Dog-Friendly Copenhagen: Visiting Copenhagen with a Dog

Before visiting Copenhagen, I had heard reports that it wasn’t that dog-friendly, including that restaurants and cafes don’t allow dogs inside. However, after recently visiting the city with my dog, I found it to be welcoming to dogs – you just need to know the rules and norms, which can be stricter than elsewhere in Europe.

It’s a beautiful city, especially when it’s warm and sunny like when we visited, so if you are planning to soon visit Copenhagen with your dog, here’s my tips.

Visiting Copenhagen without your dog? Check out the top things to do in Copenhagen

Dog-friendly Copenhagen

Travelling to Denmark with a Dog

The standard EU rules apply to travelling to Denmark with your dog. If you are travelling to Denmark from another EU country or Norway, your dog will need to be microchipped, have an EU (or Norwegian) pet passport and have been vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days before crossing the border.

If you are flying to Denmark from outside of the EU, as well as a microchip and valid rabies vaccine, your pet will require an EU health certificate (also known as the Annex IV) and in some cases a rabies titre test. Check out the full details on travelling to Europe with a dog.

Dining Out in Copenhagen with a Dog

On our second day in Copenhagen, we were heading to lunch on its outskirts when the heavens opened, and a furious downpour began. After sheltering in the carpark until the worst was over, we ventured out and were concerned about where we’d eat. We were wanting a nice sit-down lunch as it was my husband’s birthday, but surely no restaurant would allow us inside with our dog?

Standing outside a restaurant that would normally have an outdoor terrace, but that was now soaking wet and not possible to dine in, we tentatively asked the waiter at the door.

He welcomed us inside, stating that there’s no law against allowing dogs inside restaurants inside Denmark, and that we weren’t the only ones dining there with a dog. We’d just have to make do with a limited menu, as the storm had knocked out the electricity!

So, when you’re visiting Copenhagen, feel free to ask restaurants and cafes if they would allow your dog inside. Not all places will allow dogs, but it’s certainly worthwhile trying. Although when it’s sunny, there’s no better places to dine out than the many outdoor terraces, such as in the Nyhavn District.

Two other recommendations for eating well, but on the cheap, while in Copenhagen. Firstly, the Danes have turned the humble hotdog into an artform, and you’ll find hotdog stands scattered around the city, with varied toppings available. Perfect for a quick meal eaten on a park bench, with your dog at your feet!

Gourmet Danish hotdogs

Secondly, there’s some great food markets scattered around Copenhagen, with a mixture of fresh food and ready-to-eat lunch options. We visited Torvehallerne, near the Nørreport train station.

While dogs weren’t allowed inside, there’s plenty of benches scattered around outside to bring your food back out to. I recommend trying the Smørrebrød, a type of Danish open sandwich that is seriously tasty!

Inside the Torvehallerne market

Taking a Dog on Public Transport in Copenhagen

Taking dogs on public transport is one of the more complex areas of dog rules in Copenhagen. While dogs are generally allowed on public transport, there are different rules depending on the type of public transport.

These are mainly for the benefit of allergy sufferers – to keep sections of public transport dog free. If in doubt, just look for the signage or ask a local to help translate – most Danes speak excellent English.

Tickets and General Rules for Dogs on Public Transport

Across the metro, buses and trains, the same rule applies to ticketing. Small dogs and other pets in a carrier (not exceeding 100 x 60 x 30cm) can ride for free, while larger dogs need to have a child’s ticket.

Public transport prices are quite expensive in Copenhagen, so consider a day ticket or multi-day pass, particularly if you’re travelling to Roskilde or Helsingør.

Larger dogs not in a carrier need to be on a leash, although there’s no mention of muzzling in the rules. Also note that there’s generally a limit of one dog per passenger.

Dogs on Trains in Copenhagen

During our time in Copenhagen, we mainly stuck to the local S-trains, as we were staying near an S-train station. Dogs are allowed on all S-trains, but only in selected carriages.

When boarding, check the markings on the outside of the carriage. Roughly half the carriages will have a dog crossed out on the outside, meaning no dogs allowed, while about every second carriage will just have a dog symbol, meaning dogs are allowed. I found it best to look for the dogs allowed carriages as the train slowed down, so I had time to move to where they were stopping.

I’m not 100% sure whether the carriage restrictions apply to dogs in carrier bags, but just to be on the safe side I also stuck to the dogs allowed carriages when my dog was in a carrier bag.

Dogs on the Metro in Copenhagen

We didn’t take the metro while in Copenhagen, as at the time there were only two lines. However, two new lines have since opened in 2019 and 2020, greatly extending its reach.

When travelling on the metro in Copenhagen with a dog, dogs are not permitted on the six front and back seats of these shorter trains. Double check the symbols on the door before boarding.

Dogs on Buses in Copenhagen

The least dog-friendly public transport option in Copenhagen are the buses.

Dogs are generally not allowed on A-buses (bus numbers that end in an “A”). However, this doesn’t apply in Køge, Roskilde, Næstved, Ringsted, Holbæk and Helsingør. Also, small dogs in a carrier bag are exempt. (This wasn’t clear at the time of my visit, so I skipped taking the bus in favour of the S-train).

On other buses in the Greater Copenhagen area that allow dogs, larger dogs are not allowed in peak hour (7am to 9am and 3:30pm to 5:30pm on weekdays) in zones 1-4, 30-33 and 40-44.

The final more simple rule is that dogs must travel in the back half of the bus. The front half is kept dog-free for allergy sufferers.

Dogs on Regional Trains in Denmark

If travelling further afield to Roskilde or Helsingør, you’ll take the regional trains. Similar to local trains in Copenhagen, these trains also have dog-free areas, marked with a crossed out dog. Also stay clear of the quiet zone and the family zone, plus dogs aren’t allowed in first class, except for small dogs and other pets in a carrier bag.

When booking a ticket with a seat reservation, make sure you avoid these sections and get a seat in the standard section. It’s also possible to buy a place ticket for your dog, so there is room for larger dogs to sit on the floor in front of the booked seat.

Additionally, some Swedish trains run into Denmark, particularly on the stretch between Copenhagen Airport and the city centre. These trains have a specific dog section (follow the arrows), that you should sit in.

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Copenhagen

When I recently investigated the percentage of dog-friendly hotels in different European cities, I found that Copenhagen performed surprisingly well, with 41% of hotels on Booking.com allowing dogs (although probably with restrictions, particularly limiting dogs to certain pet-friendly rooms).

However, I suspect that many of these dog-friendly hotels are more expensive hotels, of which there seem to be plenty in Copenhagen. Accommodation prices in Copenhagen are quite high, and most of the budget hotels don’t seem to allow dogs.

Dog in Copenhagen
Exploring the narrow historic streets of Copenhagen

If like me you’re having trouble finding affordable dog-friendly accommodation, it’s worthwhile checking out Airbnb, more so the suburbs surrounding Copenhagen, rather than the city centre.

Ideally look for something serviced by an S-train (given the restrictions for dogs on buses), and budget for the cost of public transport. Car parking though is easy and usually free, and there’s lots of green parks, which Schnitzel enjoyed.

Schnitzel loved the grass in suburban Copenhagen during spring

Dog-Friendly Parks in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is home to many wonderful parks. Whether it’s the sizeable parks in the city centre (we visited both Kongens Have and Ørstedsparken), the many greens parks in the suburbs or the deer parks and forest to the north of Copenhagen (such as Jægersborg Dyrehave).

We only found one park that didn’t allow dogs – the botanic gardens, unsurprisingly. In other parks dogs are allowed, although usually with the signage “Hund i snor”, meaning dogs are to be kept on a leash.

Dog-friendly parks in Copenhagen
Sign on the gate at Ørstedsparken indicating dogs need to be kept on a leash

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a wonderfully walkable city, and your dog will love joining you on your explorations of the city, whether that’s strolling through its historic streets, taking a cruise on the harbour or relaxing in the parks.

There’s also some great day trips available from Copenhagen where your dog can join you, such as heading to Helsingør, the site of Hamlet’s castle, or visiting the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum.

Check out my full list of dog-friendly things to do in Denmark.

Schnitzel on a harbour cruise in Copenhagen

Alternatively, for something different, for one day a year the Tivoli amusement park welcomes dogs. The historic amusement park is one of the most popular attractions in Copenhagen. While we missed out on visiting as dogs are not usually allowed inside, for one day each year, the doors are open to well-behaved dogs on the annual Dogs’ Day in Tivoli.

The day is generally a Sunday in late August – in 2021 it was on Sunday 21st August 2021. Dogs are required to be on a leash and normal admission fees apply for human visitors, but there’s plenty of treats in store for both two- and four-legged family members.

The gates to Tivoli

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14 thoughts on “Dog-Friendly Copenhagen: Visiting Copenhagen with a Dog”

  1. Great article! We’ve been living in Denmark for 3 years now with our (big) dog, and have recently moved near Copenhagen. We always take her with us on days out and it can be quite limiting where we can go with her, unlike countries like Germany where she is able to sit at our feet at virtually every restaurant 🙂

    A great dog-friendly cafe is Joe & The Juice. It’s not Danish and is a chain but they are dog-friendly so if you ever need a place to sit or warm up, Joe & The Juice is a great spot if you’ve got your dog!

    Reply
  2. I would love to read an article about what it was like & what is needed flying internationally with your dog (specifically to Denmark), all the tips & tricks and things to expect/have prepared! I’m planning on spending 2 months in Copenhagen this summer with my service dog, but am anxious about all the regulations, etc!!

    Reply
  3. What was it like bringing your pup through customs in Copenhagen Airport? We are bringing ours next month and will have all the necessary paperwork. We travelled to France last year and they didn’t even notice our dog much less ask or request paperwork for Brady. Thank you for your knowledge!

    Reply
    • Annie – Sorry, but I didn’t fly directly into Copenhagen from outside of the EU, just from Paris, so we didn’t go through customs. As long as you have the necessary paperwork you’ll be fine. I’ve heard from other people flying into multiple cities in the EU that their paperwork isn’t looked at, so this could be the case in Copenhagen, but you always need to be prepared. Shandos

      Reply
  4. I am in Copenhaguen right now and so far my two dogs are not allow in cafes or restaurants…. compare to other cities in Europe this is by far the less pet friendly one. At Tivoli someone said to us… mmm next time do not bring your dog to the city… let’s see how it ends!

    Reply
    • Diana – that’s frustrating to hear. That’s the problem with cities where only some places allow dogs – you can get lucky, or you may not, and it’s so much tougher this time of year, when it’s cold outside.

      Reply
  5. Hi, well you have written a great article, I’m impressed with your style. I own a handsome Bernedoodle, and have recently moved to newyork. Initially it was really tough as i have no idea about where to take my berne as you know we are not allowed to take him with us everywhere, mostly limitation by public sectors. ?

    I have found few dog friendly cafes near my area and i usually take my dog there just to spend some quality time.

    Reply
  6. Hi, thank you for this great article. We were also shocked when we came to Copenhagen. We live in Germany, we have a small malteser of 2.5 kg and we enter almost every restaurant with our dog very easily and everyone in Germany welcomes her with love. We have never had a problem in many countries in Europe (France, Belgium, Croatia, Holland, Turkey). That’s why we never researched this issue before we came to Denmark. I wish we had read your article before we came. We never thought that we would encounter such a thing in a modern and developed European country. But unfortunately, we saw here that no restaurant allows dogs in, except few (Restaurant 1733 and Diamanten). I don’t think that we will come to Copenhagen again.

    Reply

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