Dog parents looking to take their furry friend on vacation around Europe are welcome in a lot of major cities which have varying degrees of dog-friendliness. Perhaps one of the most dog-friendly is Prague. Traveling to Prague with a dog can be quite a treat for both you and your dog. What can you expect? Ample green spaces all over the city and dogs allowed pretty much everywhere.
Is Prague dog friendly?
Prague is one of the most dog-friendly capitals in Europe. Dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere people can go including restaurants and many of the city’s most famous sights. They can also ride public transportation and the country-wide train network without many restrictions.
Best of all, Prague is full of amazing parks where they can run around among vineyards, monuments, and gardens. Conveniently, you don’t have to choose between sightseeing and taking your dog to the park. Many of the city’s best viewpoints, like Letna Park, Petrin Hill, and Vitkov Hill are vast green spaces where you’ll relish your surroundings. You can even stop for a beer at one of the city’s popular beer gardens.
If anything, Prague is too dog-friendly, which poses some downsides. Over 40% of households in the Czech Republic include a dog. This means all those dog-friendly public spaces are full of other dogs (and sometimes domesticated cats out on walks). So if you have a reactive dog, you may find yourself struggling to avoid other dogs in parks, restaurants, and trams. Many dogs, though relatively well-trained, roam the city parks unleashed. So do keep that in mind if you’re traveling to Prague with a dog that doesn’t play well with others.
Riding Prague’s public transportation with your dog
Dogs in Prague are not only welcome on all public transportation; they’re welcome free of charge. Your pup can ride the underground metro, street trams, and city buses at no additional cost. However, on PID trains, which are regional trains that happen to pass through major train stations in Prague, you need to get your dog a 20 czk ticket. These are S or R trains. Especially if you have a bigger dog, you should board the transport car from the door that has a pictogram of a dog on it. This is also the area where people can bring strollers on board.
In order to ride public transport, your dog must be leashed and muzzled. The only exception to this rule is if your dog fits in a travel carrier. Is this strictly followed? Not exactly. You’ll likely see unmuzzled and unleashed dogs walking alongside their owners down into the metro or onto trams. Typically, it is up to the drivers’ discretion how to handle rule-breakers. You may be shamed in Czech over the loudspeaker or physically removed from the tram if your dog is unmuzzled. However, if you did have some kind of incident as a result of not following the rules, the consequences may be legal and/or financial.
Dogs are technically required to be leashed in public, including parks which are all dog-friendly. Some signs will indicate using handy wordless pictures whether a certain area requires leashing, allows unleashing, or forbids something like walking on the grass. Otherwise, you can pretty much take your pup to any park in the city and all associated establishments such as outdoor beer gardens.
Many locals unleash their dogs, but that’s only because most dogs in Prague are exceptionally well-trained and responsive to their owners. You’ll notice this is even the case in parks where dogs should be leashed. Since the law is relatively lax, it’s generally left to the owner’s discretion, which also makes the owner liable should anything happen while their dog is unleashed.
Pet-friendly activities in Prague
With the exception of museums, which aren’t a major draw for the city anyway, dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere you’ll want to see as a tourist. That’s because may of Prague’s sights are outdoors.
People visiting Prague for only a couple of days will probably visit four things: Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge. All of these are open-air and dog-friendly. Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square have a couple of museums that you can visit, but for the most part, people just go to see the architecture, watch the astronomical clock at the top of the hour, and maybe enjoy some of the outdoor food and beer stalls, especially when there are holiday markets, like around Christmas and Easter.
Prague Castle is a massive complex that you can visit for free and where you dog can roam the grounds with you as long as you don’t plan to visit any of the interiors (which require a paid ticket) or the gardens (which are closed half the year anyway).
Charles Bridge and the Vltava River are also great for you and your pup. The walk across the river is short and beautiful, and on either bank of the river, you’ll find bars, great views, and swans for your dog to chase after. Strelecky Island on the Vltava, which is only accessible by the Legion Bridge, also offers fun for you and dog. In the summer, there will be beer stands and festivals. In the winter, you can expect ice skating. Along the river, you can also rent paddleboats, which not only allow you to bring your dog, but also your own beer.
If you want more animal encounters than the 10-15 dogs you’ll see on a short walk to the park, you can even take your dog to the Prague Zoo. They must be leashed and are not allowed in the pavilions, only the grounds. They pay a reduced entrance fee, but it’s probably a small price to pay to see your dog’s reaction to an orangutan.
Even if you’re venturing out past the most popular Prague sights, you’ll find that many of them are parks or in parks, which is a great reason to travel to Prague with a dog.
Great parks in Prague for dogs
Though it’s well-known for its spires, Prague also has many grassy and forested hills where you can go for a good viewpoint and a cold beer. Just a few tram stops away from Prague Castle, you’ll find Petrin Hill, which is easily identifiable by its fake Eiffel Tower. The steep climb can be shortened by a funicular ride, but your dog will probably enjoy exploring the park on the way up the hill.
Vitkov Hill is a great place to see the city, including Old Town and Prague Castle, particularly during sunset. At the top of the hill, you’ll find a monument featuring Czech general Jan Žižka on a horse. This spot was also featured in the movie The Gray Man, which was largely shot in Prague.
Farther south along the river than most people venture is Vysehrad, a fortified castle that includes a medieval basilica and cemetery. The walk around the fort walls provides sweeping views of the city and the grounds are mostly green.
But perhaps the best view and the most enjoyable park in the city is Letna. Letna is a huge green space right on the Vltava that overlooks Old Town. It frequently hosts large events like Pride and Metronome Music Festival. But the biggest draw on your average day is the Letna Beer Garden, where you can kick back with the locals and enjoy a beer.
Other great parks in the city include: Riegrovy Sady, where you’ll find major football games being aired at the beer garden; Havlíckovy sady (better known as Grobovka) which has its own vineyard, grotto, and a couple of cafes and wine bars where you and your pup can stop for refreshments; Stromovka, a huge forested park with ponds, jogging trails, and picnic areas; and Divorka Sarka, a nature park that features a large gorge and many hiking trails and a pond for swimming.
Where to eat and drink with your dog in Prague
It’s probably simpler and faster to list the restaurants and bars in Prague where dogs are not allowed. In fact, some restaurants get slammed in reviews for not being dog-friendly. As a general rule, if a restaurant has an outdoor area, no one is going to mind if your dog comes along. They’ll probably even offer to bring them a bowl of water. But even if you’re looking to sit inside, most places around town are dog friendly. Just in case you need a leg up, here are some spots where you can wine and dine with your pup:
La Paisanita (located inside the municipal building of Prague 3, where dogs are also allowed)
Mr. Grey (also a dog groomer, so you can get your pup freshened up while you have a nice cocktail)
Again, this is just a short list to get you started, but the number of bars and restaurants that are dog-friendly is far greater. When in doubt, it never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no.
Dog sitting in Prague
Unless your dog is exceptionally well-adjusted, you probably shouldn’t leave them alone in some strange new place. In addition to being stressful for them, many hotels and Airbnbs forbid leaving pets unsupervised. If you happen to have some activity planned in Prague that is not dog-friendly, you can always find a sitter. The only downside is that many of the websites dedicated to matching sitters with dog owners require that you pay a fee to register or contact potential sitters. These sites include: Doginni, Hlidacky, and Pawz. You can also opt to board your pup at a dog hotel such as VIP Pets.
Vets in Prague
Given the high level of dog-ownership in Prague, there are vets everywhere. You don’t need to be registered to visit any local vet, so if you’re visiting Prague with a dog and he gets sick, you can pop into any vet office nearby. If you have an emergency over the weekend or overnight, there are a couple of 24-hour animal hospitals. These include: AAVet, Vetino Jaggy, and IVET.
Most of these are not located in city center, but can be reached on public transport or by ordering an Uber Pet. However, it’s not a bad idea to give them a call in advance to ensure they can see you before heading all the way over there.
Hopefully, your Prague visit involves a lot of fun puppy sightseeing and no reasons to see a vet.