abundance of dog-friendly travel options, it is easy to get from city-to-city, and you can visit several locations in one trip. To get you excited about your next adventure, we’ve rounded up our top 5 dog-friendly destinations in Europe, with some useful tips and tricks to help you along the way.
When travelling with your dog we recommend two transport options: catching trains or driving. Both of these are relatively hassle-free and much more comfortable for your dog than flights spent in a crate. Either way you choose to travel in Europe there are a few essentials that remain the same.
Before leaving your home country, ensure your canine travel companion has a pet passport (easily obtainable from a vet), a microchip, rabies vaccination and tapeworm treatment. In a new place your dog is more likely to wander off, having an ID made up with the address of your accommodation is a good precaution and will offer peace of mind. Upon returning home your dog will need to have a tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before your arrival.
If opting to travel by car, bring along a good supply of your dog’s favourite chews to keep them occupied as well as a dog seat belt to stop them causing any mischief! During the stay bringing their own bed if space allows will not only be useful if accommodation does not provide one but will also make them feel at home. For a more conclusive packing list and travel advice take a look at our Pet Travel Guide.
Step back in time to the quintessential city of Bruges, the capital of Belgium’s Flemish region. Adorned with historical sights, riverside cafes and fairytale-like parks there is sure to be something for both you and your dog. With the recent remodelling of The Dog House, a boutique hotel created especially for dog owners, you have the perfect base for your stay. Dogs, particularly small dogs, are almost always welcome into cafes and pubs in Bruges – provided it is not too busy and you keep them on a leash. The policy of dogs on the various tourist sight varies but you are unlikely to feel too bad whilst eating Belgian chocolates in Bruges world famous market squares.
The Czech Republic capital of Prague is not traditionally thought of as particularly pet-friendly destination but in the last few years, this has drastically changed. Dogs can explore all areas of the city and Letna Park is large enough for your dog to play off the leash whilst you stop in the various beer gardens along the way.
During your visit, you should find that dogs are welcome in restaurants and you may even be lucky enough for them to provide your dog with a small meal themselves. The Aero cinema is dog-friendly and even hosts a film festival for dogs, ‘Aero Pes Fest’, once a year. Unfortunately, there is one downside to pet travel in Prague, although dogs are welcome on public transport they should be muzzled at all times. We would suggest travelling to Prague only if you plan on going by car or staying right in the city centre –the Pod Vezi hotel would be an excellent choice for this.
3. FJORDS (NORWAY)
You may think Norway’s fjords are merely a fun destination for humans yet they are also wildly popular among travelling dogs! Your pooches are welcome on cruises and depending on your cruise may also find you have your daily pet duties taken care of. An excellent opportunity for some ‘me’ to take in the spectacular scenery and rich Viking history.
Oslo, Norway’s capital, is also very dog-friendly and spending a few days here is sure to be a treat. Most stores and restaurants are accommodating to dogs as are many hotels, our top pick being The Thief, a hotel where your dogs are sure to get more pampering and attention then you could ever imagine. Whilst in Olso, take a walk down Akerselva River exploring the historical turn-of-the-century area.
Possibly the most dog–friendly destination in our whole list is Berlin, the artsy cultural hub of Germany. Walking tours are a great way to see the city’s historical sites with your pooch, alternatively, opt for a relaxing steamer cruise trip where dogs are always welcome on the Stern und Kreisschiffahrt boats. After your walk or boat trip experience Berlin’s café culture at Five Elephant, a dog-friendly café famed for its cheesecake.
What differs in Berlin to most other European destinations is that all public transport is pet-friendly allowing you to visit every corner of the city, just be sure to get the correct ticket. With this is mind you could opt stay a little outside the city to get some space for your dog – or be in the thick of it in the city centre. Our pick is the Gorki Apartments, trendy, self-contained apartments in the buzzing Mitte district, where pooches will be offered a bed and bowl in your room to make them feel right at home.
From the moment you step foot in Amsterdam, you will see dogs of all shapes and sizes exploring the city. The abundance of well-kept, picturesque parks through Amsterdam makes it sure to be a delight for you and your pooch. Start your stay at family run, The Neighbour’s Magnolia Hotel, where not only do they allow you to bring dogs but your pups can also mingle with hotel dog, Bleecker.
Dogs are allowed into most places, except museums and galleries – if in doubt look for a ‘no dogs allowed’ sign. Like Germany, The Netherlands allow dogs to travel free on all public transport except trains where there is a daily dog surcharge of €3.00. If you are looking for a bite to eat you shouldn’t have much trouble but one restaurant we would thoroughly recommend is Drover’s Dog, an ‘Australian Gourmet Cafe’ which unsurprisingly is pet-friendly. If you have a moment spare take a couple hours to enjoy the Southern Canal Belt walk, crossing canals across small bridges and taking in the magnificent 17th Century architecture.
Wherever you choose to travel with your dog we are sure you will have an amazing time – how could you not with your best furry friend in tow!? Be sure to post a photo of your travels @STYLETAILS and let us know what your favourite dog-friendly city is?