Summer is fast approaching and our thoughts are turning to holidays as travel becomes more possible once again. And what dog owner doesn’t want to take their fur buddy along with them on a city break? After checking pet travel regulations, it’s up to you to consider where they might be most comfortable and have the best fun. You’ll find no shortage of epic European cities with green spaces, dog-friendly accommodation, dining out options and transport. The city break planning starts here: top picks coming up…
Paris ranks top in many of the dog-friendly city lists of Europe. It boasts the biggest choice of dog-friendly hotels and has a plethora of both eating options and parks so that you and your fur buddy can make the most of your down time together. Getting around won’t be an issue either; dogs are allowed on all public transport so you can nip from the Tuileries gardens to the Jardin du Luxembourg in no time. Another plus point is that with average summer temperatures of about 25 degrees celsius, Paris has a more comfortable heat for pooches and it’s easy to find shade. Parisians love love love their dogs and expect to see them everywhere - you’ll feel right at home on your doggie hols!
Ok, London may not be a foreign city break, but there are advantages to this. Staying on the British isles this summer means no travel restrictions for you or your doggie. Plus, London is really superb for a dog-friendly city break. Here’s why: London has tonnes of green spaces and walking on Hampstead Heath, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the country and not in the middle of a huge metropolis. One of the most brilliant things about visiting London with your pup is that, because you won’t have a language barrier, you can check out dog-walking groups and easily meet locals with dogs. A great way to socialise for both doggo and you, and glean some insider tips on what to see and do in the UK capital. British weather is of course a tad unpredictable but the lower summer temperatures make city exploring all the more possible for you both.
Rome has a huge number of dog-friendly hotels and restaurants, ranking highly as a dog-friendly city. But, do be careful when you and pupster visit as the higher temperatures make it a little less comfortable for tramping the historic streets, sampling delicious gastronomic delights (not to mention gelato!). Your doggo would need to be a good traveller too due to the longer journeying time from the UK. Parks-a-plenty in Roma and dogs are widely accepted as part of everyday life in this maestro of European cities.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Wander up and down the canals and marvel at this beautiful (flat!) city from a cargo bike with pooch tucked up in the front compartment. Public transport is a free option too, except for trains. Amsterdam has a very laissez-faire vibe and dogs are loved - don’t be surprised when you easily make a horde of new friends instantly. The short travel time and lower temperatures make it a stellar option from the UK in summer, even though there seem to be less accommodation and eat-in options. Great street food alternatives make up for that and you’ll be spoiled for choice!
Wildcard: Bruges, Belgium
A gorgeous city architecturally, which makes it a super option for a dog-friendly break because exploring the city streets the no. 1 thing to do. It’s also a compact city so everything is accessible on foot. Many pubs and restaurants will welcome doggies and the obvious place to stay: The Doghouse! Pay a visit to Barabas too, where a very famous and much-loved dog called Fidele used to perch on the windowsill overlooking the canal and even made an appearance in the film In Bruges starring Colin Farrell. A short trip from the UK, Bruges is an extremely viable summer option for dog lovers.
So, it’s time to get your travelling shoes on again and get back out there with your pup in tow. As you can see, Europe has a lot to offer you and your canine with tempting destinations just a stone’s throw away. Happy travels!