Travelling in France with a dog is easier than when travelling in many other countries, although it is not quite as dog friendly as it used to be. However, the French have a reputation for loving their dogs and there is no wonder that France is a popular destination for people travelling with their dogs.
Your dog will generally be welcome by your side as you sip a wine in a cafe or eat the menu du jour in one of the many bar-restaurants. However, you need to watch out for some places in France where dogs are strictly forbidden (mainly manicured parks and gardens) or technically not allowed such as on Public Transport. Until recently larger dogs were not allowed on the Paris metro and some busses and other trains do not allow dogs.
Dog-Friendly Accommodation in France
A wide variety of accommodation in France is dog friendly, from hotels to B&Bs to G?tes to campgrounds.
Many of the chain hotels located on the outskirts of cities, such as Ibis, Hotel B&B and Campanile, are affordable and dependable and they all allow dogs. With the prices around about ?60 per night these rae good options when travelling with your dog.
Many more up-market hotels also welcome dogs, and will be ready to treat them, for a price of course. You can expect 3 star plus hotels to add a charge of ?10 to ?20 for a dog although some do not.
Most G?tes accept dogs. Be aware that those booked through Gites de France will almost certainly allow dogs but will almost certainly not provide bedding and towels except as an option for an extra charge. Many gites are on farms so only well behaved dogs are allowed.
Bed and Breakfasts ( Chambres d’hotes in France) will often allow dogs but might require an additional cleaning charge.
Dining out in France with a Dog
In France, most restaurants and cafes allow dogs to join diners, both inside and out on the terrace. If you would like to dine inside with your dog, it is polite to ask first (unless you see other dogs dining inside).
If the weather is sunny or your dog doesn?t have the best manners, it is more polite to sit outside on the typically large terraces.
While travelling in France, you can take advantage of the cheaper lunchtime set menus or menu de jour. These are found at many restaurants around the country, both is the countryside and in the towns.
As well as restaurants there are also plenty of cafe-bars servings snacks and light meals. Again, while it is considered polite to ask before taking your dog inside it’s unlikely to be refused.
Most places will provide a water bowl for your dog on request.
Taking a Dog on Public Transport in France
In Paris, small dogs are allowed on all forms of public transport (bus, metro, RER (train), trams and funicular) for free, but are meant to be carried in a bag or container but usually you can get away with travelling with them on your lap without a bag.
Larger dogs are only allowed on the metro and RER, not buses or trams. Unsurprisingly, they must be leashed and muzzled (although this appears to be ignored by many), and have a ticket. For the full rules, click here.
For other cities in France, the regulations vary. In some cities, Marseille and Lyon for example, only small dogs in a bag or basket are allowed on public transport.
If taking long distance trains, the rules are more consistent: all sized dogs are allowed on all types of trains, except for the Eurostar. For dogs larger than 6kg, on TGV, Intercit?s and TER trains the applicable fare is 50% of the 2nd class fare (even if you are in 1st class). There are pet-specific fares for other types of trains. Dogs must also be muzzled.
For dogs smaller than 6kg, they must travel in a container smaller than 45 cm x 30 cm x 25 cm. While such dogs usually travel for free in most other trains in Europe, in France there is a set ?7 charge. If you have bought your tickets online through one of the many ticketing sites, allow time to stop off at the ticket counter before your journey to buy the extra ticket for your dog.
Shopping When Travelling In France with a Dog
If heading out shopping with your dog, your best bet is to visit small boutiques directly on the streets and pedestrian precincts. It is always worth asking staff if dogs ar allowed, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Keep an eye on our News articles as we will soon be adding dog friendly shops to our map and listings.
Some shopping centres in France allow dogs on the concourse and in some of the non-food shops. Dogs, except guide dogs, are not allowed in supermarkets.
In conclusion, it’s pretty easy to travel in France with a dog.