Many European travelers wish to visit Athens with their dog every year. Very few of them though dare to bring their furry little friend along. Is Athens a pet-friendly city, indeed? Well, it depends on the research a pet-owner has made before traveling!
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To answer the previous question, yes, Athens is an overall pet-friendly city with many pet-friendly cafes, restaurants and some very decent pet-friendly hotels. Veterinary hospitals and doctors are available 24/7 and, in a case of emergency, a veterinarian shall be available nearby your accommodation everywhere in Athens.
Here are some survival tips, practical rules and legal regulations about traveling with pets in Greece to help you enjoy Athens with your best friend.
Pet passports and health certificates
Traveling with pets in Greece is generally easier if you come from an EU country. As an EU national, you can freely travel with your cat or dog provided it has a European pet passport. This passport can be obtained from any authorized veterinarian and must mention details of the anti-rabies vaccination. The animal must also have an electronic microchip with the same code as in the pet passport. For more, check the EU regulation on traveling with pets.
If you are traveling with pets in Greece from the USA, more documentation and procedures are needed, including a rabies vaccination certificate of no less than 30 days and no more than 12 months old, a microchip, a good-health certificate from a vet within the last 10 days before coming to Greece, and more. The Greek Embassy in the USA has an analytic list with all pet documents required.
Pets on board
Airplane landing in Athens - credits: ivan bastien/Shutterstock.com
Greek air and ferry companies have special rules regarding traveling with pets in Greece. Generally, pet transportation in the cabin of the aircraft is allowed, provided that the pet is carried in a special case and is no larger than 8 kilos. If it weighs more than 8 kilos, then it can only be carried in the cargo part of the aircraft.
As for the Greek ferries, generally, small pets are allowed to travel only in open spaces (decks) as long as they are on a leash and upon the owner’s responsibility. For large pets and long trips, most Greek ferries have specially-designed pet cabins as well as a small number of kennels.
Public Transportation in Athens with your Pet
Metro station - credits: loveforshutter/Shutterstock.com
If your dog is under 10 kilos or fits in a 70X40X50 cage you can take it with you in Athens Metro, in buses, and in trains. However, your dog has to wear a leash and a muzzle unless they in a cage. Furthermore, they must be accompanied by their owner at all times and have a medical booklet and a microchip.
If your dog is more than 10 kilos or in case you need to take a taxi with your little friend, pet-friendly taxis are available everywhere in Athens. Some reliably pet-friendly taxis are: www.ipettaxi.gr, www.athenspettaxi.gr and www.taxibeat.com
If you are traveling with your little friends in Greece, it would be wise to ask your accommodation provider about their pet policy before making any hotel arrangements. Usually, most hotels do accept pets, especially if they are small. Nevertheless, this is not standard practice. Make sure you visit www.woofclub.gr, a travel agency dedicated to people traveling with pets, and book a reliable pet-friendly accommodation in Athens.
The key to visiting Greece with your pet is good planning. Learn about the rules and legislation, book a pet-friendly hotel, make a list of important phone numbers you must have with you in case of emergency and you're good to go!