On our way to our new home in Prague, we stopped in Paris for a few days. And because we were travelling from Vancouver with all of our luggage for the big move, we also had our dog, Ellie, with us. And that’s how we learned all about the best way to visit Paris with a dog!
Visiting Paris with a dog was actually much easier than I thought it would be. So far, we’ve only done outdoorsy trips with Ellie like camping at Weaver Lake, Porteau Cove and Pender Harbour. We also brought her up to Whistler, which was her first time in a hotel. But this was our first time taking her abroad and exploring a new city with a dog by our side.
Travelling to Paris with a dog? Here’s what you need to know!
When searching for hotels, we found many to be pet-friendly. We didn’t have a hard time at all finding a hotel in Paris with a dog policy. We book most of our hotel stays on hotels.com (because you get a free night after staying 10) and I usually check prices on booking.com and agoda.com too. On these sites, you can select “pet-friendly” as one of your requirements so you only search through pet-friendly hotels.
You can also do this with Airbnb. We were very happy with the awesome Airbnb we found in Munich that was dog-friendly. (PS: New to Airbnb? Sign up here to get $40 CAD off your first stay!)
When searching for hotels in Paris, be sure to check on pet fees and restrictions. Just because a hotel is pet-friendly doesn’t mean you can just stride in with your animal. Most hotels charge a fee per night; the ones in Paris seemed to be between €5 and €20 per night. Some hotels also restrict what kind of animals are accepted, what size, and how many.
Lastly, you’ll want to make a special request for a pet-friendly room. Your hotel may only have a certain number of pet-friendly rooms available. When booking, you can usually put this request in a message to the hotel. I also sent a separate email to the hotel to confirm that we could bring our dog.
If you have the choice, I would recommend asking for a room at the end of the hallway. That way, your dog doesn’t have to deal with extra noises, as the rooms right by the elevator will get the most foot traffic. And once you get into the room, make sure to establish a spot for your pet’s food and water right away, and ensure you fill up that water dish if you have a thirsty pup like Ellie.
If you need a recommendation, the Ibis hotel where we stayed by the train station in Paris worked great for us. The pet free was only €5 per night and we were put in a room at the very end of the hallway. The room was small, but comfortable for us with a nice bed, modern bathroom and great air conditioning (key for Paris in the summer). Staff members liked Ellie and it was in a great location if you need to be taking the train.
One of the coolest parts about being in Paris with a dog is how pet-friendly Parisian restaurants seem to be. Most restaurants are cool with diners bringing their pets along with them. The only exceptions seem to be grocery stores and bakeries, where dogs are usually not allowed.
Before entering, it’s polite to ask if your dog can come along. Most restaurant staff speak English, but if you want to ask in French, you can say, “Puis-je amener mon chien?” This means, “May I bring my dog?” With this phrase, we were quickly ushered in and Ellie got some nice pets.
Of course, it seems more polite to sit outside if you have a dog with you. And since we were in Paris with a dog in June, it was easy for us to sit on the patio instead of at tables indoors. We opted for the patio whenever we could, which was easier for us and Ellie. If you’re sitting outside, you likely don’t need to ask the restaurant for permission, as it’s assumed dogs are welcomed.
Sight-seeing in Paris with a dog is a little harder, but not impossible. As you may imagine, dogs are not allowed in Paris museums. So if you’re planning an afternoon at the Louvre, please leave your furry friend back at the hotel. Most museums have security, so there’s no point trying to sneak your dog in by putting them in a carrier or purse.
We headed to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre with Ellie. There are signs out saying that dogs aren’t allowed in Sacre Coeur – both the church and the grounds leading to it. Luckily, we had our carrier with us so just slipped Ellie in there while we walked around. If you have a little dog, I would suggest bringing your carrier to easily slip them in whenever they’re not welcome.
Of course, the best part of Paris is just wandering the beautiful streets and admiring the buildings, the shops and the Seine. And you can do all of this with a dog! It’s a great way to see the city, especially if you head to quieter streets so your dog can have some peace (and not get trampled!) and so you can see a more undiscovered side of Paris.
My number one sight-seeing suggestion for anyone headed to Paris with a dog is the same suggestion I’d give to anyone visiting Paris without a dog: the Eiffel Tower! This iconic Paris landmark is one of the most dog-friendly places in Paris. The entire grounds are open to dogs, and many dogs enjoy running around the grass lawns off-leash. As well, this is one of the few grass places in Paris where dogs are allowed (more on that later). The Eiffel Tower is the perfect spot for a Parisian picnic, with your pup in tow! Of course, you can’t bring your furry friend up the Eiffel Tower if you’re planning to head to the viewing decks or restaurant.
For more Paris sight-seeing, check out my two day guide to Paris here.
Our first big transportation with a dog was actually getting Ellie to Paris via our flight from Vancouver. For more information on that process, check out my guide on how to travel to Europe with your dog.
Next, we decided to take an Uber from the airport to our hotel. Usually, we’re public transportation people (and it’s a very easy train ride from CDG to the train station by our hotel). But we had a ton of bags and had just gotten off a long red-eye flight where neither of us had slept a wink. So we got in an Uber.
Having Ellie in the Uber was no problem. We’ve taken her in a few Ubers and cabs now throughout Paris, Munich and Prague and no one has had a problem. We always have her carrier with us, in case any driver ever did have an issue.
According to the Paris public transit website, small dogs like Ellie should be in their carrier while on transit and can ride for free. However, we just held her on our laps and no one said anything to us. Some people looked over, but I think they were more curious and interested to see a dog than they were angry with us. We did run into some transit employees, but they just wanted to give Ellie a scratch behind the ears. The website says larger dogs need to be leashed and muzzled, and require a reduced fare ticket. I’m unsure how well enforced this is.
Of course, the best way to travel around Paris with a dog is on foot. It’s a beautiful city to walk in and so fun for dogs to explore. If you have a little pup, I would recommend bringing your carrier along in case you ever need to use it. You may also need to carry them through crowded areas. I often carried Ellie as we were walking through metro stations so she wouldn’t get squished.
There are lots of stereotypes about Parisians being unfriendly and cold. I’ve never had that experience. They seem as nice as people everywhere else. I wouldn’t say they’re overly warm; no one is greeting you on the street or thanking the bus driver for a ride. But they are polite and, if you’re in Paris with a dog, you might even find them friendly!
Lots of people were interested in Ellie. Concierges at the hotel and staff at restaurants talked about how cute she was and wanted to give her pets. Sometimes people on the street would stop to say hi to her. Overall, everyone was very happy to see Ellie and we had lots of positive interactions with locals.
Notes on parks/grass areas
As pet-friendly as Paris is, and for as many local dogs who live there, it is so weird that there is no grass! Back in Vancouver, I’ve never had a problem finding a park or at least some grass on the sidewalk for Ellie to do her business.
In Paris, this is non-existent. There is not much or any grass on the sidewalks. It is mostly concrete or maybe a bit of dirt, if you’re lucky. If you do find a park, many do not allow dogs and are completely fenced off, which seems so strange! Apparently, it used to be a lot worse until January 2019, when Paris started to allow more dogs into parks (though they have to be leashed and they still aren’t allowed in parks with playgrounds for kids). But we still couldn’t find one anywhere near our hotel that was dog-friendly.
If your dog is a bit high maintenance with their bathroom habits, you may have a hard time in Paris. If your dog requires grass to do his/her business or prefers to be off-leash, you’ll need to ensure you’re near a suitable park. My understanding is that there are a few big dog-friendly off-leash parks but they are farther outside of Paris.
Luckily, Ellie has never been super picky about grass. She likes it, but can do her thing on the concrete as well!
We had a great experience visiting Paris with a dog and we’re excited to travel to other European cities with Ellie (as soon as we figure out how to get her to stop barking at every dog she meets…).
Have you ever been to Paris with a dog? Or where have you travelled with your pup?
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