Dog-friendly beaches at the seaside, parks in the cities, a holiday home with a dog run: most of Germany's holiday regions are pet-friendly – you just need to follow a few rules.

Sometimes dogs also need a holiday: to run through the woods and roll in a meadow, splash in a secluded lake or chase a ball on the beach! Dogs are welcome guests throughout Germany's holiday regions – on the coast of the Baltic and North Sea, for instance. Most of the Frisian Islands have beaches especially for our four-legged friends, usually away from popular bathing areas.

Beaches, low mountain ranges and mudflats

Otterndorf: The tidelands guide Julia Kobsch with her dog on the tidal flats Otterndorf: The tidelands guide Julia Kobsch with her dog on the tidal flats ©DZT (Jens Wegener)

You will find more than 15 dog-friendly beaches on Sylt alone. Many islands and seaside resorts have established dog runs and dog parks, and a lot of restaurants offer a water bowl and dog biscuits for our four-legged guests. Just keep in mind that many regions, such as the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site, require dogs to be kept on a lead. You are welcome to take your pet along on a guided tour of the mudflats.

Enjoy greater freedom outside the main tourist season, when dogs are permitted to romp on beaches that are otherwise off limits. That's when they can really kick up the sand and explore every nook and cranny. Low mountain ranges and alpine regions are equally as exciting, offering plenty of opportunities for longer walks with your dog.

City trip with your four-legged friend

City shopping in St. Pauli City shopping in St. Pauli ©Adobe Stock (Westend61)

A trip to the city is just as easy, for instance to Berlin, which is considered very dog-friendly. Many parks have dedicated dog runs, your pet can ride along on tour boats and if you buy a day pass, your best friend rides the underground free of charge. Dogs can also run free in most parks in Hamburg . If you want to meet other dog owners, taking a walk on the Elbstrand beach is your best bet.

You will find pet-friendly accommodation in all of Germany's holiday regions. Many hotels allow dogs in the room – sometimes for a small additional fee – and they are permitted in most restaurants if they know how to behave themselves. Perhaps you prefer the privacy of a private apartment or holiday home? Many have their own garden with a run for pets.

Practical tips: microchip, vaccination and dog licence

A few formalities must be observed to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the way to your holiday destination. Your furry friend must have a microchip, needs to be vaccinated against rabies (at least 21 days before the start of your trip) and requires a valid EU vaccination card – this is checked in particular if you are travelling by air. A few breeds that are considered dangerous cannot be brought into the country.

If you are travelling by rail with Deutsche Bahn, you dog needs their own ticket – available at half price. On the other hand, a dog in a carrier is considered carry-on baggage and rides free of charge. Larger dogs must wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead. Everything taken care of? Let the holiday begin!