Dogs Ahoy! Paw-pproved Guide to Europe’s Top Dog Friendly Destinations
Want to travel with fido but scared you’ll bark up the wrong door? We’ve researched the ins and outs of what makes a city dog friendly, taking everything into account, from the number of dog friendly restaurants and hotels, to the number of groomers and insta-famous accounts. Sniff out where to travel next! Here’s our paw-pproval guide to the top European dog friendly destinations with a score out of 5.
With P&O Ferries, your European adventure with fido starts the moment you step on board. Dogs travel for free on our Cairnryan to Larne route and if you're travelling aboard our Hull to Rotterdam service, you can even book a Dog Friendly Cabin - so you can rest assured your pooch will travel alongside you in comfort, safety and style!
Paw-pproved! The Most Dog Friendly Cities You Can Reach with P&O Ferries
Almost 70% of Brits say they plan their holiday around their dog’s needs. But travelling with pets needn’t be ruff! That’s why we’ve created a paw-pproved guide of all the top most dog friendly holiday destinations you can visit with fido - all within reach of our P&O Ferry ports.
Ready to get your dog’s tail wagging? Here’s our top trends:
- Paris isn’t just a city for lovers, but also one for dog lovers! But why stop there? France turns out to be a great country for dog road trips, with cities like Calais, Nantes and Strasbourg also featuring.
- Bruges has the highest percentage of pet dogs per population with an impressive 40% of its inhabitants sharing their home with a four legged companion, closely followed by Hull with 36% and Liverpool with 31%.
- Looking to make your pooch world famous? With so many Instagram profiles dedicated to our furry friends, why not travel to Instagram’s most #dogfriendlycities? Ghent is our #1 city for dog related Instagram hashtags, followed by Prague and then Lisbon.
- Want to pamper your pooch? Our data reveals that the top cities for dog groomers are Lisbon, stealing our #1 spot with 1.9 groomers per sq mile, followed by Ghent with 180 doggy spas and Calais with 1.3 spas per sq mile!
Take a look at some more of our top tips for travelling with dogs.
Where will your pooch travel to next?
Paw-pproved City Guide
Paris, Paw-pproval Rating 5/5
Make the most of the city of glamour, lights and love, but this time round, don’t bank on that date, take your faithful pooch instead! Paris ranks #1 for dog friendly places to eat, so savour la cuisine Parisienne with fido in one of the city's 211 dog friendly restaurants, cafes and bustling bistros before taking your chien for a stroll through Paris' 421 parks.
Looking for a good night's sleep? Fret not, for Paris once again ranks at the top of our list for dog friendly hotels with 886 hotels welcoming your four legged friends.
Brussels, Paw-pproval Rating 4.8/5
Need help sniffing out which restaurants serve the best moules et frites in Brussels? Then bring fido along, and dine in one of the city’s 52 dog friendly restaurants, cafes and bars. Not only is Brussels a great city to travel to, but it’s also one of the most dog friendly, ranking #2 on our list for both dog friendly hotels and restaurants!
But travelling to Brussels with your dog is also a safe option, the city ranks #1 for number of vets per sq mile with a whopping 185 vets. So book your ferry crossing to Rotterdam or Calais ports, Brussels is just 2 hours away.
Lisbon, Paw-pproval Rating 4.5/5
Want to pamper your pooch? Head to Lisbon, our #1 city for number of dog groomers, with a staggering 1.9 dog groomers per sq mile! This dog friendly city doesn't just treat your pups to expert spa sessions, but also provides some of the best dog friendly outdoor activities with its many scenic dog friendly beaches, hikes and excursions through the historic city centre.
All tired out? In Lisbon you're never too far away from a dog friendly hotel. With over 7 pooch friendly stays per sq mile, you can pick between any of Lisbon's 446 dog friendly stays!
Vienna, Paw-pproval Rating 4.3/5
Keen to explore the great outdoors in the company of your four legged friend? Visit Vienna, one of Europe's most dog friendly destinations and one that is sure to get fido's tail wagging with excitement! With 7.76 parks per sq mile, totalling over 2000 dog friendly parks, Vienna is the perfect destination for dog walkers, hikers or those looking for casual strolls through city parks.
Plus, once you're done with all the many dog friendly activities Vienna offers, you can lie down, put your feet (or belly!) up and relax in one of the city's 560 dog friendly hotels.
Hull, Paw-pproval Rating 4.2/5
With 610,000 pet dogs, Hull ranks #2 on our list for dog ownership with a whopping 36% of Hullesians sharing their home with a four legged companion. So, book a stay in Hull and explore the city's many dog friendly parks and countless outdoor activities. Talking about spending time outdoors, did you know Hull ranks #1 for dog friendly camping sites? Immerse yourself in nature and pitch up a tent in one of Hull's 2.8 camping grounds per sq mile!
Travelling to Hull? Book one of our Dog Friendly Cabins and make the most of our daily overnight crossings from Rotterdam to Hull port for a safe and comfortable dog road trip.
Brighton & Hove, Paw-pproval Rating 4.1/5
Did you know Brighton & Hove is our #1 city for number of dogs per population? With over 700,000 registered pups, Brightonians surely know how to cater to their dogs' needs. In fact, you're never too far away from a dog friendly restaurant, with 0.7 pooch friendly eateries per sq mile and never too far from a great overnight stay, with 2.5 pet friendly hotels per sq mile. So, enjoy the famous pier, pebbled peaches and artsy vibe knowing your four legged friend will enjoy the city as much as you!
Want to visit one of the best dog friendly cities in Europe? Our P&O Ferries Dover port is just a 2 hour drive away from Brighton & Hove.
Zurich, Paw-pproval Rating 4.1/5
Want to be at one with nature? Visit Zurich's breathtaking mountain views, serene lakes and scenic hiking routes - all with your faithful pooch by your side! Plus, Zurich is our #2 most dog friendly camping destination, so pitch up a tent and cuddle up with your four legged friend. Alternatively, wind down in the luxury of one of Zurich's 2.5 dog friendly hotels per sq mile.
Driving down to Zurich? Travel on board our Dog Friendly Cabins on the Hull to Rotterdam P&O Ferry route. You'll reach Zurich in just over an 8 hour drive from either P&O ports.
Liverpool, Paw-pproval Rating 4/5
With over 1,000,000 registered pet dogs, and 31% of Liverpudlians sharing their home with a four legged friend, Liverpool comes #3 for number of dogs per population. With so many dogs in town, we're not surprised Liverpool features as one of the most dog friendly destinations in Europe!
So what's in store for dog lovers? First off, Liverpool is a great city to visit for a dog friendly campervan holiday or dog road trip, thanks to its 1.3 dog friendly camping sites per sq mile. But it's also a safe place to travel to, thanks to the 166 vets in the city, amounting to 2.4 vets per sq mile.
Berlin, Paw-pproval Rating 3.9/5
Want to take the pup on a howl-iday to remember? Then visit Berlin and make the most of its great outdoor activities including taking a stroll in the city's whopping 2500 dog friendly parks! Whether you're staying in the trendy Friedrichshain or exploring the remains of the Berlin Wall and the Berlin Tempelhof Airport, you can relax knowing that you can get a good night's sleep in one of Berlin's 623 dog friendly hotels.
Travelling with dogs to Berlin is easy with P&O Ferries. Book a Dog Friendly Cabin aboard our Hull to Rotterdam ferry and make your dog road trip to Berlin a reality in just under 7 hours.
Calais, Paw-pproval Rating 3.9/5
If you’re looking for dog friendly short breaks away, head to Calais! Not only is it easy to reach, thanks to P&O Ferries’ 15 daily crossings from Dover directly to Calais, but this northern French city also gets the seal of paw-pproval. In fact, Calais is one of the most dog friendly cities for camping, with 1.1 dog friendly camping grounds per sq mile.
But it's not all about nature, Calais is also a great place to visit if you want to pamper your pooch. It ranks #3 for number of dog groomers per sq mile and also #2 for number of instagram hashtags related to dogs per population! So get snapping, you might make your pooch insta-famous!
Nantes, Paw-pproval Rating 3.8/5
Explore Nantes' city centre, the French atlantic coast or Brittany's wild landscapes with fido by your side! Plus, with Nantes' 0.7 dog friendly restaurants and 1.7 dog friendly hotels per sq mile, you're bound to find the perfect bistro to indulge in some delicious French food and a relaxing place to rest after a full day of exploring.
Travelling with your dog to Nantes? Book our P&O Ferry from Dover to Calais and you'll reach Nantes in just under a 6 hour drive.
Ghent, Paw-pproval Rating 3.7/5
Take your pooch on a dog friendly break to Ghent. With its picturesque medieval city centre, imposing Gravensteen castle and gothic St Bravo cathedral, it's one of the best cities in Europe to travel to with a dog, especially if you want to snap some scenic shots. In fact, Ghent ranks #1 for dog related Instagram hashtags, with +400,000 posts. Want to get your pooch picture perfect? Ghent also snags our #2 position for number of dog spas, with 180 dog groomers in town - a whopping 1.9 per sq mile!
Pooch, camera, action! Book our Hull to Rotterdam crossing and get to Ghent in just a 2 hour drive.
Cardiff, Paw-pproval Rating 3.6/5
Looking for a dog friendly short break immersed in nature? Visit Cardiff and explore the many dog walking routes around Cardiff Bay or the surrounding woodlands. For the full experience, blend into the wilderness by going camping, Cardiff ranks #3 on our list with 1.5 dog friendly camping grounds per sq mile, totalling 134 camping sites!
If you're planning dog friendly caravan holidays or driving from Europe in your car, you can reach Cardiff in just under a 4 hour drive from our P&O Dover port.
Strasbourg, Paw-pproval Rating 3.5/5
Did you know that Strasbourg is one of Europe's cities with the highest number of dogs per population? 25% of inhabitants share their home with a four legged friend! As a dog loving city, it's not surprising that many hotels and restaurants happily welcome fido. In fact, Strasbourg ranks #4 for pet friendly hotels, with 3.0 hotels per sq mile welcoming pups! But you're also never too far from a delicious French bistro or cafe, with 0.6 dog friendly restaurants per sq mile.
Book your P&O Ferry crossing from Dover to Calais, and reach one of Europe's most dog friendly cities in about a 6 hour drive.
London, Paw-pproval Rating 3.5/5
Take fido for a stroll in one of the city's stunning 3000 parks which rank London #4 on our list for dog friendly parks, or take an excursion through London's glitzy Mayfair.
Talking about glitz and glamour, London isn't just famous for its royals, it's also the perfect place to get your pooch popular! How? Well, simply snap a regal shot of your canine friend by one of London's royal palaces, parks or squares and share it amongst the 31,000 dog related hashtags on Instagram!
How did we work out our paw-pproval scores?
We looked at all the best cities to visit in Europe via P&O Ferries and used 8 different criteria to determine which destinations offer the most for dogs, and of course, their human counterparts too!
The criteria we looked at included:
- No of dog ownership
- No of dog friendly hotels x sq mile
- No of dog friendly restaurants x sq mile
- No of dog friendly camping sites x sq mile
- No of dog groomers x sq mile
- No of vets x sq mile
- No of parks
- No of Instagram hashtags
We then totalled these metrics to give a final paw-pproval score out of 5.