As the heart of Saxony, Dresden is an amazing place to take your pup along. Not only is Dresden surrounded by natural beauty, the city itself is extremely dog-friendly. Read on to find out everything you need to know about traveling to Dresden with a dog.
How dog-friendly is Dresden?
Like most major cities in Germany, Dresden considers dogs an extension of the family. As such, it feels as though dogs are visible and accepted everywhere. In fact, when researching what restaurants we could take our pup to, I even found negative reviews for restaurants that didn’t offer their dog a bowl of water. You’re more likely than not to be allowed to dine out with your dog, though I’ve included a list of dog-friendly restaurants below to eliminate the guesswork.
The city also has beautiful sights that are perfect for both dogs and their owners like the Grand Garden of Dresden and the garden at the Zwinger. That being said, pups are not allowed to walk through the Zwinger’s collection of priceless exhibits housed inside. Dogs are also reasonably not allowed at the Royal Palace or the city’s churches.
In addition to having some stunning palatial gardens in the city, Dresden is also a perfect home base to visit Saxon Switzerland National Park and the famed Bastei Bridge, which are just 30 minutes away by car and about an hour away by train.
Riding Dresden’s public transportation with your dog
Dresden is fairly large, especially if you’re visiting some of the dog-friendly parks and hiking areas outside of city center. Thankfully, even if you don’t have a car, you can get around easily with your dog on public transportation. Dogs must be on a leash and muzzled. And you also need to buy them a ticket, which is the bicycle-dog ticket. It’s important to note that while you can buy day passes for people directly on the trams, you have to go to a ticket machine – found at the main transport stations – to be able to get your dog a day pass. Guide dogs are exempted from paying and from wearing a muzzle.
Pet-friendly activities in Dresden
See the Zwinger
The Dresden Zwinger is a large baroque palatial complex that is one of the most iconic sights in Dresden’s Old Town. Aside from its stunning architecture, the interior of the palace is home to several different museums including one of the largest porcelain collections in the world. Obviously your dog is not allowed to run around through a hall full of porcelain. But the Zwinger courtyard, with its sculptures and fountains, is dog-friendly.
Stroll around the Grand Garden of Dresden
If you want a little more room to run around, especially one where you’re less likely to encounter huge crowds, then you and your pup can visit the Grand Garden of Dresden. It is located just a couple of tram stops away from Old Town. It is so large that Zoo Dresden and the Dresden Botanical Garden make up just a small part of it – though your dog is not allowed in the zoo unless it’s a guide dog or in the botanical garden unless they can be carried.
Hang out along the Elbe
There are several beautiful spots in Dresden along the river where you can enjoy the city’s beauty and some time outdoors. Brühl’s Terrace, named as such because it was the private terrace of the Count of Brühl, is now a public park offers a relaxing spot to enjoy the view of Dresden along the Elbe. During warm months, it’s teeming with people and street performers. You can also walk across Augustus Bridge for some of the most iconic views of Dresden. There are long stretches of green across the river where you can hang out like the Königsufer and Palaisgarten.
Take a river cruise
A great sightseeing activity you can do with your dog is take a river cruise. There are several options available including a 1.5 hour Dresden sightseeing cruise as well as longer cruises of the Elbe Valley. Dogs are allowed on a leash and with a muzzle. Some of the cruises are available as a round trip or to go one-way to another stop on the Elbe such as Pillnitz and Bad Schandau.
Though much of the beautiful architecture is in Dresden’s Old Town, New Town (Neustadt) is another great area of town to explore on foot with your dog. It’s split up into two sections, Innere Neustadt, which is closest to the Elbe River, and Aussere Neustadt, which is farther from the river. The largest park there is Alaunpark, but there are plenty of hip dive bars and restaurants in the neighborhoods that are dog-friendly. This is also where you’ll find Kunsthofpassage, which is a series of connected courtyards housing artsy boutiques and cafes. The famous wall of singing drain pipes is in these courtyards.
Visit Dresden’s lush palaces
Just a 30-minute transport ride outside of city center, you’ll find the grounds of Albrechtsberg Palace, which is mostly used for weddings and other private events. However, the park at the Albrechtsberg Palace is dog-friendly. The park is a massive 11 hectares and it’s full of sculptures, gardens, and trees for your dog to enjoy.
Pillnitz Palace and Park is another option that takes about 50 minutes to get to by car, although you and your dog can also take a boat there as mentioned above. The grounds and gardens are dog-friendly, though the Palm House and Palace Museum are not. It costs 5,00 EUR to visit the park, except in the winter months when it’s free… though you likely won’t want to spend much time outside.
Enjoy the Christmas markets
If you do happen to be visiting during December and into the first week of January, you and your dog will also enjoy Dresden’s numerous Christmas markets. Full of delicious treats and boozy drinks, you can partake in a little Christmas cheer at the Christmas market at the Frauenkirche or Augustusmarkt, but by and large, the best Christmas market in Dresden is Striezelmarkt, which also happens to be the oldest in Germany.
Pet-friendly restaurants in Dresden
We had an easy time finding restaurants that were not only dog-friendly, but highly rated. If you’re visiting in the summer, you have even more options as terraces and outdoor dining open up the availability of pet-friendly eateries in Dresden. But even in the middle of winter, you and your pooch can eat indoors at many restaurants and cafes. These are just a few of them:
This themed restaurant gets high marks for not only being dog-friendly, but having a menu for dogs. Our dog enjoyed high-quality dog food and a dental stick while we dined.
Since this is such a trendy brunch spot in Neustadt, you and your dog will probably need reservations.
This restaurant may be touristy, but its warm and traditional Bavarian interior is welcoming to people and pets. They also have a large buzzing terrace in the summer.
This café is in the square between the Zwinger and the Opera House, which gives you and your dog a perfectly beautiful place to rest while you sightsee.
With plenty of good food and drink and no shortage of green spaces, Dresden is one of the most fun and beautiful cities in Germany you can visit with your dog.
Get the GPS-guided version of this and other Dresden guides on GPSmyCity here.