We’ve been traveling around Europe with our Standard Poodle, James. Most of the trains in Europe are dog friendly. In fact, we haven’t found a train that wasn’t dog friendly yet.
I explain this in the video – but when you are researching train tickets online, you can’t seem to buy them once you add a “dog” or “hund” to your search terms. We couldn’t figure this out so we went and asked at the OBB train ticket office in Vienna. When you travel with your dog, you have to buy the tickets in person at the train station. I go into the office knowing exactly what date and time and train number I want and then I buy two tickets and one dog ticket.
So far, only one train has been sold out where there wasn’t an option for a dog ticket. And that was a night train from Vienna to Venice. When traveling on a night train with your dog, you have to book a private sleeper cabin. We have another blog post and video about taking the nightjet train with your dog, too. But on most other trains you just buy your tickets that day or a few days in advance and pick an open seat. There is usually an option to reserve a seat for a little extra but you don’t usually need that unless you are traveling on a busy date (holidays, some Fridays or Sundays).
And some trains do require you to reserve a seat – usually the high speed trains.
The local regional trains are even easier for traveling with your dog. Those tickets can be bought at a kiosk at the train station on the day you travel. Keep in mind most local and regional train tickets are open-ended (they aren’t for a set time and sometimes not even a set date) so you MUST validate the ticket using the machines on the platform. Otherwise you could get in trouble when the conductor checks your tickets – if your ticket isn’t validated, it is as if you don’t have a ticket at all.
We also travel with a muzzle for James. Some conductors will ask you to put your muzzle on your dog. It depends on the country. Almost everywhere in Austria required a muzzle and one train in Italy asked for us to put J’s muzzle on him.
You also need to have an EU pet passport for your dog. We haven’t been asked for this yet on a train (we also haven’t been asked for our passports on a train) but you do need to be prepared and have it if asked.