8 Activities

Dogs are the best of friends. They do us good and are therefore gladly taken along when it goes to the mountains or on an excursion in nature. To make it a little more varied for you and your dog, we present here ideas where you can travel with your four-legged friend.

By the way, assistance dogs are not meant here. If you have an assistance dog, you can take him almost everywhere where dogs are not allowed.

At the end of the article you will find important information for entering the country with your dog from abroad.

On this page of Switzerland Tourism dog-friendly hotels in Switzerland are listed, if you are traveling with your dog for more than one day at a time.

Traveling on public transport with a dog

In general, your dog is allowed to travel free of charge up to 30 cm in height. The condition is: he must be placed in a suitable basket, transport box or other animal-friendly container. And it must not occupy or block its own seat.

A ticket is required for all other dogs. And once a smaller dog is not (no longer) in the container, he also needs his own ticket. As a general rule, you pay half price for him in the class in which you are traveling. Alternatively, your animal companion travels with the Dog Pass or the Dog Day Pass.

As soon as you travel with several means of transport (train, streetcar, boat, post bus and buses) on one day, the dog day ticket is worthwhile. It costs CHF 25 and is valid in the class in which you travel with your valid ticket.

The dog pass is issued per month or per year and is worthwhile if your dog is constantly traveling with you. It is registered in the dog owner's Swiss Pass.

HundHund und Bus (Foto: pixabay)
HundHund im Wald (Foto: unsplash)

With the dog on the mountain

There are some differences when it comes to mountain railroads. Funiculars run on rails and usually transport dogs according to rules similar to those for other forms of public transportation. For cable cars and chairlifts, your dog often needs a ticket at the children's rate or the dog rate. We list some cable cars for you. In any case, it is advisable to research or ask before your trip.

Travelling with your dog in the Jungfrau region

In the Jungfrau region you can travel cheaply with your dog. Only on the route Eigergletscher - Jungfraujoch and back you pay CHF 30.

Dogs are transported free of charge on the following 9 routes in the Jungfrau region:

The Schynige Platte is the starting point for a very popular and challenging hike with lots of views. It takes about six hours to reach Grindelwald First. You will find the moderately difficult hike signposted as hiking trail no. 62.

Hund FreundHund (Foto: unsplash)
HundSchynige Platte (Foto: Jungfraubahnen)

From Engelberg on the way to the mountains with the dog

In the area around Engelberg you will find several cable cars and chair lifts.

Titlis: Dogs from a shoulder height of 30 cm pay for the train rides:

  • Engelberg - Titlis
  • Engelberg - Trübsee
  • Trübsee - Jochpass
  • Jochpass - Engstlenalp
  • Engelberg - Gerschnialp

Brunni: Dogs always pay for the train rides:

Fürenalp: Dogs always pay for the train rides:

Easy yet beautiful hikes are around the Trübsee or at Brunni from the Härzlisee down to the Ristis mountain station.

Around the Trübsee you walk 3.2 km in about one hour. Also for the way from the Härzlisee to Ristis you need about one hour. At Fürenalp the Grotzliweg (3.4 km, 1.50 h) is easy to walk.

Mountain railroads that transport dogs free of charge

  • Jungfrau Railways: all mountain railroads in the Jungfrau region (only exception: Eiger Glacier - Jungfraujoch is subject to a charge)
  • Scuol mountain railroads: Motta Naluns
  • Samnaun mountain railroads
  • Mountain railroads Flims Laax
  • Corvatsch and Diavolezza mountain railroads: Corvatsch, Furtschellas, Diavolezza
  • Brienz Rothorn cable car: 1 dog per person travels free of charge
  • Furka Steam Railway
  • Gstaad mountain railways
  • Glacier 3000 mountain railroads: not allowed on ski slopes
  • Gornergratbahn
  • Matterhorn Zermatt mountain railways
  • Rigi cable cars
Hund WandernWandern mit Hund (Foto: Pexels)
Hund Wandern WinterSchneeschuhwandern in der Refuge Solalex (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus)

With the dog on the ship

You can take your dog on all scheduled ships in Switzerland. Most of the time the regulations of the public transport apply:

  • You may take dogs up to 30 cm instep height free of charge. However, your dog must be in a suitable basket or in an animal-friendly bag. He must also not block a seat of his own.
  • All other dogs require a dog ticket.

The dog day ticket as well as the dog GA of the SBB are also valid on the normal course ships. Dogs are not always allowed in the restaurant and special boat trips with food do not tolerate four-legged friends. We show you below how the individual shipping companies in Switzerland deal with this.

13 shipping companies in Switzerland and their dog regulations

Sea/River Society Specials
Rhine Basler Personenschifffahrt Dogs travel free
Lake Constance Lake Constance Navigation not allowed for themed excursions
Lake Biel BSG not allowed on events
Lake Geneva CGN SA
Lago Lugano SNL
Lago Maggiore Navigazione Lago Maggiore
Lake Neuchâtel and Murten Société de navigation lacs de Neuchâtel et Morat
Lake Thun and Lake Brienz BLS Dogs are allowed inside and in the restaurant (scheduled boats)
Lake Untersee and Rhine URh
Lake Lucerne SGV not allowed for themed excursions
Walensee Walensee Schifffahrt Dogs travel at half price
Lake Zug Lake Zug Navigation not allowed for theme excursions
Lake Zurich ZVV

On the Walensee with the dog

By the way, Lake Walen is a good destination for dog owners. You can walk here with your dog wonderfully over the meadows, partly also without leash. But you should keep to the usual rules: When you pass cows, be sure to keep your distance, there is always a leash requirement on huts and, of course, you have to take your pet's droppings with you. In the woods it is compulsory to be on a leash everywhere.

In Weesen you will find an unofficial dog beach at the Walensee. The beach consists of sand and gravel and is located behind the Gäsi beach. A hiking trail takes you from the parking lot at the camping site through the forest directly to the beach.

Swiss Activities Tip: You can combine a hike to the small car-free village of Quinten on Lake Walen with a boat trip.

Hund Ligerz BielerseeLigerz oberhalb vom Bielersee (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus, Lorenz Richard)
Hund Murg am Walensee  Murg am Walensee (Foto: Heidiland Tourismus)

Taking the dog to the zoo or animal park

Many zoos and animal parks do not allow dogs to be taken. Dogs might worry the animals too much. However, some zoos or animal parks have areas where dogs are allowed, sometimes for free.

14 Areas in zoos or zoological gardens that may be entered with dogs

Zoo Place Areas where dogs are allowed
Arosa Bärenland Arosa Visitor platform, on leash
Bear Park Bern on a leash
Tierpark Lange Erlen Basel all ways
Animal Park Langenthal Langenthal Zoo
Walter Zoo Gossau, St. Gallen at the zoo on a short leash
Wildpark Brienz Brienz on a short leash
Wildpark Bruderhaus Winterthur on a short leash
Wildpark Peter und Paul St. Gallen game park on a short leash
Wildpark Roggenhausen Aarau all ways, on a short leash, not recommended on weekends
Wildpark Heitern Zofingen on the leash
Wildpark Mühletäli Starrkirch-Wil (Solothurn) on the leash
Wildnispark Zürich Langenberg Langnau only part Langenberg East, on the leash
Zoo Bern Bern in the admission-free part of the zoo, on the leash
Zoo John's little farm Kallnach, Bern all ways, on the leash
Hund Bärenpark BernBärenpark Bern (Foto: unsplash)
Hund TierparkTierpark (Foto: Pexels)

To go to the museum with the dog

Going to the museum with your dog is generally only possible at open-air museums. Only guide dogs are excluded. In open-air museums dogs must walk on a (short) leash.

6 Museums that may be entered (outside) with dogs

Museum Location Special
Open-Air Museum Ballenberg Hofstetten bei Brienz historical buildings and craftsmanship
Open-Air Museum Antonini Quarry Wassen (Uri Alps) Quarry from the time of the construction of the Gotthard Railway
Open-air museum Mendrisio Mendrisio historic villages in the Muggio valley
Urchigs Terbil mountain village Törbel (Vispertal) historic mountain village
Village lacustre de Gletterens Gletterens replica of a Neolithic farm (pile dwelling) on historic site
Ballyana Schönenwerd Industrial history of the Schönenwerd region
Hund BallenbergBallenberg (Foto: Ballenberg)
Hund BallenbergBallenberg (Foto: Ballenberg)

Dog runs and free running zones

Dog runs are not only used for romping around. Dog training sessions often take place here as well. You should therefore better briefly find out when it is free and you can actually use it.

16 locations for dog runs in Switzerland

Dog park Location Information Costs
Dog Free Area Losone Losone, Ticino area parallel along the Maggia river, registration required about municipality of Losone
Eulachpark Winterthur Winterthur fenced area, registration required single ticket or subscription
Dog meadow Allmend Lucerne open around the clock none
Allmend Brunau grass sports facility Zurich park with free-walking zone for dogs none
Horburgpark Basel Park with free-walking zone for dogs none
Churchillquai Lucerne 5000 m² free running zone and dog bathing area, info Churchillquai none
Dog Free Area Ellighausen (TG) Kemmental 10000 m² free area reservation at SinTakt AG subscription or by time
Dog Run Zurich Unterstrass Zurich 0.1 ha large park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog park Zurich Werdwies Zurich 0.1 ha park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog park Zurich Aussersihl Zurich 0.1 ha park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dietikon dog park Dietikon 0.2 ha park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog park Sempach (LU) Sempach Park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog park Thierachern Thierachern 0.1 ha park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog park Hasle Burgdorf 0.1 ha park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog run Monthey Monthey 1.8 ha park with free running zone for dogs none known
Dog park Vevey Vevey 0.1 ha Park with free running zone for dogs none known

This list is by no means complete. Besides, such locations can change quickly. So please check in advance if the dog run or free run zone really still exists.

Visit a cave or a gorge with the dog

The Höllgrotten refer to stalactite caves in the Lorzentobel in Baar near Zug. The stone formations, which were created over millions of years, awaken the imagination. The illuminated caves seem downright fairytale-like. Dogs are allowed here and may come along for free. However, there is understandably a leash obligation.

You may also visit the St. Beatus Caves at Lake Thun with your dog. The dragon has long since been driven away, so it will be an idyllic walk. On the way to the cave you will pass a thundering waterfall. You can get here by boat. The BLS boat station is Beatenbucht Sundlauenen. From here you need about 20-25 min for the ascent to the cave entrance.

The Glacier Gorge Grindelwald also allows dogs. They are allowed free of charge. Rock walls rise up to 300 m in the gorge. Special light conditions provide special effects.

Traveling to Switzerland with your dog

If you come to Switzerland from abroad, you can bring your dog without major problems. Among other things, the following points are important:

  • valid rabies vaccination (at least 21 days before crossing the border)
  • responsible person for the trip (no change of owner planned) with EU pet passport
  • dog has microchip or other identification

Nevertheless, please inform yourself thoroughly about the entry regulations to Switzerland in advance.

Here are some sources you can make good use of:

Rent a dog

Yes, in Switzerland you can borrow a dog. 😃 The St. Bernard dog is a special landmark of Switzerland. He has been bred since the Middle Ages in the hospice of the Augustinian canons on the Great Saint Bernard.

At that time the dog carried loads, later it was also trained and used as an avalanche search dog. By appointment nowadays you can borrow a St. Bernard for a hike in the border area between Switzerland and France.

Hund BernhardinerGrosser St-Bernard Bernhardiner (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus)
Hund Escholzmatt Wiesners Waldkueche Escholzmatt Wiesners Waldkueche (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus)