Are dogs allowed in restaurants in Europe? If you’re traveling with a pooch, will you be able to find a place to grab a bite? What are the rules for interiors vs. patios? Does it vary country to country?
In seven years of traveling around Europe with my small dog and several months of researching the countries I haven’t yet been to, I’ve come up with some answers for you.
Traveling with your fuzziest friend in Europe? Read on to find out which European countries will welcome your pooch in restaurants – and which won’t.
Oh, and before you dive in, a pro tip from Jen Sotolongo (which has proven true in my own travels): If you’re having trouble finding a dog-friendly restaurant in Europe, vegan restaurants are often dog-friendly even when every restaurant around them isn’t. Jen has had good luck with vegan places in Spain and I had similar luck in Romania.
Dog-friendly! Dogs are allowed in most restaurants and eateries.
Moderately dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed in some restaurants, but it’s hit or miss.
Not very dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed in outdoor spaces, but never indoors.
Not dog-friendly. Dogs are not allowed to dine with you, or there are reports of significant danger for dogs and/or humans and we’d caution against a visit.
Table of contents:
Dog-friendly! “Dining with your pet is a reality. In Andorra la Vella, lots of establishments are pet friendly. Do two things you love most: eat and spend time with your pet.” – quoted from VisitAndorra.com
Dog-friendly! As with much of Europe, Austria is very relaxed about dogs in public spaces – including eateries. You’ll find most restaurants, bars, and cafes welcome well-behaved dogs. You’ll occasionally see a clearly marked no-dogs establishment, but if you don’t see a sign, chances are you and your pooch are welcome.
Dog-friendly! Belgium is a dog-lover’s paradise. Most restaurants (with the exception of Asian restaurants, which tend not to be dog-friendly in Europe) welcome dogs and often they’ll bring over some water for your four-legged dining companion.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Not very dog-friendly. Dogs are not welcome in restaurants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but some will allow pets on patios. Ask ahead of time if you can or plan to grab takeout and have a picnic in a nearby park.
Luna waiting outside a sushi restaurant in Sarajevo.
Moderately dog-friendly. “Eddie the Beagle has been to many a restaurant in Bulgaria without fuss during several stays in the country. I recall being asked to eat outdoors only once.” – Heiko Vermeulen
“We had zero issues dining with our pup outdoors and even some indoors in Bulgaria.” – Sonja at Montecristo Travels
“We haven’t seen dogs in restaurant interiors – just places with outdoor seating.” – Daniela Petrova, author of Her Daughter’s Mother
Moderately dog-friendly. In general, dogs are not allowed indoors in restaurants in Croatia. However, some restaurants are happy to break the rules for a well-behaved small dog and most (like my personal favorite) will welcome your pup on the patio. In summer and the shoulder season, you’ll find a good amount of outdoor options all over the country.
Moderately dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed in at least some restaurants and patios, but it can be hit or miss here.
Moderately dog-friendly. Some restaurants do not welcome dogs, but overall we found it easy to find places to dine with our four-legged best friend. We were even welcome on a food tour. Unfortunately, our absolute favorite eatery in Prague did not allow dogs (though you could go grab some takeaway goodies from their shop and have a nice picnic in the nearby park).
Moderately dog-friendly. Sounds like Denmark can be hit-or-miss for dogs in restaurants. According to Passion Passport: “While not forbidden by law, most restaurants in Copenhagen do not allow dogs indoors. Thankfully, you’ll find a few dog-friendly cafés, as well as many delicious options with friendly patios.”
Dog-friendly! According to My Helsinki, “Many cafés and restaurants in Helsinki welcome customers with dogs, and some are particularly pet friendly.”
Dog-friendly! Across France, you’ll find that most restaurants, cafes, and bars not only accept dogs but also love them. Expect waiters that bring your dog a dish of water and staff and patrons who smile and coo at your pooch.
Dog policy is up to each individual restaurant, so you’ll occasionally run across a restaurant or eatery that does not allow dogs. Just look for a sign on the door. If there’s no No Dogs Allowed sign, your pooch is probably welcome.
Dog-friendly! Dogs are welcome in most restaurants, cafes, and bars. Any place that doesn’t allow them will be clearly marked.
Moderately dog-friendly. “The question of whether dogs are allowed in restaurants in Greece is a tricky one. I visited Greece for a month along with my Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, and we were certainly welcomed at many restaurants and cafes. However, nearly all of them were outdoor terraces. It was the shoulder season during September and October, but the weather was still beautiful and naturally everyone was eating outside.
The same welcome probably doesn’t apply inside most restaurants and cafes. At a simple restaurant serving the cheapest gyros in Delphi but with no outdoor area, we were only grudgingly allowed to sit just inside the door. We also never saw any dogs inside any restaurants anywhere. The rules though seem to be slightly different in the hip areas of Athens, where we spotted one restaurant near our apartment with a dog-friendly sign and dogs at multiple bars. Small dogs are more likely to be welcome than large.” – Shandos Cleaver
Moderately dog-friendly. “Restaurants are about 50/50 with allowing dogs, but I seem to be fine most of the time with Laila because she’s small! I also sneak into her places she shouldn’t be allowed, but it’s totally because of her size and she’s quiet.” – LucyLu
Not dog-friendly. Iceland announced in 2018 that it would be allowing dogs in restaurants – hoorah! But then bureaucracy ground that effort to a halt. As of this writing, it seems that dogs are not allowed indoors in restaurants or eateries.
Moderately dog-friendly. In past years, restaurants weren’t allowed to welcome dogs, but (lucky for with-dog travelers), that law has recently changed. Dogs in restaurants are still a rarity, from what I’ve read, but now restaurant owners can at least make that decision for themselves.
Dog-friendly! Italy is one of the most dog-friendly countries in the world. You’ll see plenty of pooches in restaurants, cafes, bars, gelaterias, and pastry shops across the country. Waiters will often bring over some water or ask if the dog needs anything. You might even occasionally see a dog in a grocery store here.
Dog-friendly! You’ll find plenty of dog-friendly eateries in Riga.
Dog-friendly! According to Best Life: “The European country takes the lives of its animal citizens very seriously, and as such, there are plenty of ways for canine compadres to stay entertained. From dog parks to Fido-friendly dining, there’s no shortage of things to do with your dog by your side.”
Dog-friendly! Dogs are welcome in most Maltese restaurants in Valetta, Victoria (Gozo), and throughout the country. This country has a lot in common with Italy – including excellent cuisine and a laid back, dog-friendly culture.
Not dog-friendly. “Unfortunately, in our country dogs are treated like garbage. No dogs allowed in public places. No cafe will allow you to enter with your dog. The big problem here is that people poison dogs and cats frequently.” – Island of Hope Moldova
Dog-friendly! “I was only in Monaco for a day trip and can only remember going into one restaurant…an Irish pub…but it was no problem.” – Dara and Tango
Moderately dog-friendly. Like Croatia, Montenegro can be hit or miss when it comes to dog-friendly restaurants. The overall rule is no dogs allowed, but some restaurants are happy to break that rule. We never had a problem on a balcony or in an outdoor eating space, but we were also in highly tourist-friendly areas where dogs may be more accepted. I’ve heard the countryside is a different story, so don’t expect to find a ton of dog-friendly restaurants outside the major tourist centers.
North Macedonia (formerly Macedonia)
Not dog-friendly. “I feel like Macedonia was a for sure no. I remember being shunned quite a lot. Actually, there was one place in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia, that was a falafel stand that loved Sora. He would toss her falafel, but I don’t think she would have been allowed inside.” – Jen Sotolongo
Not very dog-friendly. “I live in Norway and I’m sorry to tell you that you can’t take them inside. It’s against the law here. But for most restaurants that have serving space outside, dogs are welcomed.” – Heidi
Not very dog-friendly. According to Travelnuity: “The least dog-friendly area I found when traveling in Poland with our dog was dining out. While just across the border in Germany its commonplace for restaurants to allow dogs inside, in Poland that’s not the case…There are still some restaurants that allow dogs to dine inside with you in Poland, it just takes some effort to find them…Keep an eye out for dog-friendly stickers or ask at the door (and be prepared for a no).”
Not very dog-friendly. “Portugal, I think, is one of the least pet-friendly countries in Europe (similar to Spain). You can eat on terraces with your dog, but you cannot visit any monument or museum and you cannot travel on public transport. There are few dog friendly beaches. Etc. Other European countries, like Belgium, The Netherlands, and France, are much more dog-friendly.” – All We Can Travel
Moderately dog-friendly. Romania can be hit or miss when it comes to finding places to dine with your pooch. Expect most interiors to be No Dogs Allowed, while patios are usually dog-friendly. Occasionally, you’ll find a restaurant that also allows dogs indoors.
Moderately dog-friendly. According to adorable French bulldog Pierre at Russia Beyond, “Some places are extremely nice to four-legged furballs like myself, while others are still quite unwelcoming…If we happen to be in the trendy Patriki area [of Moscow], most cafes and restaurants there are happy to see me.”
Dog-friendly! According to Packing my Suitcase: “Walking with a dog in San Marino is fun, especially because they are welcomed in most restaurants and shops and even on the Guaita Tower.”
Not dog-friendly. “Inside, dogs are almost never allowed. Outside it really depends on dog and owner of restaurant /cafe. As a general rule its mostly a no.” – Serbia’s Forgotten Paws
Not very dog-friendly. According to Travelnuity.com: “I’ve recently found out from a local that technically dogs aren’t allowed at restaurants in Slovakia, even outside. There was a recent vote to change this law, but it wasn’t successful. Despite this, we still managed to dine at some restaurants with our dog…
Probably less than 50% of places where we tried to dine allowed dogs inside, with many having a sticker on the door saying no dogs. And considering we were in the country as it started to cool down in mid-Fall, generally outdoor dining was not an option.”
Dog-friendly! Welcome to Slovenia – the most dog-friendly country I’ve been to yet! Dogs are welcome in restaurants, bars, and cafes across the country, with few exceptions. If you’re dining out, I’ve heard that it does pay to call ahead, as some restaurants may have special seating for with-dog diners. We didn’t have any trouble just showing up, but always better safe than sorry.
Not very dog-friendly. In general, I found Spanish restaurants did not welcome dogs (and even those without No Dogs signs would sometimes panic when we walked in the door to ask). Some patios welcomed us without issue in southern Spain. Barcelona was the city that gave us the most issues.
Dog-friendly! According to Best Life, “Not only are Swedish dogs allowed to walk without leashes, but the country even limits the amount of time dogs can be in crates. As far as activities go, you and your dog can enjoy visits to old fortresses, botanical gardens, camping grounds, and even gourmet restaurants.”
Dog-friendly! Switzerland, like other European countries, tends to be laid back about dogs in restaurants. Expect to see four-legged dining companions often in cities and small towns throughout the country. Just keep an eye out for No Dogs signs. You’ll occasionally find an eatery that doesn’t allow dogs (including most Asian restaurants).
“The attitudes run the full spectrum here. When I moved here 11 years ago, I brought my tiny Maltese. At that time small, pet dogs were pretty rare and people were fascinated by her (to the point they asked to have their pictures taken with her). Now pet dogs are more and more common.
I couldn’t tell you what the official rules are because we don’t really pay attention to rules about those kinds of things here. In Istanbul, it’s very common to see pet dogs and even street dogs hanging out in many cafes. Some don’t allow animals, but it’s pretty easy to find a place where you can bring your dog inside.
Outside the city, I suspect it’s a regional thing, but even then you can’t generalize. Places that might look relatively conservative to outsiders, where you might expect Muslim ideas about dogs being unclean to prevail, are often quite tolerant of dogs in my experience. When I moved into a conservative neighborhood in Istanbul my neighbors came to the door to say they heard I had a dog and could they please come in and pet her. :)
In Istanbul, I would assume my small dog is welcome in a cafe and expect someone to tell me otherwise, in which case you can just go to the cafe next door. Outside the city, I would probably ask and expect that it would be ok. For transportation, you should definitely check the rules, because they change. For example, you can take your dog on the Istanbul ferries in a carry bag or with a muzzle.” – Kelly Hevel
Moderately dog-friendly. According to My Radiant City, “Traveling with a dog in Ukraine was easier than I predicted, but with its own set of challenges. Fortunately, it was possible to travel across the country by rail, it was relatively easy to find dog-friendly apartments, and most restaurants welcomed Mango, three of my top traveling-with-Mango concerns.”
United Kingdom (UK)
Moderately dog-friendly. Unlike the US and Canada, the UK is known for having a ton of pubs that allow dogs. You won’t find four-legged diners in restaurants, but grab a beer and some fish and chips at a pub and you’re likely to make some fuzzy friends.
Did I miss anything? Have I gotten something wrong? Have things changed in a particular country? Let me know on Facebook!