We have been traveling all over Europe with Bodhi, thanks to his EU Pet Passport (check out here on how to get your dog one too!). So of course when in Italy, you must see Venice. A city that we’ve heard will be under water in 75 years. We don’t know why we were even surprised when we arrived and found out that the only way to travel around Venice was by walking and crossing bridges or using water taxis. We also learned that Venice is very, very dog friendly; but cats are actually the official animal of the city. Bodhi had such a pleasant time in Venice, keep reading to find out what dog friendly activities we recommend to do in Venice, Italy.
Best Dog Friendly Activities Venice, Italy
Eat Outside at Plenty of Cafes, Restaurants and Eateries
There are so many restaurants and cafes with plenty of outdoor seating that would be happy to accommodate you and your dog! However, our favorite place to eat during our 3 day, 2 night stay in Venice was at Caffè Florian. Caffè Florian is the oldest cafe in Italy, dating back to 1720! We went in the middle of June and did not have to make reservations. I do think if it was July or August you may want to make reservations. The unique thing about Caffè Florian is that they have live music! If you’re a lover of classical music they have the Venice Quartet playing! If you choose to sit in the front row then you will have to pay 6€ (~$7) service fee, but we feel it was worth it! They also dedicated a song (Beauty and the Beast) to us, so it felt very special! An added bonus was they served Bodhi fresh water. The amazing part: they didn’t just bring out a doggy bowl with water already in it; but instead they brought him a glass container of water and poured it in a clean metal doggy bowl right in front of him. It was truly white glove service!
Take a ride on the Gondola With Your Dog
Gondolas are basically synonymous with Venice, Italy. So we decided to splurged for this once-in-a-lifetime experience with our fur baby! You have a few different options when it comes to the rides:
- 30 mins for 80€ (~$88)
- 45 mins for 140€ (~$154)
- 60 mins for 190€ (~$209)
Take Photos in Front of The Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, is a famous and historic landmark that spans the main waterway, the Grand Canal. Because of that, this bridge is considered a main attraction in Venice. If you do plan on taking pictures here, we recommend that you go early (before 8am) because throughout the whole day, it will get very crowded and you will have to wait to take photos. Even then you may get people in your shot! After taking photos here, you can walk and window shop or actually shop with your dog! Most shops were very kind to us and allowed Bodhi into the store as well. Bodhi was getting quiet hot from the sun; so going inside the shops was a treat!
Go Visit The Oldest Bookstore in the Europe
The Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy, is the oldest book store in the city and one of the oldest in Europe. Re-opened in 2004, it stands out for its unconventional atmosphere and creative response to Venice’s high tides. The store’s interior is filled with bathtubs, gondolas, and even a converted gondola shelf, serving as unique book displays to protect the books from potential water damage. With a wide range of new, used, and rare books in various languages, Libreria Acqua Alta attracts book enthusiasts and tourists who appreciate its quirky charm and canal-side location.
Dogs are allowed in the shop but you do have to hold them (the store owner has many cats so they do this as a way to protect their pets). However outside at the back of the store, they have old book stacks are you are allowed to let your dog roam and take photos! See Bodhi’s pose below!
Check out St. Mark's Square
We enjoyed eating at Caffe Florian here! There are so many shops, restaurants and cafes with tons of outdoor seating — so you can have your pick! The square is large and a great walk for your dog to enjoy. This place does become one of the busiest spots in high season so we recommend going in the morning or late evening if you want to avoid the crowds. We did not need reservations for any of the cafes or restaurants there — but we went in June where high season was just starting to pick up.
How Much Time Do You Need in Venice?
When traveling to Venice with your dog, it’s important to plan your time accordingly to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience. The amount of time you need will depend on your preferences, the activities you want to engage in, and the places you wish to explore.
However, we recommend 2-3 days; no more than 4 is needed. As Venice is quite small and if you’re up for a lot of walking then you can easily explore the entire city in a few days.
Transportation with your dog in Venice, Italy
You can only take the train, or boat into Venice. You can not enter by car or taxi. There is an airport, Marco Polo Airport, which you can fly into however we don’t recommend this option if you’re traveling with your dog. There are bus shuttles as well as water taxis if you do choose the airport route. If not the train station will take you directly into the heart of the city where you can then walk or take a water taxi to your hotel. Dogs are able to ride on the water taxis for free!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I bring my dog to Venice?
Yes! Dogs are welcome in Venice, Italy. Many places are happy to accommodate you and your furry friend. There are some parks in Venice as well if you are looking for some grassy areas for your pet. However, please note that most of the city is cobblestone and so your dog will likely need to get used to relieving him/herself on that sort of terrain.
Can I bring my dog from US to Italy?
Yes! We recommend getting an EU Pet Passport as this is the only document you’d need if you’re traveling around Europe with your dog. If you do not have an EU Pet Passport then you will need to obtain a health certificate if you’re flying with your dog from the US into Italy.
Can dogs go on gondolas in Venice?
Yes they can! Dogs are welcome to ride for free as well! If you’re sharing the gondola with another party, make sure they’re okay with your dog on board. If not, you can simply rent your own gondola! Bodhi actually loved this activity and was enjoying the sights as much as we were!
How much does it cost to fly a dog to Italy?
Flights cost will vary depending on:
1) Where you’re flying from,
2) When you’re planning on traveling and
3) If you want to fly with your dog in cabin or not.
Generally most airlines that fly from US/Canada directly into Italy will charge you extra to fly with your pet (in cabin or in cargo/the hold). Most one way flight tickets for your dog will be around $100-250. Please note that if you have a service dog — you are exempt from these prices.
We hope you found this article helpful!
Travel Dog Bodhi 🐶
Did this post help you sniff out some useful info for your furry friend?
If so, don’t be shy, give us a bark in the comments section! We love hearing from our fellow dog lovers on the go.