12 of the best dog-friendly travel destinations in Europe

12 of the best dog-friendly travel destinations in Europe

Dog-friendly travel is becoming increasingly more popular and Europe is becoming an increasingly more dog-friendly travel destination. Although for dog owners, it can be difficult to travel with your beloved pet if you’re uncertain of which locations will love your dog just as much as you do! To help you decide where next to take your Euro trip here are 10 of the best dog-friendly locations in Europe, so that you can stop leaving your “furever” friend at home and start taking them somewhere special with you instead…

Peak District, England

Easily one of the best travel destinations for travelling with your dog in Europe, the expansive, rolling hills of the spectacular Peak District are the perfect place for a pup of any age. Let your dog off their leash for a while and watch them explore and run around the flower-filled fields and wild rugged landscapes. The region welcomes all breeds of dog (you’ll just need to keep them well under control around farm animals), and you’ll find a number of dog-friendly accommodation options, including cottages and many fantastic Peak District dog-friendly hotels. If you’re looking to be a little more rustic during your trip, there are a wealth of campsites happy to cater to your dog as well. The Peak District boasts some beautiful dog walking paths, as well as dog-friendly pubs and cafés, too.

France

If you don’t like the idea of leaving your dog in a kennel or with a friend while you’re away, France is among one of the friendliest European locations for dogs, where even upscale Michelin star restaurants in cities will be happy to let you keep your dog inside (yes seriously)! France has some beautiful countryside locations outside of its busy cities, so no matter where you end up going whether you’re wine tasting or searching for the perfect macaron, France is looking out for your furry friend. Paris an unmissable location if you’re looking for a slice of culture in the city of love or head to Champagne-Ardenne with your pooch for miles and miles of unspoilt vineyards and scenic landscapes.

Wales

There are many dog-friendly hotels in Wales to choose from as well as self-catering cottages. Wales is known for its abundance of sandy and beautiful beaches, many of which are very dog-friendly especially during the off-season months. Rhosilli Bay at Gower Peninsula seems to stand out among them. This beach is often recognised as one of the best beaches along the coast of Wales, and dogs are welcome onto its shores all year round. One of the most exciting features about this particular bay is the shipwreck of Helvetia, which is washed up on the beach. There are, of course, a number of amenities for humans too, and Rhosilli Bay is only half an hour drive from the city of Swansea.

Croatia

As well as being very beautiful with plenty of balmy temperatures during the summertime, Croatia is fast becoming one of the most dog-friendly travel destinations in Europe. For example in Crikvenica which is located along Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, there is a very long and beautiful beach that is perfect for dogs and humans alike. Whether you and your pooch are looking to take a dip in the ocean or relax on the golden sands, this is Croatia’s first-ever dog beach. The beach has attracted all breeds and sizes of dogs, and dog owners are flocking toward it for somewhere to really let their pups loose in a safe environment. There are even “dog beers” for your pet to enjoy, and that’s certainly something you don’t find every day!

The Cotswolds

A region that time forgot, the Cotswolds is chock fill of thatch-roofed cottages, rickety almshouses, ancient mansions of honey-coloured stone and landscapes of lush green fields and wildflowers – a perfect place to visit with your dog. The Cotswolds is an eternally popular place to visit and with very good reason, book one of the many excellent Cotswolds pet-friendly hotels and take your pooch to fine gardens, stately homes, historic castles visit one of the many dog-friendly pubs and cafes across the Cotswolds.

Scotland

If you’re looking for somewhere in the United Kingdom that’s immensely welcoming to your dog, then Scotland is the place to go. If you’re a city or culture lover then Edinburgh has surprisingly lots of dog-friendly amenities to explore and enjoy. Not only will you find a fair few taverns and bars that are happy to cater to your fluffy friend and there are even places with special dog menus, such as the Caley Sample Room on Angle Park Terrace where you can treat your pup to a unique outing!

Next head into the famously beautiful Scottish Highlands for miles and miles of unspoilt wilderness characterized by rolling hills, mountains and spectacular lochs – perfect for exploring on hikes with your furry travelling companion. On the coast, there are also lots of pristine, dog-friendly sandy beaches your dog can bound around on. Oh, and there are also many fantastic pet-friendly accommodation options in Scotland.

Germany

Germany is a very dog-friendly European country. In Germany, you’ll find that dogs are a normal part of everyday society. This is possible because dogs are held to the same high behavioural standards that even humans are expected to have. If you are heading to Germany, you’ll just need to make sure that your pup is well behaved and trained so that you aren’t causing any fuss. Although you can find dog-friendly places pretty much anywhere in Germany from the countryside to major cities, Berlin is a great city location for travelling with a pooch due to the sheer number of hotels which are willing to let you have your dog in your room.

Italy

The Italians seem to really love dogs and it’s one of the few Mediterranean countries where you won’t find large groups of stray dogs wandering around (unfortunately like Greece and Spain). Dogs are allowed in hundreds of hotels and a huge number of restaurants all over Italy and there is plenty of sun-soaked coastline and countryside to explore with them too. It’s capital Rome is home to one of the best beaches for your dog to enjoy. Bau Beach is just a short drive out of Rome, and not only was it the first of Italy’s dog-friendly beaches, it’s also home to a dog adoption centre. There’s even Bau Beach’s famous “Bau Boat”, which is the first charter boat company to actively encourage owners to bring their dogs on board – so cute!

London

This busy metropolis maybe a surprising addition to this list but the UK capital is actually a great place to visit with your pooch. There are many fantastic London dog-friendly hotels to stay and some famous parks to walk your furry friend in. South Bank is a great place to stroll and so is St James’s Park – if it’s good enough for a scene in 101 Dalmatians, then it’s good enough for our furry friends. Head to Mayfair where both you and your canine (yes really) can enjoy a cocktail bar Smith & Whistle & Max or try pet-friendly cinemas, yoga classes and spas!

Ireland

There are numerous dog-friends beaches, pubs, and dog-friendly accommodation options in Ireland and the weather doesn’t get too hot either so need to worry about trying to keep your pooch cool! Ireland is also famous for its miles of pristine coastline and countryside that are perfect for exploring with your dog.

Believe it or not, Ireland’s capital Dublin is also a great dog-friendly destination in Europe. Pupp is Dublin’s first-ever dog-focused café. It’s located on Clanbrassil Street, and has amazing food for humans, too. That’s not all, among the other gems in Dublin is The Royal Oak Bar in Kilmainham, where your pup can roam free while you’re there. Your fluffy friend will love it!

Switzerland

Everyone knows that most dogs love lakes, forests and mountains to sniff around and explore and there’s definitely no shortage of them in Switzerland. In fact, Switzerland claims to be one of the most dog-friendly travel destinations in Europe, if not the world. Dogs are welcome on nearly all hiking trails and there are water fountains everywhere to keep your dogs hydrated, you just have to watch out for the cows! There are also plenty of dog-friendly holiday homes, holiday cottages and even city hotels in Switzerland so you and your dog can be as picky as you like when choosing your perfect European holiday.

If you’re looking for a city in Switzerland that’s known for being dog-friendly, look no further than Zurich. Provided that you follow the rules and your dog(s) are well behaved, they’ll be welcome in this picturesque city. There are several dog-friendly hotels, including 25hours Hotel Langstrasse and Hotel Hirschen. Dogs are even welcome on transport, so you could even take your pup out to the mountains surrounding this picturesque city.

Austria

Last but not least is Austria, which is so dog-friendly it even has its own special and unique “paw rating” system to let you know which hotels are pet-friendly (and how much). There are many reasons why Austria is a fantastic dog-friendly travel destination in Europe. Like Switzerland, it has miles of beautiful scenery and mountains to explore and many dogs are allowed in Austrian hotels even some of the most luxurious ones. Another ideal destination for your holidays with a dog in Austria are farm cottages, where they can run across the meadows as much as they want. Dogs are also allowed in national parks as well, like the “Hohen Tauern” national park, at the border with Italy.

It’s capital Vienna is another great travel destination even with a pooch in tow. Offering over 300 different types of accommodation that are pet-friendly, and a specific dog zone on The Hund Beach at Handelskai. The Hundezone is an accessible spot for all dog owners, offering a few secluded sand coves next to the dog path and shallow water which is perfect for dogs that can’t swim but would still like to cool off. Cyclists and joggers don’t typically use this small dog path, which makes it nice and safe for your pup, too.

How to take your dog from the UK to Europe

Now the pet passport scheme has come into place it’s now surprisingly easy to travel from the UK to Europe with your dog. You just have to make sure at least 3 weeks before your travel date your dog has the Rabies vaccine (via an injection) at your regular vets and then make sure the passport has been stamped and signed. Also, make sure your dog insurance provider is informed that you’re going away and in some cases, you made need to pay a little extra for travel overseas. It’s also essential that your dog is microchipped and has a readable tag.

The best way to cross the channel with your pet is either by Eurotunnel or by a Ferry carrier (who will charge you a little extra to take your dog). In most cases, you’ll need to leave your dog in the car for the travel duration (usually around 60-90 minutes) with the windows down and ensuring they have enough water and food. You can also visit your dog if needed. If you’re travelling by ferry then it’s much cooler in the bottom of the ship but it’s probably always best to travel with a pet as early in the day as possible.

Within a five day window of returning to the UK, you’ll need to find a vet in Europe who will give your dog a tapeworm treatment tablet and then record it in the pet’s passport. This will be checked by passport control as you’re due to cross back home again.

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

5 Comments

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    monika satyawali

    12 September, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    this post is so amazing and cute. I have hardly seen any article written on this topic. I was searching for dog-friendly places to travel with my dogs thank you for this amazing post.
    moni

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    Ryan Biddulph

    16 July, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    All winning destinations Becky. Amazing how many places are dog-friendly these days, compared to the old days when it seemed no places welcomed dogs. This rocks for us and for our 4 legged friends. Just not too many so me and my wife can still get house sitting jobs LOL.

    Ryan

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