Europe is very very very dog friendly. It may be a hot take, but we believe that Europe is more dog friendly than the US!
If you’re traveling to Europe and don’t want to leave your dog behind, then check out our step by step guide on how to bring your dog to Europe. It may be easier than you think!
Pets are like family to many of us, and so if we can travel with them — we’re down! However, not all places are petfriendly. In Europe, though, things are different. Many European countries welcome pets, making them great destinations for pet lovers and pet travelers.
During our 2 months European trip, Bodhi visited over 25+ cities in Europe. Some cities were more memorable than others. We share our top 8 dog friendly activities and destinations in Europe below. We bet you haven’t heard at least 1 of these things! The activities range from pricey to free.
If your dog likes water or can swim, then look no further than Lake Como. Lake Como is absolutely gorgeous. I think I saw new colors when I was there, and maybe Bodhi did too. Kidding! We know dogs are color blind. Anyways, we are sure you’ve heard of Lake Como or probably seen photos online. With it’s beautiful winding cobblestone streets, bright vibrant buildings and glittering lake views, Lake Como is quite magical.
And having Bodhi with us, made it just that much better! Italy is overall very dog friendly so your dog may get the royal treatment when they arrive. Renting a boat is a must do when in Lake Como. Since there are 3 main points/cities to visit when you’re there, you’ll have to take the ferry as the main mode of transportation. Dogs get to ride free on ferries, but just make sure your dog is leashed and muzzled (only if your dog’s a big breed).
Boat ride in Lake Como Breakdown
Price: If you charter your own private boat it can cost anywhere between ($400-$3,000) depending on how long you charter the boat for. You can also do public boat tours (you just have to double check if they allow pets). The public boat tour costs are much more affordable.
Would We Do Again: Absolutely! We are already planning for next year!
Recommended Tips: We recommend anchoring the boat and cooling off by swimming in the lake. Bodhi especially enjoyed doing this! The hottest points of the day is around 2pm so we recommend going in the morning or after 2pm.
Address: Bellagio, Lake Como
Have a relaxing beach day at Billionaires's Bay in Antibes, South of France.
The South of France is absolutely breathtaking. In Nice, we walked along the waters everyday with Bodhi but nothing beats the serene beauty of Billionaire’s Bay in Antibes. We went early in the morning around 8am, so we were able to enjoy it privately for 1-2 hours, without much disturbance. We recommend going early if you don’t mind the more temperate water. If you love going to the beach when it’s super hot out, then we recommend going at 1 or 2pm as the hottest point of the day is around 3-5pm.
Billionaire's Bay, Antibes Breakdown
Would We Do Again: 1000%! This was seriously one of our top memories in Europe with Bodhi.
Recommended Tips: Go early in the morning if you can! The entrance is not the easiest to find, but keep walking along the road and you’ll see the sign for it. If you’re getting dropped off by car then you’ll need to walk about 5-10 minutes to the beach.
Recommend Vendors: The beach is free so no vendors in that regards. We do however recommend renting a car or using Uber.
Bodhi’s Score: 5/5 🐾 Yes, Bodhi loved privately exploring the beach off leash. We would do it again in a heartbeat!
Check out 1 of the 7 Wonders of the World -- Stonehenge, UK with your dog!
Did you know you could visit one of the Seven Wonders with your dog? Yes, you can bring your dog with you to visit the Stonehenge in the UK. Please note that dogs are not allowed up close to the Stonehenge themselves, but the grassy pathway (20-30 minute walk there) makes it absolutely worth it!
Bodhi was frolicking in the green grassy English countryside and we’ve never seen him happier. We saw many other dogs along the path to Stonehenge and felt safe enough to allow Bodhi off leash! We went in July and the temperature was amazing. Not cold, not hot but warm with cool breezes ever so often. We can’t recommend this dog friendly activity enough!
Stonehenge, UK Breakdown
Price: £23.00 or $30 for Stonehenge Ticket Entrance. £27.00 or $35 for roundtrip bus tickets from Salisbury to Stonehenge.
Would We Do Again: Without a doubt! This was another top memory of ours while in Europe with Bodhi.
Recommended Tips: Book directly with their official site here. All other sites charge way more than it should cost. You must take the walking path, where you can meet cattle and take in the beautiful English countryside! There is a shuttle that takes you directly to the Stonehenge, however only service dogs are allowed on the Stonehenge shuttles.
Address: Salisbury SP4 7DE, United Kingdom
Recommend Vendors: Book directly with their official site here. All other sites charge way more than it should cost. If you’re coming from London, then you need to take the National Rail UK train to Salisbury and then take the Stonehenge Tour Bus to the Stonehenge.
Bodhi’s Score: 10000/5 🐾 This was Bodhi’s favorite day during our trip to Europe!
Ride an ATV with your dog in Santorini or in any Greek Islands.
When we were in Santorini, one of the locals told us the best way to get around and see the island was by ATV. We looked around and noticed that ATVs were everywhere. ATVs are definitely a popular mode of transportation for Santorini. We later went to Naxos and learned that when in the Greek islands, you MUST rent an ATV. The best part is that dogs ride for free! Of course, you must make sure there is enough room for your dog to be comfortable. Bodhi is a small miniature dachshund so he sat very comfortably between us in a 2 seat ATV. However, they do have larger ATV models such as 3 seaters, 4 seaters and more.
It doesn’t get anymore unique then a dog riding an ATV in Greece! You can rent the ATV usually for a half day (4 hours) or for multiple days/weeks.
ATV Rides in Santorini, Greece Breakdown
Price: 50 € or $54 for a half day rental for their smallest ATV (2 seater) with the insurance! Prices can be negotiated so we recommend doing so to get the best price. Also the rental prices do get cheaper if you rent it for longer.
Would We Do Again: Yes, and we would rent it for at least a full day next time!
Recommended Tips: It’s very hot in Greece even when we went in May (considered shoulder season). So make sure to bring water, wear sunscreen and ensure your dog is also comfortable! All the ATVs have trunks for you to put your purse, backpack etc so make sure to lock the trunk!
Bodhi’s Score: 4/5 🐾 Bodhi enjoyed this but next time we will rent a larger ATV so that we have more room. Bodhi was shifting a lot during the drive because he wanted to get more comfortable.
Explore the Swiss Alps by train, riding the Brienz Rothorn Bahn!
This was easily one of the most iconic things we did with Bodhi in Europe. Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous and we recommend everyone to ride the Rothorn Train at least once in their lifetime. And if you’re in Switzerland, then this is a MUST. Amazingly, dogs or cats are able to ride the train for free. We did not have to put Bodhi in a travel carrier, so he was able to enjoy the fresh air!
Brienz Rothorn Bahn Train Ride in Switzerland Breakdown
Price: 42.50 CHF or $48 for 1 seat guarantee.
Would We Do Again: We would do it again in a heart beat. We weren’t able to go all the way up to Rothorn due to it being too cold and the railways were not safe to venture up that high. So next time we will go when it’s warmer!
Recommended Tips: Book your tickets early! This is a very popular tourist attraction (for good reason)! Tickets are sold out during high season, weeks in advance. The best time to go is also during the warmer months. However we went in mid May and it was gorgeous. We also recommend arriving at least 30 minutes early before the train departs. You’ll thank us later!
Recommend Vendors: You will want to book directly with their official site here. You’ll also likely have to book tickets with a seat guarantee. This allows you to enter the platform early to grab a seat. You’ll also get a discount if you have the Swiss Travel Pass. We talk more about what that is in our Switzerland Dog Friendly Guide.
Bodhi’s Score: 500/5 🐾 This was an absolute bucket list item that Bodhi was able to check off! The views are gorgeous, and once you get to the top they let you explore the small town. The grassy hills and Swiss cottages makes you feel like you’re in a story book. Bodhi especially enjoyed running around the hills here.
Visit the ΕΜΣΤ Love Museum in Athens, Greece (pets allowed inside)!
This was a very fun, unique and interesting experience we did with Bodhi. We especially loved it because it was one of the only museums in Europe that allowed us to bring Bodhi inside. It is highly unusual for Greek museums to allow pets of any kind inside a museum so we knew we had to check it out. This museum is a bit far from the main attractions like the Acropolis, but we recommend you make time for it.
The focal point of the ΕΜΣΤ Museum is to capture the essence of “Modern Love” (or “Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies”), yet the best part is that you and your dog can enjoy all the other exhibits too. It started when Socrates Shelter, a temporary haven for homeless dogs, hosted a charity event here to raise awareness for dog adoption. Ever since the heartwarming event, the ΕΜΣΤ Museum has opened its doors to dogs, free of charge.
ΕΜΣΤ Love Museum in Athens, Greece Breakdown
Price: £8 or $8.76 for the ΕΜΣΤ Museum Ticket Entrance. Free for children under 12 and certain government personnel.
Would We Do Again: Yes! We loved the fact that Bodhi was able to enjoy the cool, air-conditioned building for a few hours with us. He was able to admire the art and history displayed here with us too!
Recommended Tips: We recommend going during the day. No need to wake up early to make it, unless you have a very busy itinerary. It’s a bit far from the main Acropolis area so we recommend taking a taxi or allotting 30 minutes for the walk.
Recommend Vendors: Book directly at the venue and check their website here for any updates. All other sites charge way more than it should cost. You will not need to book ahead of time or in advance.
Bodhi’s Score: 4/5 🐾 Bodhi didn’t really *get* the art. But he loved the air conditioning!
Go punting in Cambridge, UK with your dog!
When in Cambridge, you must go punting! Punting in Cambridge is a quintessential British experience and one of the most iconic ways to explore the city’s beautiful waterways. Punting involves propelling a flat-bottomed boat, known as a punt, along the River Cam using a long pole. The person guiding the punt stands at the rear and uses the pole to push against the riverbed, propelling the boat forward.
You can punt the boat yourself or one of the vendor’s guide can punt while you enjoy the ride. We highly recommend punting when you’re in Cambridge as there are many stunning, private views of the school and city that you can only see from going down the River Cam. Best part is that dogs and pets get to ride free!
Punting in Cambridge, UK Breakdown
Price: £30-60 / $38-68 (group boat rental); or £100-300 / $180-380 (if you rent the entire boat). Prices also change depending on whether you go on a week day, or a weekend.
Would We Do Again: We certainly would! Though it’s not at the top of our list, we enjoyed this activity with Bodhi immensely.
Recommended Tips: You can book online or in person! If you’re going on a weekend during July-August, then you may want to call ahead or book online. But since there are so many vendors, its not necessary to book in advance. It’s important to note that it’s a 25-35 minutes walk from the train station to the River Cam punting area. Taxis and Ubers are plentiful here as well, if you don’t want to walk.
Address: River Cam Punting
Recommend Vendors: We recommend just buying the tickets right when you get to into Cambridge. There are many vendors to choose from (all very similar in price and experience). You can buy from some vendors directly when you walk out of the train station, or when you’re at the River Cam. We recommend you buy tickets when you get to the river as prices are negotiable there.
Bodhi’s Score: 4/5 🐾 This was a very relaxing activity with Bodhi! Also, it was interesting to hear about all the history and clandestine secrets of Cambridge from our punting guide. Bodhi especially loved all the ducks and geese swimming in the river!
Enjoy lounging around at a beach club in South of France.
Last, but certainly not least, is lounging at a beach club in Cannes, St. Tropez, Monaco or anywhere in the South of France really. Most beach clubs in the South of France are very dog friendly and are very welcoming to dogs. We highly recommend you checking out at least one of them with your fur baby. It doesn’t cost any extra to bring your dog! So it was a no brainer for us. I mean who doesn’t want to spend a day relaxing, drinking, and sun bathing by the gorgeous, crystal, clear waters with your dog?
We know it’s certainly cheaper to just grab a few towels and lay out with your dog on the beach, and we even suggest our favorite beach to do so above. However, there is something special about having food and drinks brought out to you as you lounge around. Even Bodhi got served fresh water and was being fussed over by the staff; so we chalk this up as a must do experience! Well worth the money.
Lounging at a beach club, South of France Breakdown
Price: £10.00 – £50.00 or $12 – $63 for a beach chair rental for the day. This is typically per person as well. Dogs are free! This range changes per beach club, and what beach you decide to go to. Cannes beaches clubs are a bit more expensive than Nice beach clubs for example.
Would We Do Again: For sure. We could easily do this 2-3 times in one trip! We really love beach bumming it with Bodhi. 😎
Recommended Tips: Call the different beach clubs ahead and get prices. There are some iconic beach clubs like the Ritz Carlton that you’ll need to reserve chairs far in advance. However, most beach clubs will allow walk ins. If you walk further away from the main tourists spots you’ll likely find cheaper rates.
Address: South of France
Recommend Vendors: We went to many beach clubs along the South of France and don’t believe theres too much difference between them all. However, we really enjoyed our time at Ruhl Plage since the staff was so sweet to both us and Bodhi.
Bodhi’s Score: 100/5 🐾 I was too busy admiring the beauty of Nice, that Bodhi got a few bites of my burger here! So, I’m sure he’ll go back for just the food alone. Lol. But in all seriousness, he loved sun bathing and swimming here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How hard is it to bring a dog to Europe?
We would say it’s not hard, but yes, it takes work. Before bringing your dog, cat, or ferret to any European Union country, your pet needs to have a microchip. Note that previous vaccinations won’t be valid if given before the microchip. Even if your pet’s rabies vaccination is still valid, it must be re-vaccinated for rabies after getting the microchip. Please also double check with the official USA website here as well as the EU official website here for up to date regulations, updates and changes.
We also breakdown the step by step guide on how to bring your dog to Europe from the US here.
Do dogs need a passport to fly internationally?
You do not need an EU pet passport for your dog unless you plan on traveling in Europe with your dog for more than 90 days. However, the European Union EU dog pet passport makes it easier for your dog to travel across Europe.
How much does it cost to travel with a dog in Europe?
It depends! If you are flying into Europe from the US with your dog it can usually cost around $100-250 extra.
However, if you’re traveling around Europe when you are already in Europe, then the price can be much cheaper. Train booking platforms like Omio are pet friendly and offers affordable prices. Dogs even get to ride free on most of their trains (if your pet is in a pet carrier).
Also, if you have a European Union pet passport, this allows your dog, cat, or ferret to travel effortlessly within the EU and even to non-EU countries (like UK, Switzerland, Iceland, etc). We highly recommend getting a European Union pet passport for your pet!
What is the weight limit for dogs to fly in cabin?
This will vary across different airlines. So make sure you double check with each airline’s pet policy. We link each airline and their pet policy here to make it easier for you to check!
Generally however, we have found the weight limit for dogs/pets in the cabin to be around 17-22 pounds or less. This includes the carrier’s weight and your pet’s weight.
Do dogs have to quarantine in Europe?
Good news! Pets traveling between the Europe and the US don’t need to go through quarantine, so you can bring your pet to your hotel or destination right when you land. The rules are simple: ensure your pet has a rabies vaccine, a microchip, and a health certificate from a USDA vet. That’s all you need to worry about!
We hope you found this article helpful!
Travel Dog Bodhi 🐶