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 in Denmark with your dog, here’s my tips.

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

Dog-friendly Copenhagen

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.

1. Relax at Colourful Nyhavn

A visit to Copenhagen isn’t complete without a visit to the the picturesque district of Nyhavn. Stretching along both sides of a canal, the area is packed full of colourful houses that make for an ideal photo spot.

The colourful buildings at Nyhavn
The colourful buildings at Nyhavn

These days many of the buildings are home to restaurants, usually with expansive outdoor terraces (at least on the northern side). Alternatively, grab a take-away beer to enjoy next to the canal. In winter time, an annual Christmas market is held.

2. Enjoy a Cruise on the Harbour

While you’re at Nyhavn, you can hop onboard a harbour cruise around Copenhagen. The cruise will take you down to the main section of the harbour, past the Little Mermaid statue and Our Saviours Church, then around Christiansborg Palace. It’s an easy way to take in the sights of the city, particularly during warm weather.

Dog-friendly Copenhagen - Cruise on harbour
Schnitzel on our cruise on Copenhagen Harbour

The main cruise operator is Stromma, that departs from the top of the canal. Select between a 1-hour guided cruise for DKK 109 per adult, or buy a hop-on-hop-off pass that is valid for 48 hours for DKK 299 per adult.

Small, well-behaved dogs are allowed on the Stromma boats, as long as they can fit in a bag and are used to being around other people. They are also allowed on the Stromma hop-on hop-off buses, again in a bag, although only on the open-air top deck.

Another option are the Netto Boats – we went with their cruises, for a cheaper DKK 50 per adult (as of 2023). Find their dock down the canal on the right-hand-side. Our small dog was welcome on their boat without any need for a bag.

3. Take a Day Trip to the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum

Just outside of Copenhagen at Roskilde there’s two big attractions: Roskilde Cathedral, the burial site of most Danish kings and queens, and Roskilde Viking Ship Museum.

While the cathedral not surprisingly doesn’t allow dogs inside, dogs are welcome to join you in the outdoor areas of the Viking Ship Museum. They just aren’t permitted in the Viking Ship Hall.

Roskilde is a quick 25 minute train from Copenhagen Central Station. At the time of my visit, it was cheaper to buy a day ticket than two single tickets for the train – check whether this is still the case. It’s then a 20 minute walk to the Viking Ship Museum from the station.

4. Visit the Site of Hamlet

Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet was set in Denmark, in the fictional castle of Elsinore. The castle is widely believed to be based on Kronborg Castle, in the similarly named town of Helsingør, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Renaissance palace of Kronborg
The Renaissance palace of Kronborg

Helsingør is easily reached by a 45 minute train from Copenhagen Central Station. Kronborg Castle is then a scenic 10 minute walk from Helsingør train station, making for an easy morning or afternoon trip.

While dogs are not allowed inside the castle, both dogs and humans are free to roam around the grounds surrounding it.

5. Stroll Through Jægersborg Deer Park

To the north of Copenhagen is the large deer park of Jægersborg, Jægersborg Dyrehaven. Originally set up for the king to hunt deer, the park is still home to a large population of deer, and it’s easy to get up close to them, as they’re used to humans being around.

The park these days is popular for walking and with cyclists, plus it’s home to a golf course. Dogs are allowed in the park, albeit on a leash, due to the presence of the deer. The park is accessible from Klampenborg Station on the southern corner, or there are multiple car parks surrounding it.

Dog on leash at Jægersborg deer park
Getting close to the deer at Jægersborg deer park

If you’re looking for somewhere nearby for your dog to run around off leash (and you’re driving), head a little further north to the neighbouring forest of Jægersborg Hegn.

6. Attend the Dogs Day in Tivoli

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 gates to Tivoli
The gates to Tivoli

The day is generally a Sunday in late August – in 2023 it was on Sunday 20th August 2023. 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.

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 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 in the city, there are different rules depending on the type of public transport, mainly for the benefit of allergy sufferers.

Tickets and General Rules for Dogs on Public Transport

Across the metro, buses and trains in Copenhagen, plus on intercity trains in Denmark, 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.

You may also take regional trains in Copenhagen, particularly if you visit Roskilde or Helsingør. These trains also have dog-free areas to stay clear off. Dogs are also not allowed in the quiet zone or in first class. Make sure you book a ticket in a standard section when making a reservation.

Also take care if catch a Swedish train, such as on the section of the railway between Copenhagen Airport and the city centre. These trains have a specific dog section (follow the arrows), that you should sit in.

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 all dogs must travel in the back half of the bus. The front half is kept dog-free for allergy sufferers.

Dining Out in Copenhagen with a Dog

Before visiting Copenhagen, I thought that dogs were not allowed inside any restaurants. But after getting caught out during a rainstorm, I discovered that there are some dog-friendly restaurants. Though I’ve since heard that sometimes they can be difficult to locate!

Feel free to ask restaurants and cafes if they would allow your dog inside in Copenhagen. 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.

I also have two more dog-friendly recommendations for dining out in Copenhagen. The city has some great food markets, which offer 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 Torvehallerne, there were 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
Inside the Torvehallerne market

Another simple option to try in Copenhagen, with zero chance of your dog being turned away, are the many gourmet hotdog stands. The Danes have turned the humble hotdog into an artform, with varied toppings available. They’re great for enjoying a simple meal with your pup at your side in a local park.

Gourmet Danish hotdogs
Gourmet Danish hotdogs

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 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.

Dog rolling in grass in Copenhagen
Schnitzel loved the grass in suburban Copenhagen during spring

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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20 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!

  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!!

  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!

    • 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

  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!

    • 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.

  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.

  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.

  7. Hi, thank you for the article. I concur with a few others – I took a lot of troubles to travel with my small dog (English Toy Terrier, 4.5kg) and was told not to enter with him practically by every single cafes and restaurants. Unfortunately those were the places most classy and inviting cafes. It was winter and my memory of Copenhagen therefore is not great. I live in Finland where cafes are practically all open to dogs – and so are many restaurants especially if your dog is quiet and small.

  8. Other parts of Denmark (west, north) is the same, the most unfriendly place to dogs I have ever experienced. I ended the vacation as it was impossible to get food when alone with the dog and instead drove to Sweden.
    I do not recommend anyone to visit Denmark alone with a dog. If two persons then at least one can go in and order take away.


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