If you’re visiting Germany with your dog, there’s no shortage of dog-friendly things to do. Whether it’s exploring the rich history and culture of Germany, visiting its many gorgeous old towns or enjoying a night at a Christmas Market, there’s sure to be something delightful to do. These are my top recommendations…
Find out more about travelling in Germany with a dog, from taking public transport to whether dogs are allowed in bakeries
1. Visit Sanssouci Park at Potsdam
A visit to Sanssouci Park at Potsdam, about an hour from central Berlin on the train, is an excellent day out from Berlin. The park include many fine palaces, once the principal residence of the Prussian royal family, and is often called the German Versaille.
While dogs aren’t allowed inside the palaces, they are allowed with you while you wander around the fine parks. Make sure you allow at least a few hours, but you could spend the entire day here.
2. Cruise Along the Rhine River
If you’re going to cruise along a stretch of the Rhine River, make it the section between St Goar and Bingen. As well as being home to the famous Lorelei Rock, there’s many historic castles, cute towns and terraces of vineyards lining the Rhine along this stretch.
We cruised with KD Cruises, and were just charged a small surcharge for our dog. The cruises run regularly in summer, but there’s also the chance of a winter cruise if there’s enough bookings.
3. Explore the Street Art of Berlin
Berlin is renowned for its street art. And while I haven’t yet met a dog interested in street art, they will enjoy walking with you through Germany’s streets while you spot new works and take photos.
One of the most popular spots is the historic East Side Gallery, where works are painted on a 1.3km long remnant of the Berlin Wall. The courtyard at the Anne Frank Zentrum is also fabulous.
4. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria is one of the most famous castle in the world, and well worth a visit. If you’re staying in Munich, it’s possible to visit the castle on a day visit, including the option of taking the train and bus. I’ve written a detailed guide on how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle on public transport.
Now, I must admit that dogs aren’t allowed inside the castle on the regular guided tours. But it’s still possible to visit the exterior of the castle with your dog, and go for a wander nearby. If you’re visiting with someone, it’s also possible to take turns taking a guided tour, with the tours starting and finishing very promptly!
5. Explore the Medieval Town of Quedlinburg
After visiting Germany multiple times, I have to award Quedlinburg the prize for being the most charming medieval town in the city I have visited so far. Its narrow streets are full of historic half-timbered houses that have survived through the ages. Plus above the town on a sandstone outcrop towers its castle and cathedral, both important to the history of Germany. Naturally dogs are welcome to join you on your wanderings!
6. Visit Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel
Located in the centre of Germany, the superb Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a features cascades, lakes and wooded slopes. It comes alive every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon (except over winter) when the full water show is performed.
We visited both during a snowy day in winter, plus once again during summer when the water show as on. Entry is free year round and dogs are welcome.
7. Go for a Stroll in the Forest
Germany isn’t entirely about cities and industrial factories, there’s also plenty of natural landscapes that still stretch across the country, including plenty of forests. A walk for the forest is a great outing that your dog would love to join you on. Dogs are generally allowed either on leash or off leash depending on the area.
Head south to the famed Black Forest region or head just outside of Berlin to the Grunewald. We went hiking through the forest Hainich Forest in the centre of the country, a UNESCO-listed beech forest.
8. Visit the Gardens of the Würzburg Residence
The baroque Würzburg Residence palace has stunning interiors, that I highly recommend touring. And while the tours inside are strictly dog free (and with no photographs permitted), the exterior of the palace is surrounded by delightful gardens in the spring and summer months. Entry is free and dogs on a leash are permitted to join you.
If you wish to visit inside and are visiting with someone else, takes turns on the tours inside the palace like my husband and I did, while the other strolls around the garden or perhaps dines at the garden cafe, which naturally allows dogs.
9. Explore Historic Bremen
Bremen is a charming historic town located in the north of Germany. It’s easily visited on a day trip from Hamburg, although staying 1 or 2 nights is warranted.
Don’t miss wandering through the Schnoor Quarter or the Böttscherstrasse, or getting a photo of the Bremen Town Musicians with your dog. Plus the House of History Museum (Bremer Geschichtenhaus) allows dogs inside!
10. Check out the Bauhaus Buildings in Dessau
If you love modern architecture, you can’t miss visiting Dessau (south of Berlin), home to the Bauhaus school during the 1920s. Highlights include the Bauhaus Building and the Masters’ Houses, but there’s also other works scattered throughout the town.
While dogs aren’t allowed inside, they can accompany you while viewing the exteriors. And dogs are allowed in the cafe at the Bauhaus Building (if you alternate taking turns visiting the interior).
11. Visit Lorsch Abbey
Located in between Heidelberg and Frankfurt, this historic monastery is best known for its “Kings Hall”, an unusual building from the Carolingian era that has survived to this day, despite the monastery being dismantled.
We took a guided tour of the Kings Hall, and our guide was fine with our small dog being carried along with us inside. The museum adjacent, with three collections covering the monastery, historic interior furnishings and tobacco, also allowed small well-behaved dogs to be carried inside. All dogs are also welcome to join their owners on the well-marked walk past the remains of the monastery.
12. Visit Wartburg Castle near Eisenach
Looking just like the classic idea of a castle, Wartburg is also fascinating for its famous residents, from St Elisabeth of Hungary to Martin Luther (after he was ex-communicated by the Catholic Church and lying low).
Dogs are allowed in the interior courtyards, plus on the walking trails around the hilltop location. They aren’t allowed though on the guided tour inside or unfortunately inside the cafe. It’s best visited with you dog during the summer months. When we visited on a snowy winter’s day we choose to leave Schnitzel back at our apartment.
13. Visit a Christmas Market or Two
Germany is synonymous with Christmas markets, and if visiting any part of Germany in December, a Christmas market isn’t far away. They’re great for visiting along with your dog, as many of the locals do. Buy a warming glühwein, enjoy the wurst and other hearty streetfood, or browse for gifts and decorations.
Just a note: it’s best to avoid the more crowded ones (such as the main markets in Cologne and Heidelberg), at least during early evening, if you’re with a dog.
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