Paris is one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists to visit. But what if you are visiting with your dog, what can you do in Paris with a dog? While visiting the Louvre or climbing the Eiffel Tower is out of the question, there’s still plenty of dog-friendly things to do in Paris, check out these ideas…
#1 Stroll Along the Seine
One of my favourite things to do when visiting Paris is to take a stroll along the Seine, passing through the heart of the city and past many of its most famous sights. It’s one of the most beautiful walks anywhere in the world, and it’s the perfect thing to do with your dog.
Along the way, make sure you wander through the medieval Île de la Cité and stop and gaze up at the Notre Dame Cathedral, as it is repaired from the devastating fire. (While reconstructions are underway, the cathedral is closed to visitors, but once it reopens I recommend taking turns to visit the interior, if you are with someone else.)
Cross over the Seine to check out the exterior of the Louvre and its pyramid, perfect for a selfie with your pup. Dogs are also allowed to join you in the Tuileries Gardens, in the two flanks on either side, plus the grand Place de la Concorde.
Don’t also miss checking out the many beautiful bridges that span across the Seine, with the Pont Alexandre II one of the most extravagant, decorated with nymphs, cherubs and golden statues.
#2 Or Take a Boat Cruise
It’s easy to clock up many kilometres strolling along the Seine in Paris. While your dog might be up for a long walk, it can be more relaxing to instead take a boat ride along the Seine and rest your feet, taking in the ever changing view from the river.
At least one of the boat cruises that runs on the Seine, Batobus, permits dogs on board. Small dogs are welcome in a carrier or bag, while larger dogs should be on a leash and wearing a muzzle. Note that dogs that may be a nuisance or danger can be refused boarding.
Buy your ticket in advance or at the station. The full loop takes about 2 hours, with one of the most popular times to take boat cruise during the late afternoon twilight hours, as the lights of the city switch on around you.
#3 Get a Selfie with the Eiffel Tower
Naturally, one of the highlights of any walk or boat cruise along the Seine is the Eiffel Tower, located on the Rive Gauche (or southern) bank of the river, to the west of the city centre.
While not surprisingly pet dogs aren’t allowed to ascend up the tower with you, whether in the lifts or on foot, they are welcome to join you in the parks at its base, on both banks of the Seine. It’s the ideal spot for a quintessential Paris photo with your pup!
Another popular photo spot in Paris in recent years is the courtyard out the front of the Palais-Royale, with its short striped black and white columns the perfect posing spot for small pups.
#4 Relax in the Luxembourg Gardens
One of my favourite dog-friendly parks in Paris is the Jardin du Luxembourg, or Luxembourg Gardens. Home to the gorgeous Luxembourg Palace, now home to the French Senate, dogs are allowed in part of the park.
The dog-friendly part of the Luxembourg Gardens is in the southeast corner of the large park, accessed through two gates. The are where dogs are allowed is marked on the map of the gardens, plus each of the gates at the periphery of the park are clearly signposted as to whether dogs are permitted through them.
This tranquil spot is ideal for relaxing on one of the many ubiquitous garden chairs, plus there’s plenty of famous statues to search for and admire.
#5 Climb Up to Sacré-Cœur
The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre is located on the highest hill in Paris. While dogs aren’t allowed to ascend the Eiffel Tower with you, for views of the city instead climb up the steps in front of Sacré-Cœur, although skip also climbing the dome inside with your dog.
Below Sacré-Cœur is located the Square Louise Michel, a beautiful leafy square with gardens and fountains, along with a popular carousel, as seen in the film Amélie.
#6 Wander Through Montmartre
Surrounding Sacré-Cœur is the hill and district of Montmartre, one of the most unique areas of Paris. Often still claiming to be a “village” amongst the city (it’s still home to a vineyard), the area has long been home to many of the artists that live in Paris, and has been made famous by their paintings.
Take a wander through the maze of cobblestone street, stopping off to enjoy a drink at one of the many cafes dotted throughout the district. It’s still possible to have your portrait drawn at the Place du Tertre.
#7 Window Shop Along the Champs-Élysées
The neighbourhood around the Champs-Élysées is a very different part of Paris. This long avenue that stretches between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe is lined with up-market boutiques and stylish restaurants.
Take a walk along the Champs-Élysées with your pup by your side, gazing in the windows of the boutiques. Dogs may even be allowed inside some shops – although it’s best to ask permission first.
#8 Or Shop at the Bouquinistes
For a different shopping experience, check out the bouquinistes that are set up along the banks of the Seine. The tradition of selling used books here started in the 16th century.
It’s still a great spot to browse second-hand books, magazines and artworks, and a fun activity to do with your dog by your side.
#9 Dine at a Cafe Terrace
Many bistros and cafes in Paris welcome dogs to join you inside, but for the quintessential Paris experience nothing beats sitting at a table at a cafe terrace, with your dog by your side.
Enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine, or linger over a leisurely lunch. A must to do in the summer months, even during the cooler months of the year many cafes have heaters (or blankets) to keep customers warm.
#10 Stroll Along the Canal Saint-Martin
The area surrounding the Canal Saint-Martin is one of the more quiet yet charming neighbourhoods of the city, more popular with locals than tourists, and ideal for an escape from the crowds.
Lined with boutique shops and cafes, go for a wander through the neighbourhood with your pup by your side then enjoy dinner at one of the many cafes.
#11 Enjoy the Outdoors at Bois de Vincennes or Bois de Boulogne
Another spot to escape from the crowds of the city are the two large parks on either end of Paris, the Bois de Vincennes and the Bois de Boulogne. Both former royal hunting grounds, these days the parks are large green oases in the city, one in the west and one in the east.
Go for a hike with your dog on the many paths winding through the parks, admire the flowers during the springtime or rent a boat on the lakes. While the parks are open round the clock, it’s best to avoid them after dark.
#12 Visit the Dog Cemetery
Pere Lachaise Cemetery and its famous graves is a popular spot to visit in Paris. However, pet dogs are are not allowed to join you inside its walls.
Instead, consider checking out the Cimetière des Chiens or Paris Dog Cemetery, to the north of the city in the suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine. Established in 1899, it is believed to be the world’s oldest public pet cemetery.
Home to many Parisian dogs who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge, living dogs are allowed to join you on a vist, as long as they are kept on a short leash. A small entry fee is charged to humans, while dogs enter for free.
Dogs on Public Transport in Paris
The easiest way to travel around Paris and see the sights is by public transport, and this includes if you’re with a dog, whether a large or small dog.
Small dogs are allowed on all forms of public transport for free, including the bus, metro, RER (train), trams and funicular. However, small dogs should be in a bag or container, no larger than 45cm. However, this is not usually enforced – we often just travelled with our small dog on our lap.
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About the Author
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.