Dog-Friendly Romania: Travelling in Romania with a Dog

Romania and dog-friendly probably aren’t two terms you’ve heard together before. But despite Romania’s non-appearance on lists of the most dog-friendly countries in Europe and its reputation for strays, I found the country a surprisingly friendly one to travel in with a dog. Here are my tips for travelling in Romania with a dog.

Dog-friendly Romania

A Note on Stray Dogs in Romania

Firstly, a note on Romania’s reputation for stray dogs. Romania has by far the most stray dogs of any country I have visited in Europe (although there are a few countries I still haven’t made it to). However, I didn’t find they were a problem with my own dog.

The stray dogs are obviously not treated well by locals, as they were very shy and timid. Raise your voice, and off they go. Around my small Miniature Dachshund (who was far smaller than all of them), they simply wanted to play with him, and he was the fiercer (at least when it came to barking).

The more difficult aspect was instead the large number of strays that I saw killed on the country’s roads. It was a sobering experience while driving.

Travelling to Romania with a Dog

The standard EU rules apply when you travel to Romania with a dog, whether from another country in the EU or from outside of Europe. Essentially, your dog will require a microchip, valid rabies vaccine and either an EU pet passport or an EU health certificate (or “Annex IV”).

If you are travelling to Romania with your dog from Serbia, Ukraine or Moldova, the rules are similar to those for travelling from outside of Europe. An EU health certificate is required if you don’t have a pet passport from the EU or a related country.

Additionally, your dog will need to have a rabies titre test. This test needs to be done three months in advance before crossing into the EU, or alternatively no waiting period applies if you have it done before leaving the EU.

Before planning your trip into Romania, note that you will need to enter Romania at a valid “Travellers’ points of entry”, where your dog’s paperwork can be checked. According to the list for Romania, see here, there is only one road entry point from each of Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova. I am not sure if this is enforced.

Dining Out in Romania with a Dog

Firstly, a caveat about our experiences eating in restaurants in Romania with our dog. It was the middle of summer and we had beautiful weather every day, so we rarely even considered seeing if our dog was allowed to dine inside.

The one exception was a cafe in a small city where we discovered they had ultra-fast wi-fi (compared to the barely-there connection at our hotel), so we asked to sit inside so we could also plug-in our laptops. The staff were okay with us sitting just inside with our dog, as long as he was well-behaved.

Dog-friendly Romania
Schnitzel delighted with the dropped fruit he discovered in apple orchards

We otherwise dined on outdoor terraces, whether in the capital, Bucharest, or in the countryside. At none of these places did we experience any issues with having a dog. Although I did spot one cafe in a fancy area of Bucharest that had a “no dogs” sign. I’m not sure if the sign was referring to inside or out.

Taking a Dog on Public Transport in Romania

We mainly had a rental car to get around Romania, so didn’t make much use of public transport.

The only other vehicle our dog travelled in was an Uber to and from our apartment in Bucharest. Our driver was fine with us having a dog (and he was still in his bag, fresh off the plane), and was one of the friendliest Uber drivers we met in Europe.

Looking at the rules published online, all size dogs are generally allowed on trains in Romania, plus on most forms of urban transport, such as in Bucharest.

View of a Romanian village from a church tower
View of a Romanian village from a church tower

The full rules for the Romania train operator CFR Calatori are listed here and here. Small pets that are being carried in a cage can travel for free, while larger dogs require a leash and muzzle, can only travel in 2nd class coaches, and require a half-fare ticket.

However, if any other travellers on the train protest about your dog, the conductor will either relocate you or may even prohibit the animal from travelling on the train. Plus there is a prohibition against dangerous dogs and additional requirements for travelling with some types of dogs (such as Rottweilers and American Staffordshire terriers).

A typical grand old building in Bucharest
A typical grand old building in Bucharest

The largest public transport network in Romania is in Bucharest. There the metro system is run by Metrorex and surface transport (buses and trams) is run by STB.

Metrorex stipulate that only “small pets carried in proper conditions”, such as in a cage or on a leash and with a muzzle, are allowed. This seems to imply that perhaps slightly larger dogs that don’t fit in a cage may be allowed, up to a certain size. No maximum size is specified.

With STB, the rules stipulate that pets are allowed. However, only dogs on a leash and with a muzzle or small carried animals are permitted.

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Romania

Romania has some of the cheapest accommodation on offer in Europe, with budget hotels typically available for €30 per night. Additionally, when we stayed in such hotels, not once did we get charged an additional fee for our dog.

In fact, we found the owners to be universally friendly to our dog, especially at our guesthouse in the Danube Delta, where the owner checked in on and walked our dog when he was left behind one day.

The garden of our guesthouse in the Danube Delta
The garden of the guesthouse we stayed at in the Danube Delta
Dog-friendly accommodation in Romania
Schnitzel in the garden of the guesthouse

However, I should warn that we did find it tricky to find accommodation in some more remote parts of the country. This was more a lack of accommodation listings full-stop (with offering the most options out of the online listings). Typically around one-third of places seemed to be dog-friendly.

Additionally, we managed to get permission for Schnitzel to stay in one Airbnb that normally didn’t allow dogs. It helps if you can be flexible about location, plus if you’re happy to not book in advance there’s probably more places you’ll discover driving through that aren’t listed online.

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Romania

With the large number of must-see beautiful churches and monasteries in Romania, we did discover that there were many places that we couldn’t take our dog. However, there are also dog-friendly sightseeing options, including the following recommendations…

1. Explore Historic Sighisoara

A small well-preserved medieval town, now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, Sighisoara is one of the highlights of Romania.

I recommend spending at least a full day (and ideally a night or two) to wander the old streets and battlements. We also enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the main square at Casa Wagner.

Dog-friendly Romania
Schnitzel on the cobbled streets of Sighisoara

2. Visit a Dacian Fortress

Prior to Romania being conquered by the Romans, it was home to the Dacians. One of the best ruins left behind by this civilisation is the former capital of Sarmizegetusa Regia, in the mountains of central Romania, with its mysterious temple remains.

Main ruins at Sarmizegetusa Regia
View of the main ruins at Sarmizegetusa Regia

It’s accessible via a fully sealed road, then a 1km walk to the site. Dogs are allowed to join you in visiting Sarmizegetusa Regia.

Dog at Sarmizegetusa Regia
Schnitzel at Sarmizegetusa Regia

3. Chill Out in Bucharest

Bucharest is an intriguing city, with many old buildings deserving of preservation, in between some rather ugly modern edifices. One of its most famous buildings is the gigantic Palace of the Parliament, constructed in the 1980s and 1990s and one of the largest buildings in the world .

The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest

Take a walk along the long streets that surround parliament building, then head to the Old Town, spotting historic churches and the gorgeous Cărturești Carusel bookstore.

Church in Bucharest
One of the many beautiful old churches in Bucharest

Afterwards make your way north towards the Revolution Square and the graceful temple-style Romanian Athenaeum theatre. This area of the city is also home to many of its more upmarket restaurants and cafes.

4. Get Lost in the Danube Delta

It’s hard to believe that the vast wetlands of the Danube Delta are still within Europe. It feels a world away from the other bustling stretches of this great river, with its cruise boats and bridges. It’s a wonderful spot to head for a few relaxing days, staying in one of the many small guesthouses dotted around.

Wetlands in the Danube Delta
Wetlands in the Danube Delta

We took a speed boat trip out onto the Delta for a half-day trip, spotting a variety of birdlife along the way. Dogs are usually allowed on such trips, particularly if you organise it directly with the owner.

However, we were concerned about our dog barking at birds and it is quite noisy, so left him behind for the day at our guesthouse. Larger dogs used to boats would be better suited to joining you.

On a boat in the Danube Delta
Our boat trip through the Danube Delta

Oh, and avoid the winter! This region receives multiple metres of snow in the colder months.

5. Check Out a Castle or Two

While in Romania, don’t miss out on visiting a castle or two. The most famous castle is of course the Bran Castle, allegedly home to Count Dracula.

However, I’ve heard more recommendations for nearby Peles Castle, which is naturally less touristy. We didn’t make it to either, but instead checked out Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, although only from the outside.

Corvin Castle in Hunedoara
Corvin Castle in Hunedoara

Dogs aren’t usually allowed inside castles, so you may be limited to viewing them from the outside, although there is a small chance you’ll be let inside if you are carrying a small dog and it’s during a quiet period.

There’s also a chance the staff may offer to look after your dog outside! (This happened to us at one church tower, plus to a fellow dog owner at Corvin Castle.)

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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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6 thoughts on “Dog-Friendly Romania: Travelling in Romania with a Dog”

    • Liz – I’ve found a great resource on banned dogs and dogs with other restrictions: Scroll down to the bottom of the page for Romania. I hope this list is up-to-date, I can’t find any Romanian websites in English with details.

      In general, if you feel that your dog may be regarded as dangerous by the authorities, I recommend having a muzzle and avoiding public transport.

  1. When we went to Romania in 2019, my girls (Daisy and Candace, a chihuahua and a pomchi, respectively) were allowed inside the Bran’s Castle – the Dracula Castle. Some visitors paid more attention to them than to the castle itself!

    Anyways, on that trip my boyfriend, my girls and I went all over Romania and we had no issues at all, it was such an amazing trip!


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