I submitted my graduate school application to study in Paris around the same time as I adopted a dog back home in California. The timing was intentional, of course. I had naive daydreams of sitting outside at a sunny café in a striped shirt and ballet flats, sipping a glass of wine with my dog, Lucas, people-watching with me from the seat next to mine.

Let me just mention that, although it worked out for me in the end, I would not recommend this kind of logic. The hassle of the dog’s paperwork (on top of mine), the stress and cost of his place on my flight and the limitations he imposed on the already difficult apartment search are serious considerations that should not be overlooked if you are considering bringing your pup with you to Paris.

That said, I don’t regret it at all. Although I have spent several years in France over the course of my life and considered myself fairly familiar with many French cultural quirks, having my dog here has allowed me to explore a whole new set of myths and clichés.

A man in black t-shirt and blue denim jeans walking on pedestrian lane in Paris with a dog during daytime.
photo by Yves Destours

Is France a Dog Friendly Country?

The first question on my mind was where exactly nos amis les chiens are welcome and where they are not. It’s not one I could find a useful answer to before I got here since the most common stereotype people have about the French and their dogs is that they bring them everywhere. Like most stereotypes this is both true and untrue so I’d like to share my experiences.

Can dogs ride the subway in Paris?

It took me months to gather the courage to take my dog on the Paris metro. He is considered rather large compared to many Parisian dogs, too large to fit in the metro’s mandatory 45 cm-long enclosed bag. Until one day I saw a full-size Labrador on my commute to school in the French capital. My dog has been taking the metro twice a day to work with my boyfriend ever since. It is basically the same deal for the RER trains and other regional transport, though leashes and muzzles are required for larger dogs on public transportation. Pets can ride free as long as you follow RATP’s guidance for pets. Buses, in particular are a place where it seems like people really do follow the official rules – I’ve only seen very small dogs and always in shoulder bags.

Are dogs allowed in cafes in Paris

In the States I never dared to ask at a restaurant if I could bring my dog anywhere but an outdoor seating area. In France, I’ve learned to assume we’re both welcome and to walk straight in no questions asked. After a year and a half, I’ve only been stopped a couple of times with a polite “Excusez-moi, Madame…”

Are Dogs Allowed in Shops in Paris?

The French’s boundless love of dogs stops, understandably in grocery stores, boulangeries, and other food shops. Most provide a metal hook at the entrance for dog owners tying up their furry friend while they shop. In clothing, furniture, department stores etc you can generally get away with smaller dogs and medium sized ones as long as they are well behaved.

A man in a black jacket standing in front of a Parisian food stall at night.
photo by Barthelemy de Mazenod

Are Dogs Allowed in Parks in Paris?

This is probably the most shocking thing, even for those who have spent considerable time in Paris: until recently, very few of the many parks that dot the city actually allowed the dogs of Paris to roam in them at all. When I first moved, I found a (very short) list of dog-friendly parks on the City of Paris website and had a mild panic attack. Only a handful of parks in the center of Paris allowed dogs, and many of these were just tiny “squares”. Fortunately measures implemented in recent years liberalized some of the strict codes making the city more dog friendly. You can find a list of green spaces in Paris where dogs are allowed on a leash on the City of Paris’s website. There is also a map where dogs may roam free. 

A little boy walking a small dog on a leash in a Paris park.
photo by Valkyrie Pierce

In general, the no-dogs-in-parks rule is actually pretty well followed by Parisians, so I conform too, even though I have been known to cut across the Place des Vosges in a hurry.

In the parks where dogs are only permitted in a restricted section security guards are on hand to discourage any excess friskiness. The upside of this is that communities of regulars really do develop at your closest dog-friendly park, and the Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne turn into leash-free dog playgrounds on the weekends. A sight for sore dog-loving eyes!

So do I bring my dog everywhere with me in Paris? Almost, and definitely more places than back home in California. Although I don’t think I can justify giving my 25lb dog his own seat at a café, he is definitely at my feet whenever the weather is nice enough to sit outside, whether or not I manage a striped shirt.

woman in white long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans walking on a Paris sidewalk with brown dog.
photo by Mathias Reding

Dog-friendly Paris: FAQs and Other things to Know

What are some dog friendly restaurants in Paris?

The names of dog-friendly restaurants are too long to list here. Numerous restaurants allow four-legged friends, especially on terraces. Look for signs that say ‘chiens interdits’ (dogs forbidden), ‘pas de chien’, or ask politely to be sure. Fast food restaurants generally forbid them inside.

What are the entry requirements for bringing a dog to France?

– They must be older than 3 months old
– Pet dogs must be microchipped
– Vaccinated for rabies at least 3 weeks before travel
– You must get an EU pet passport or Animal Health certificate
– Please present the pet’s vaccination record for rabies 
– The dog must have an antibody titration test carried out by an authorized lab if flying from an unauthorized country (not required if coming from UK, US or Australia – check the regulations for different countries)
– If flying it’s a good idea to check the airline’s pet services as they may have special rules.

Are dogs allowed in food shops in France?

Generally yes if they are well-behaved dogs on a leash though large dogs may be forbidden. They are generally forbidden in food stores however.

Can you bring dogs to Disneyland Paris?

No, except for assistance dogs. However you may leave them at the Animal Care Centre which is onsite pet-friendly accommodation.

Are dogs allowed in the Louvre museume and other cultural institutions?

No, the majority of museums in France are not pet friendly.

Are dogs allowed in the Eiffel Tower and other tourist sites?

No except for guide dogs.

Written by Justine Robinett for HIP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.


Justine Robinett

Justine, a native Californian, has lived in France for over a decade. After earning a Masters from Sciences Po Paris, she worked as a project manager for some of the biggest luxury Houses in their digital, image, and advertising teams. She is based in Paris.

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