Getaways are great for resting the body, rejuvenating the mind, and soothing the soul. But if you have to leave your furry friends behind, it can somewhat spoil your fun. Not only do you miss them, but there is no doubt that they they miss you. Consider solving the problem by choosing to vacation in the laid back, pet friendly Netherlands. It is a great place to visit with a cat or dog.
The Netherlands has plenty of accommodations for both cats and dogs, and also green spots, holiday parks, even many restaurants, bars, and cafes that welcome dogs.
Pet friendly Accommodations in the Netherlands
I was amazed at the variety of dog-friendly accommodations in the Netherlands. Choices range from hotels, apartments, even houseboats. After much debate, my sweet dog Bella and I began our Netherlands getaway by checking into the very posh, yet dog-friendly Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, a 5-star Hyatt hotel. Upon entering our room, she was greeted with a jar of treats, a designer dog bed by Fatboy, designer bowls, and a bottle of mineral water. I was equally delighted by my queen bed canal view suite and loads of amenities. Bella cuddled up with me in the cozy reading chair by the window to enjoy the picturesque view and plan our itinerary together.
The Andaz was a splurge for me; however, one well worth it. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly stay with your pet in the Netherlands, check out the Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre a little over an hour away in Rotterdam. The pet-friendly 4-star hotel is right on the water at the foot of the Erasmus Bridge. You’ll have a choice of views from the Rotterdam skyline to a panoramic view of the bridge over the Maas. The rooms and suites are fully-equipped and comfy and start at €99 with a charge of €15 per night per pet. The hotel is within walking distance of the Witte de Withstraat where you’ll find great bars and restaurants with outdoor terraces that will welcome your four legged friend.
Houseboat rentals in the Netherlands are also pet-friendly, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful stay floating on the water. One that caught my eye is the Pantheos Romantic Houseboat. It’s near the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and next to the Jordaan with its hip pubs, eateries, and boutiques. The price to rent a houseboat can fall between budget and luxury.
Getting Around With Your Pet
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to the pet friendly Netherlands without some sightseeing. If you don’t want to leave your dog behind, no worries. While dogs aren’t allowed in the museums; they are almost everywhere else. Any sized dogs are welcome on buses, trams, and all public transportation systems, and they can travel for free except on trains which charge €3 a day for an all-day ticket unless your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier or ride on your lap. This is another reason why the Netherlands is a great place to visit with your pet.
Bella and I spent hours wandering along the laneways and historic canals in Amsterdam, which has always been on my European bucket list. I loved the gorgeous well-preserved old buildings, and this was one of the highlights of my trip. Although it’s common to see dogs roaming the streets, it’s best to keep them on a leash in unfamiliar territory. You’ll find plenty of room at parks and green spaces where your dog can get some exercise off-leash.
Dog-friendly Parks and Green Spaces in the Netherlands
On the second day of our journey, Bella and I took off for Vondelpark, the city’s largest park and the most famous one in the Netherlands. We felt right at home among the joggers and other dog walkers as we stopped to admire the statue of Vondel, one of my favorite poets, the cast iron music dome, and the historical pavilion. Bella was quite tired by the time we got back to the hotel, and it was time for a long nap for her. This gave me the chance to explore the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.
The next morning, we headed for Oosterpark in East Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful open green space with ponds, streams, and a sculpture garden. We ran into a little trouble here, though, because of the large population of grey herons which brought out the hunting instinct in Bella; so, this time it was me who napped away the afternoon.
Beatrix park in the Zuider Amster neighborhood was my choice for the next day. It’s a good way out of town, and the Metro ride was relaxing. The park was less crowded and quite lovely with beautiful gardens. Best of all, Bella got to swim in the canals, even if we got some odd looks from some of the locals.
Between the lovely green spaces, sightseeing, and dog-friendly cafes and bars, Bella and I had a ball in Amsterdam; but once the weekend came, it was time to leave the sights and sounds of the city behind and join my cousin Joost and his wife Hannah and their two kids from Alkmaar at a rental cabin at Park Westerkogge in Berkhout.
Park Westerkogge is one of many dog-friendly holiday parks scattered throughout the Netherlands. Near the North Sea, Lake Markermeer, and Lake Ijssel, it’s the perfect holiday park for water lovers. Joost keeps a boat moored at the jetties, and we were up for lots of swimming and fishing.
Park Westerkogge has great facilities for kids and adults. Bella loved playing on the grassy grounds with the kids, and the onsite restaurant serves fresh hot coffee every morning and marvelous a la carte dishes for lunch and dinner. There’s a terrace on the water where we could enjoy drinks and the sunset on the terrace.
We rented bikes and Bella trotted alongside us at a lively pace. There was no traffic to worry about. We enjoyed the heated outdoor swimming pool on the chilly evenings
Our dreamy vacation was over too soon, but Bella and I are already planning a return trip to the pet friendly Netherlands.
How to import your dog or cat to Pet Friendly Netherlands?
When entering the Netherlands with your pet from another EU Member State, your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and an EU Pet Passport. If your pet is not currently chipped or vaccinated for rabies, it will need to wait for 21 days before traveling.
When entering the Netherlands from the United States, Canada or another rabies-controlled country, your pet will need an EU health certificate instead of an EU Pet Passport.
Mike Jensen is addicted to both adventure and travel, so decided to combine the two to form TheAdventourist. There he shares his journey from one adrenaline rush to another, always exploring new places as he goes.