An American dog in Paris: Things to do in Paris with your pet

dog and couple romantically looking at eiffel tower

family in front of the eiffel tower

Above Photos: Celine Chan Photographie

It’s easy to bring your dog to Paris from the United States

Thinking of bringing your dog to France? International pet travel from the United States to the EU is straight forward. Start by checking out our international pet travel checklist for all the rules around bringing your dog on a plane internationally. We found France to be very dog friendly, and the only requirements for border entry are a USDA stamped health certificate, microchip, and rabies vaccine. Having spent 2 months a year in France while growing up, we are no strangers to Paris – we have put together a guide with the top destinations that are dog friendly. Luckily, Paris is very dog friendly so the outdoor monuments are pet friendly!

Where can you bring your dog in Paris?

Yes! Dogs Allowed & Welcome…

  • At cafes with outdoor seating are very dog friendly!
  • In the metro (dogs must be in a bag or muzzled – gentle leader works)
  • In the outside portions of tourist attractions
  • At stores that do not sell food

Sorry, No Dogs….

  • At any Museums
  • At many small fenced in parks (I.e almost all the parks not listed in this post)
  • In taxis (took us a long time to get a taxi from the airport as even working dogs aren’t often accepted)
  • Inside food stores (same as the United States)

You’ll find that most cafes have outdoor seating and most tourist attractions have outdoor areas. Since museums and all indoor locations in Paris aren’t pet friendly, make sure to bring your walking shoes to see the city by foot or leave the dog in your hotel.

Most of Paris’s smaller parks do not allow dogs but surprisingly the Metro IS dog friendly as long as the dog fits into a bag OR wears a muzzle. We rode the Metro twice and had Calvin on a very thick gentle leader. Our biggest mistake was trying to find a taxi that would take us into the city from the airport – the concept of a Working Dog is not well known in France and does not hold up with small businesses. When we finally found a taxi, Calvin was required to stay in the trunk.

What are the leash laws in Paris?

The level of obedience we witnessed in Parisian dogs is unlike anything we have ever seen in the United States. It is unclear what the leash laws are in Paris as we rarely saw any dogs on leash – dogs trot calmly beside their humans, wait patiently outside of stores, and seem very seamlessly intertwined in the daily life of the city. Many businesses have a resident dog just hanging out outside the shop greeting people who walk by. Pups sit around at cafes while their humans read the morning news. No treats or commands needed – these dogs know where to be and are never far behind their human. It was such a magical dynamic to observe and definitely ought to set an example for dog obedience in the United States.

Where to stay in Paris with your Dog

There are ample pet friendly hotels and airbnbs in Paris so check out neighborhoods based on the activities you are interested in. We stayed in the Marais but here our thoughts on other neighborhoods:

If you are a first time visitor, check out the neighborhoods near the biggest tourist destinations (1st & 7th arrondissement). In the 1st, you’ll be walking distance from Notre Dame, the Tuileries, the Louvre which are pet friendly on the outside. In the 7th, you’ll be near the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower.

If you are looking for a trendy neighborhood with great nightlife, check out the Marais or St. Germain neighborhoods. Nightlife is always bustling and the Seine is animated through the night.

If you are looking for a charming and romantic neighborhood with great views, Montmarte is a great choice. Although Montmarte is home to Scare Coeur and views of Paris, it is further away from the rest of the famous sights.

Map of Pet Friendly Paris, France

4 days & 50 miles through Paris with our Dog

After a 12 hour flight with our dog, we were ready to hit the ground running (See here for international travel rules for dogs). We figured that if let ourselves nap, the jet lag would take over and we’d lose a day of seeing the city. Lucky for us, Paris has cafés on nearly every block. Fueled by espressos and baguettes, we managed to see most of Paris’s biggest sights by foot on our first day. This page is organized by groupings of activities that are in close proximity to each other. Refer to the dog friendly map above for a better look at the relative locations of Parisian sights. Over 4 days, we covered over 50 miles by foot and returned to our favorite places multiple times.

dog in paris holding baguette bread in his mouth

Day 1 & 2:

Notre Dame, Jardin du Luxembourg & The Pathéon

Cross the Pont Neuf to Île de la Cité to see Notre Dame. Then take a short walk to the pet friendly Jardin de Luxembourg – stop at the Panthéon on the way.

the Cathedral of Notre Dame is located on Île de la Cité (basically a small island in the middle of Paris). We crossed the famous Pont Neuf to get to Île de la Cité and made our way to Notre Dame (10 minute walk). At the time of our visit, Notre Dame was still recovering from the fire and therefore could only be enjoyed from afar. Standing in front of such a fine piece of architecture is humbling, especially when reminded that it was built in the Middle Ages…..over 600 years ago!

After Notre Dame, the next logical stop is the 15 minute walk to the Jardins du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens). We took the route that passed in front of the Panthéon to get a glimpse of Roman architecture in France. The facade of the Panthéon in Paris is modeled after the one you would find in Rome. The Luxembourg Gardens are a straight shot from the Panthéon down Rue de Soufflot.

The dog rules at the Luxembourg Gardens are unclear – there are certain entrances that have “no dog” signs but others have “dogs on leash” signs. After doing research online, we found that the Luxembourg Gardens have an entire section of the park called the “dog path” that even has a dog fountain….we figured that dogs must be allowed. By asking the security guards upon arrival, we learned that dogs ARE allowed but it is preferred that they enter through the Blvd. Saint Michel gates. Turns out this park has more dogs than any other park we visited – we met lots of friendly pups at all parts of the gardens.

dog at luxembourg gardens in paris

palace at the dog friendly luxembourg gardens

Dog Friendly Eiffel Tower, Trocadéro & Champ de Mars

We stopped by the Eiffel Tower a few times during out time in Paris. We visited briefly on our first day in the late afternoon and then returned a few days later at 7:30AM. This area is probably one of the most crowded tourist attractions in the entire world so the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower & Trocadéro is in the early morning. We did our family photoshoot at 7:30AM and found the area to be more peaceful than our visit earlier that week.

Geographically, the Champ de Mars (Field of Mars) is the large grassy area directly adjacent/underneath the Eiffel tower. The Trocadéro is the area across the bridge that overlooks the Eiffel Tower from above. Most iconic Eiffel Tower photos are taken from the Trocadéro staircase and fountains.

One great way to enjoy the Eiffel Tower with your dog is to take some photos at the Trocadéro and then wander through the fountains to make your way to Champ de Mars across the Seine. Set up a picnic blanket on the grass and enjoy some cheese & wine. Calvin played some fetch off-leash while we enjoyed our snacks.

dog at trocadero with eiffel tower in paris

view of eiffel tower from trocadero in paris

dog in trocadero gardens in paris

dog in the champ de mars under the eiffel tower

Jardins des Tuileries & The Louvre Pyramid

The Jardins des Tuileries (Tuileries Gardens) is the park located between Place de La Concorde and the Louvre. We approached the gardens from Place de La Concorde and made our way to the Louvre via the Gardens. 

Walk across Place de La Concorde to get to the entrance of the Tuileries Garden. Place de La Concorde is the largest public square in Paris. Note: traffic in the roundabout does not yield to pedestrians….so follow a crowd of tourists to get across safely.

Dog rules at the Tuileries Gardens: As with many other places in Paris, the pet walking rules are unclear. After some research, we found that dogs are officially allowed in the upper section of the Tuileries Gardens. This means that they may not enter through the main entrance but rather any of the side entrances that have steps leading  up to the upper sections. These parts of the Tuileries Gardens are known as the “terraces” and overlook the gardens from above. Once you get to Avenue du Général Lemonnier (on the Louvre side of the Gardens), dogs are allowed anywhere. This means you can absolutely walk your dog through the Carrousel Arch, along the grass, and around the fountains. Dogs aren’t allowed in the museum but can get up cloase to the Louvre Pyramid and walk around the Napoleon Courtyard.

dog holding french flag at the louvre pyramid in paris

bringing a dog to the paris louvre pyramid

bringing your dog to the louvre pyramid in paris

macarons from a french bakery in paris

“The Food Street”: Rue Montorguiel for Dinner

Rue Montorguiel is known as the “food street” of Paris. It is a pedestrian only stretch of casual restaurants and bars about an 18 minute walk from the Louvre. This street boasts casual but high quality food at affordable prices. In the evening, the area is animated with locals and tourists alike. Most restaurants have outdoor “bistrot” style seating with the tables facing outwards for people watching. We ate at a casual crêpe shop one night (nothing to write home about), and the fabulous Le Compas another night.

Day 3:

Sacré-Cœur Basilica and Montmarte

Sacré-Cœur and the surrounding neighborhood (Montmarte) is located away from the center of Paris, but worth a visit for the great views and stunning architecture. The Montmarte neighborhood is essentially a massive hill with Sacré-Cœur at the very top –  The “Anvers” or “Abbesses” Metro stops will get you most of the way to the Basilica but you’ll have to walk up the rest of the way. Bring plenty of water as the walk will break a sweat, especially in the summer. At the top of the hill, you’ll have a birds eye view over all of Paris on one side and a breathtaking Basilica on the other. After exploring Montmarte, we made the long walk back towards the center of Paris.

dog at Sacre Coeur basilica in paris montmarte

dog at montmarte in paris

bringing your dog to the love locks in paris

Park Monceau

Our goal was to eventually reach the Arc de Triomphe, but we took the long route through Paris to explore new parts of the city. First, we made our way towards Park Monceau (Metro Stop: “Monceau”). We picked up some bread and cheese for a picnic and let Calvin play with the children in the grass while we ate. He had a blast fetching sticks for the French kids who had just gotten out of school for the day. Park Monceau is located in a very fancy neighborhood – exit through Avenue Van Dyck for a direct 15 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe. We stopped for an espresso along the way and eventually got to Place Charles de Gaulle, home to the Arc de Triomphe.

dog sitting at french cafe and bistro

ice cream cone in paris

dog at the front of a shop in paris

Arc de Triomphe & Les Champs-Élysées

The Arc de Triomphe stands at 164 feet tall in the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, one of the busiest roundabouts in Paris. It connects 12 different avenues – the most common avenue to follow from Place Charles de Gaulle is the famousChamps-Élysées

If you opt to go down the Champs-Élysées, you’ll end up back at Place de La Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens. We recommend walking down the Champs-Élysées if you are first time visitor to Paris. This is a great way to get to the Louvre Pyramid via a different route than described earlier.

Les Champs-Élysées is the 2 kilometer corridor from Place Charles de Gaulle to Place de La Concorde. Les Champs-Élysées is probably the most famous avenue in the world, and is lined with cafés and shopping.  Everything from H&M to the flagship Louis Vuitton store can be found on the ~60 minute walk down Les Champs-Élysées.

dog at the place charles de gualle in front of the arc de triomphe

Bois de Bologne

If you don’t care about experiencing the Champs-Élysées (or have already experienced it),  Avenue Foch leads to the pet friendly and off-leash Bois “Forest” de Bologne. This park doesn’t have any cultural significance so we only recommend this if you have already been to Paris and seen all the sights. Bois de Bologne is a favorite among locals for off leash dog fun – it has multiple wooded and river front trails. We meandered around the park before making our way back to the Eiffel Tower again for sunset.

dog walking by the side of the river in paris

parc de buttes chaumont in paris

dog in paris wearing a floral bandana

Day 4:

Basin de La Villette & Parc de La Villette

Basin de La Villette is a quiet, off the beaten path destination. The area seemed frequented by locals and a few curious tourists. We actually started off this adventure at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont for a stroll along a local park and then made our way to Basin de La Villette. Basin de La Villette is a rectangular artificial “lake” that meanders like a river through the 19th arrondisement. We sat along the water at Le Pavillon Des Canaux….a cute cafe with a French bulldog mascot.

Basin de La Villette leads to the park which is home to the largest Science Museum in Europe (Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie), large concert venues and the Paris conservatory. We walked through the park to check out the 10 themed gardens

dog sitting at basin de la villette

espresso latte in paris

Some (Not) Pet Friendly Activities

If you are looking to leave Fido in the hotel (only if he is comfortable enough to do this!) there are plenty of museums to check out in Paris. We did not museum hop this time around as we’ve already been to Paris enough times to never want to step into a museum again. Needless to say, the historical significance of Parisian galleries is unprecedented so here are our favorites.

Museums to visit in Paris without your pet:

  • The Louvre (the World’s largest and most visited museum)
  • Musée d’Orsay (for some Monet, Renoir, and Van Gough)
  • The Centre Pompidou (equivalent of NYC’s MoMa)

Other no pets activities:

  • Riding to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • View of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe
  • Dinner or Lunch on a boat that is cruising down the Seine
  • Versailles (1 hour train ride from Paris)

Paris is always a good idea,
-Your Pal Cal

dog in front of the eiffel tower

dog at the trocadero in front of the eiffel tower

Two above photos: Celine Chan Photographie

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