Doggie destinations: 7 dog-friendly Summer holiday places in Europe

Chris Stoddard
Chris Stoddard

Dog-owners face an ongoing dilemma when parting with their favourite pooches in the summer time, and often people are forced to unwillingly send them to kennels or dog sitters.

With the rising cost of taking pets on airlines, many passengers also face concerns over whether they can afford to bring their companions on vacation, as it may outweigh the price of kennels. Those wanting to take Fido abroad must acquire a pet passport and have their animal microchipped and vaccinated prior to travel. It sounds super complicated but it’s actually pretty easy. If you cannot bear the thought of parting with your beloved dogs, there are plenty of destinations in Europe that can offer the perfect paradise for both parties. We’ve compiled a list of seven dog-friendly holiday locations, from city breaks to picturesque beach destinations, all suitable for your pets in the height of summer. 1. Amsterdam, Netherlands. A safe-haven for pooches throughout the summer months, Amsterdam is a provider of all things dog friendly. With numerous city parks, the Dutch metropolitan is filled with dogs of all shapes and sizes, as the animals are allowed into a majority of its sights with the exceptions of museums and galleries. Amsterdam further hosts an abundance of hotels willing to accommodate canines. The NH hotel brand, which owns various properties across the city, are one of the most pet-friendly franchises. The Neighbour’s Magnolia Hotel, another popular destination for animal lovers, also lets your pets bond with their in-house dog Bleecker. A top tip for holiday-goers interested in visiting the Dutch capital is to look out for the Drover’s Dog restaurant. An Australian Gourmet Café, located close to the Eastern Docklands, it offers excellent hospitality for dog-owners. 2. France. France has built a reputation for its love of dogs, and the animals are more than welcomed almost everywhere. The country offers inner-city dog friendly boutiques, expansive holiday villas and sea side retreats. Animals are commonly invited into dining areas with guests, and shopping districts in Paris and Monaco can become littered with hand bagged pooches escorted by their fashion-conscious owners. Rural French regions such as Brittany further boast significant appeal for dog-lovers, with a vast number of sea-side cottages available to rent each summer. Most cottages are animal-friendly, catering for larger groups hoping to bring them along. Travelling to and from France can also prove cheaper for holiday-goers, who may choose to use the Euro Tunnel to travel across the pond. Using the system, dogs can be transported for just a small fee of £18. 3. Bruges, Belgium. When travelling to the medieval Flemish region of Bruges, dog-owners can expect to see an abundance of riverside walkways, idyllic parks and ambient cafes. With nearly twenty hotels in the enchanted city centre accommodating for canines, including hotels, bed & breakfasts and property rentals, you will have no problems finding your perfect stay. The Dog House hotel, situated east of the city centre, offers the perfect getaway for those looking for relaxation with their doggy companions. The Bed and Breakfast dates back to the 1750s, and features a private courtyard for exercising your pooch. Dogs are primarily free to roam at Bruges’ tourist sites, including the world-famous market squares, and most cafes will welcome them providing the dining area is not overcrowded and they are kept on a leash. 4. Switzerland. The home of the Bernese mountain dog, Switzerland holds a longstanding love affair with man’s best friend. Major Swiss cities Geneva and Zurich both lay home to hotels that allow pets for no additional charge, whilst more rural areas of the breath-taking landscape offer similar services as well as proving ideal for hillside hikes for your furry friends. As if the scenery in Switzerland wasn’t idyllic enough, adventurers and their dogs can take the Glacier Express across the Oberalp Pass. The three-day train journey crosses 291 bridges and travels through 91 tunnels, with passengers encouraged to make several stops along the way. 5. Berlin, Germany. Germany’s art and culture hub, Berlin, is home to perhaps the biggest canine loving community in Europe. You’ll find pooches of all shapes and sizes across the capital’s sophisticated transport system, where they are more than welcomed. Dogs are also allowed to experience trips along the city’s rivers with their owners, with the Stern und Kreisschiffahrt boats a popular option with travellers. Apartment blocks within the central district of Mitte further comfort pets with their own beds and water bowls, ensuring that they feel right at home whilst on their adventures. For those who share a love for dogs and great food, be sure to visit the Five Elephant café in the city’s Kreuzberg district. Famous for its cheesecake, the dog-friendly space reflects Berlin’s acceptance of all. 6. Italy. Whether you prefer the Riviera, a city-break in an urban metropolitan or vineyard painted landscapes, Italy has huge appeal for dog-owners seeking a summer getaway. Northern Italy and the South Tyrolean Alps are popular destinations to travel with pets, due to its picturesque landscape for hiking and trekking. Hotels across towns such as Merano allow dogs to stay, with small fees to cover the cost of our companions. For city-goers, Rome has built a particular reputation for its love of dogs. With discounts for pets using public transport, as well as access to its most touristy architectural spots, your pooch will be able to share the Italian experience. 7. Bergen, Norway. If you are looking for an alternative summer holiday this year, then look no further than Norway and its fjords as your perfect destination for any dog-owner. Bergen, a quant Norwegian town in the country’s southwest region, poses as the birthplace of several fjord cruises that welcome canines. The tours offer travellers the chance to relax amongst beautiful landscapes and Viking history. Norway’s capital, Oslo, is also a safe-haven for animals with many hotels openly supporting and accommodating both humans and dogs. Perhaps not the most tropical city of choice in Europe, yet could benefit your pooches’ health and wellbeing.

(Article source: Time for Paws)

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