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Dogs on European trains

The rules around travelling with dogs on trains can vary hugely in Europe, hence this guide!

| Last Updated: 18 days ago
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Whether you want to

  • take your dog(s) on board trains in your home country,
  • or make an international European rail journey with your dog,
  • or will have taken your dog to a different country by car (ahem) and now want to make a scenic train journey
    what's good to know is that the 'rules' around taking dogs on trains can vary widely across Europe.

Tickets may or not be required; and if they are, they can be surprisingly expensive.
The rules also vary around the size of dogs; particularly whether they can or can't be transported into a pet carrier / basket
They also vary around whether dogs need to be muzzled when they are on the trains.

Though one thing which is universal is that no tickets or other special restrictions ever apply to guide dogs.

Other common-sense rules which are implied if they're not specifically stipulated are that dogs cannot travel in seats, they need to be in a carrier/ basket, or on a traveller's lap, or on the floor.

Austria

If you can transport a small dog in a pet carrier it is will be classed as hand luggage and no ticket will be required.

If your dog is too large to be taken in a pet carrier it will need to be muzzled and you will need to book a ticket.
The ticket price will vary according to distance travelled; Wien/Vienna ↔ Innsbruck = €6.80, Wien/Vienna ↔ Linz = €3.30

If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, it's best to book tickets in advance on the OBB booking service, OBB is the national rail operator in Austria.
The booking process is similar to booking travel with a bike, you need to add a dog to your ticket
You can't retrospectively add a dog ticket online to your booking, so if you decide to take a dog after you have booked a ticket online, you can buy a ticket for the dog at a station ticket counter.

Belgium

The 'rules' set by the Belgian national rail operator set by SNCB are that if a dog can be fitted in a pet carrier / container measuring no more than 30x55x30cm, no ticket will be required for the dog.
If it is too large for the container a 'pet supplement' ticket is required which has a flat rate of €3 for any journey within Belgium.
Dogs not in the containers do not have to be muzzled, but the conductor on the train apparently may request it.

Czechia

The 'rules' set by the Czech national rail operator CDm are that if a dog can be fitted in a pet carrier / container measuring no more than 90x60x40cm, no ticket will be required for the dog.

If it is too large for the carrier a ticket will be required, but you and the dog will only be able to travel in second class on trains operated by CD.
The ticket prices for the dog vary according to distance, with the prices ranging from CZK 15 to CZK 50.
The dog prices aren't discounted so if you want to save by booking in advance online for yourself, you can then buy the dog ticket from a ticket desk prior to boarding, or from the conductor on the train.

Dogs must also be muzzled on the train.

Denmark

The 'rules' set by the Danish national rail operator DSB are that if a dog can be fitted in a pet carrier / container measuring no more than 100x60x30cm, no ticket will be required for the dog.

if the dog is too large for the pet carrier, or if you don't want to put the dog in it, you will need to buy a child ticket for the dog; only one dog can be taken by each traveller.
Child tickets for those aged 12-15 typically cost around 50% of the adult rate for a journey, so the cheapest method of travelling long-distance is to add a child aged 12-15 when booking with DSB.

Also good to know is that dogs:

  • cannot travel in 1st class;
  • can only travel in the marked areas on the trains;
  • these areas do not include the quiet zones and Family zones on the trains.

The travel info on the DSB also suggests that if you will be travelling long-distance on a Lyn or IC express service that you should make a seat reservation for your dog, it won't be able to sit in it, but it is so that you can ensure that there will be a space in front of the seat on the floor of the train, for the dog to occupy.

France

On journeys by TGV and Intercités trains a flat rate fare of €7 is charged regardless of whether a dog is placed in a bag or basket, measuring 45 cm x 30 cm x 25 cm maximum, or is on a leash.
Though when looking up journeys on SNCF Connect, the nationally managed train booking service, on a few journeys the price was €11 for dogs on leashes.
This £7 fee also applies to the regional TER trains, except for journeys within these regions; Normandy, New Aquitaine, Pays de la Loire and South Region.

In Normandy if you haven't reserved, which isn't possible on most TER services, a dog weighing less than 6kg is charged at the €7 flat rate, but a dog weighing more than 6kg will be charged at half the adult rate. Unless a ticket with reservations has been booked for the 'Krono' services to/from Paris, because on these trains the dog can travel free of charge regardless of its size.
In Pays De La Loire if you place a dog weighing less than 6kg in a bag or basket there will be no charge, but dogs weighing more than 6kg will be charged at half the adult rate.
In New Aquitaine, the rate payable for travelling with a dog, regardless of whether it is in a bag/basket or on a leash, depends on the distance of the journey: from 0 to 43 kms = €2; from 44 to 80 kms = €4; for 81km and beyond = €7.
In Occitanie a dog weighing less than 6kg and placed in a bag/basket is charged at the €7 flat rate, but a dog weighing more than 6kg will be charged at half the adult rate.

General rules regardless of the train and region:

  • A maximum of two dogs per passenger (whether in baskets or on leashes)
  • Dogs on leashes must be muzzled
  • you must travel with the documents necessary for the dog's identification
  • Dogs in categories 1 and 2, can't be taken on trains

On Ouigo trains
For journeys by Ouigo services up to two dogs travel for free if they weigh less than 6kg and are placed in pet carriers no larger than 55cm x 35cm x 25cm.
Dogs weighing more than 6kg, or smaller dogs not placed in carriers, require tickets which have a flat rate charge of €15.

Germany

Small dogs which can be placed in pet-carriers can be taken on board any train as hand luggage and there is no charge for doing so.

Dogs which can't be fitted in carrier/container, because they are larger than a typical domestic cat, require tickets,
So when booking online for a journey by ICE or IC trains with DB, the German national rail operator, add a larger dog as 'a passenger'.
The price charged will be 50% of the adult rate
If you want to travel 1st class you will need a 1st class ticket for the dog.

However, most journeys by Regio trains are not available on the DB booking service, so if you will be taking these trains, you can book the ticket for you and the dog at a station ticket counter.

All dogs travelling on leashes must be muzzled.

Great Britain

SMTJ is often accompanied on trips around Britain by Pear the rescue dog SMTJ is often accompanied on trips around Britain by Pear the rescue dog

Up to two dogs can be taken on board by each passenger on any national train, no tickets are required and they don't need to be muzzled.

However, dogs cannot be taken at all on the international Eurostar services.

Italy

On the Trenitalia trains:

If you can take your dog in a container or basket measuring 70x30x50cm no ticket will be required, but tickets are required for larger dogs.
On the express, Frecce and Intercity trains operated by Trenitalia, the tickets cost 50% of the Adult 'Base' rate, which is the non-discounted rate for train journeys, but as the cheapest adult Super-Economy tickets can be discounted by more than 50%, the ticket for the dog may cost more than your ticket!
Dogs can be taken in any class on the trains as long as you and the dog both have the appropriate ticket.

Because the dog tickets can't be booked online and aren't discounted, you can buy your travel ticket in advance in order to save money, but can then buy the ticket for the dog at the station; or you can buy a ticket from the conductor when you are on the train.

On the Regionale (R and RV) trains a dog not in a basket will be charged at 50% of the adult rate.

On an all trains the dog must be muzzled.

On the Italo trains

Dogs weighing less than 5kg weighing can be conveyed in a pet carrier at no extra cost, but if your dog is larger, or you don't want to use a pet carrier for a small dog, a ticket will be required and the price varies by departure.

Norway

Trains in Norway are now operated by three different companies
Vy = trains on the Oslo <> Bergen route and regional trains to/from these cities
SJ Nord = trains to and from Trondheim including the trains on the Oslo <> Trondheim route
Go Ahead = trains on the Oslo <> Stavanger route.

On the trains operated by Vy:

Dogs with a shoulder height that exceeds 40 centimeters are charged 50% of the Non-Flexible ticket price.
On the Bergen Line you will get an extra seat so that the pet can stay on the floor by the window while you sit in an aisle seat.

There is no need to book tickets for dogs whose shoulder height is less than 40 cm as they accompany you free of charge. The pet must be placed on the floor at your feet and you will not get an extra seat. If you would like an extra seat to have more floor space, you can buy a pet ticket even though your pet has a shoulder height of less than 40 cm.

There is a limited number of spaces available for pets on each train departure. Spaces for pets are located in designated areas, so keep in mind that there may be several pets in the same area at any given time.

On the trains operated by SJ Nord:

Dogs with a shoulder height that exceeds 40 centimeters are charged 50% of the Non-Flexible ticket price
For routes with a seat reservation, you must add 'a pet' when booking regardless, of its height, so that you will then you will be allocated a seat in the section where animals are allowed
For the larger dogs that require tickets you will be allocated an extra seat to ensure floor space for your dog, but for dogs with a shoulder height of under 40 centimeters, you can opt to purchase an optional dog ticket (and take up to two dogs with a height of under 40cm), to give you this extra floor space.

The dog, regardless of size, must stay on the floor and cannot sit in a seat.

On the day trains dogs cannot travel in Premium, Premium Plus, the cafe wagon, the family wagon and in the animal-free zone in Standard class and dogs cannot be taken on the Sove night trains.

On the trains operated by Go Ahead:

Dogs with a shoulder height that exceeds 40 centimeters require a ticket.

For the larger dogs that require tickets you will be allocated an extra seat to ensure floor space for your dog, but for dogs with a shoulder height of under 40 centimeters, you can opt to purchase an optional dog ticket (and take up to two dogs with a height of under 40cm), to give you this extra floor space.

The dog, regardless of size, must stay on the floor and cannot sit in a seat.

Spain

Taking a larger dog (11-40 kg) on AVE trains Taking a larger dog (11-40 kg) on AVE trains

On the larga-distancia services

On the standard long distance express trains, the AVE, Alvia, Euromed and IC services, you can add a dog as an extra when making booking:
The flat rate prices, irrespective of distance and departure are:
Basic (second class) = €20
Comfort XL or Elige + Comfort tickets (first class) = €10
Premium Class = no charge

However, dogs can only be taken on board most of these larga-distancia services if they can travel in a container measuring no more than 60x35x35 cm and do not weigh more than 10kg.

If your dog weighs between 11kg and 40kg it can be taken on a few departures by AVE trains on routes between Madrid and Alicante, Barcelona, Valencia and Zaragoza.
These departures now have a dog paw symbol, when looking up a journey on the Renfe website.
Though you will need to select the more expensive 'Elige' tickets and the reservation fee for the dog is €35.~

Note that:

  • you can take smaller dogs which weigh up to 10kg on departures with no paw symbol,
  • you can't take dogs which weigh between 11kg and 40kg on any Alvia, Euromed or IC service,
  • the English translation implies that you will be reserving a seat for the dog, but you will be reserving a place on a special mat that will be placed on the floor in front of the seat,
  • you cannot use the seat selection service that's typically available when booking 'Elige' tickets.

On the media-distancia services

On the other trains operated by Renfe, including the Avant, MD and Regional-Express services, the dog can weigh more than 10kg and it doesn't have to be placed in a container.
For travel on these services it looks as though the dog ticket price will be 25% of the Adult rate.

Sweden

Booking space for dogs on SJ trains in Sweden Booking space for dogs on SJ trains in Sweden

On the trains provided by the national rail operator, SJ, up to two dogs can be taken on board for no additional cost, but on the express Snabbtag and IC trains, you and the dog(s) will need to travel in specific spaces on the train, which must be reserved in advance.
These spaces are in Second Class, you cannot travel with dogs in first class on any SJ train.
Though if you want more space, because your animals is large, you can purchase a ticket at the equivalent of the youth rate.

When booking the ticket for yourself you will need to select the 'Animals Allowed' option on the seating plan.

On other trains you will need to board the train into the specific marked areas.

Switzerland

If your dog is under 30 cm in height (up to their shoulder blades) and you travel with it in a basket or other suitable container, your dog may travel free of charge as hand luggage.

SBB is the national rail operator in Switzerland an it sells a Day Card for Dogs for travel with larger animals which costs CHF 25 and is valid for travel on any Swiss train and most public transport.
If you will be travelling with a first class tickets, the same Day Card for dogs can be used for first class travel,

The Netherlands

If a dog is small enough to travel in a bag, basket or on your lap, there will be no charge for it.
For larger dogs you need to purchase a Dog Day Ticket regardless of the train you will be taking and the distance you will be travelling, but they cost a reasonable €3.30.

International day trains

How dogs can taken on Europe's international trains can be an information vacuum, but one golden rule is that it must be micro-chipped; and this also applies to taking dogs from non E.U countries across internal and external E.U. borders.

The always excellent Seat 61 has a detailed guide to the requirements for taking a dog from the UK to the E.U, and back again.

The info on the national rail operator websites is referring to taking dogs on trains on journeys within those countries; though a logical conclusion is that the rules and tickets etc for the national journey will apply if the national operator is providing the international service; and if this service doesn't have any specific branding such as Thalys or Lyria (see below).

For example, German ICE trains operated by DB link Germany to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and The Netherlands, so if you want to take a dog on an international journey to and from Germany, you can book on DB as though you were making a national journey.
On the Railjet trains from Austria to Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Italy, book tickets on OBB, as though you were taking a national journey within Austria.

Or ask at the station and the station and book accordingly, most specific dog tickets aren't cheaper if you book them in advance, so often the most sensible approach is to buy your ticket in advance to save yourself money; and then buy the ticket for the dog at a station.
You'll be given advice and the necessary tickets to take you to your destination, but there are two key exceptions:
1: Dogs can't be taken at all on Eurostar services
2: Dogs weighing more than 10kg can't be taken on Spanish high speed trains, and that includes the RENFE-SNCF services from France to Spain.

if you will be crossing a border on a regional train keep in mind the rules in each country, for example dogs must be muzzled on Italian train journeys, but not in Switzerland, so after the trains has crossed the border into Italy, you'll need to apply a muzzle, if you didn't do so when boarding.

Though the European international trains with specific branding do have their own rules for dogs on their trains, so these have been included below:

Eurostar

Dogs cannot be taken at all on Eurostar services.

Seat 61 has provided a wealth of detail on the alternative options, which in summary include travelling with dogs on the cross-channel ferry crossings which allow them (most don't) and taking taxis from Folkestone to Calais, by using 'Le Shuttle' services.

Lyria

On the Lyria trains which travel between Paris and Switzerland, if you can contain your dog in a bag or closed basket no bigger than the maximum dimensions of 45 x 30 x 25 cm, tickets are price at a flat rate of €7.

For larger dogs travelling on a leash and which also must be muzzled for the entire journey and sat at your feet, tickets are a flat rate price of €20.

Tickets can be purchased from station travel desks or added to your booking if you use SNCF Connect.

Thalys

On the Thalys services which link Paris and Bruxelles with The Netherlands and north-west Germany, there is no charge for dogs which travel in containers no larger than 45 x 30 x 25 cm.

For other dogs tickets must be purchased on board from the Train Manager / conductor and they have a flat rate price of €30, the dog must be muzzled and travel on the floor or in your lap.

Night trains

The European night train services which have travelling with dogs policies are included below:

Dogs are not allowed in the couchette or sleeping cars on EuroNight services run by PKP (Polish State Railways), ČD (Czech Railways) and MÁV-START (Hungarian Railways).
They are also not permitted on domestic overnight trains within France, Italy and Norway.

Caledonian Sleeper

Caledonian Sleeper trains are available for overnight travel between London and various destinations in Scotland including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fort William, Glasgow and Inverness.

In common with day trains in Britain, up to two dogs can be taken on board if you will be travelling in a sleeping cabin, for a surcharge payment of £30.

European Sleeper

On the new European Sleeper service on the Bruxelles - Amsterdam <> Berlin route, dogs can be conveyed in the sleeping cabins, but you need to have booked the department for 'sole use'. Separate tickets for the dog aren't required.

Nightjet

Nightjet trains operate on these routes:

  • Wien/Vienna - Linz ↔ Paris
  • Wien/Vienna - Linz and Graz ↔ Zurich
  • Wien/Vienna - Linz ↔ Feldkirch - Bregenz (national route()
  • Wien/Vienna - Linz and Munchen/Munich ↔ Udine - Venezia/Venice
  • Wien/Vienna - Linz ↔ LIege - Bruxelles
  • Wien/Vienna - Linz and Innsbruck ↔ Koln/Cologne - Dusseldorf - Arnhem - Utrecht - Amsterdam
  • Wien/Vienna - Linz and Innsbruck ↔ Hannover - Hamburg
  • Wien/Vienna and Munchen/Munich and ↔ Firenze/Florence - Roma
  • Wien/Vienna and Munchen/Munich ↔ Verona - Milano - Genova - La Spezia
  • Wien/Vienna ↔ Pisa and Livorno (when travelling with a car)
  • Zurich - Basel ↔ Amsterdam, Berlin and Hamburg
  • Berlin ↔ Wien/Vienna - Graz

You can take a dog with you if it is muzzled and if you book an entire compartment; meaning a couple will need to book a double/two bed cabin and a solo traveller will need to book a single cabin.
Once you have secured your tickets and reservation you can pay for your dog’s ticket on the train, by telephone (by calling ÖBB customer service on 0043 5 1717) or at the ÖBB ticket offices.
Assistance dogs travel free of charge and do not require a muzzle
More info is available here.

Night Riviera

Night Riviera trains operate on a London - Plymouth - Cornwall route.

In common with day trains in Britain, up to two dogs can be taken on board if you will be travelling in a sleeping cabin, for a surcharge payment of £30.

Snälltåget

On the Snälltåget trains which operate on a Berlin - Hamburg <> Stockholm route dogs can be accommodated in a Private Compartment.
Select "I want to travel with pet" under where you specify your passengers and select price level "Djurkupé" (Pets allowed compartment).

SJ Night

The Swedish national rail operator SJ offers night trains on routes between Stockholm and Are*, Duved*, Hamburg, Malmo and Umea*.
*= also served by night trains to/from Goteborg.
Note that SJ does not provide the trains on the Stockholm <> Kiruna - Narvik route.

What is comparatively unusual is that SJ allows dogs to be taken on board the coaches with seats on its night trains.
You may bring with you two pets when travelling in 2nd class. You need to reserve a seat in the "Pets allowed" section of the train.

Dogs can also be taken in the couchettes if you book the entire compartment, regardless of many travellers will be making the journey.

How to reserve a "Pets allowed" couchette:
Fill in what stations you wish to travel between and your travel dates. Then enter promo code ANIMALS in the Add promo code field and continue to the next step.
If there are any pet compartments available the departure will be shown with a red price in the timetable.
You pay for all six bunks in the compartment automatically.
Continue your booking as usual and complete your order.

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This second version of ShowMeTheJourney is exciting and new, so we are genuinely thrilled that you are here and reading this, but we also need your help.

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