Germany is known for its relaxed attitude towards nudity; most German saunas are nude and co-ed, topless sunbathing at swimming pools is pretty common, and you'll find many designated nude beaches where you can sun your buns.
If you want to follow the traveler's golden rule “When in Germany, do as the Germans do” and visit a clothes-free beach, look out for signs with the three letters FKK.
FKK stands for Freikoerperkultur ("free body culture"), the practice of nudism that originated in Germany at the end of the 19th century.
Nudism in Germany - FKK:
The purpose of nudism (or naturism) is non-erotic and non-sexual; any sexual activity on a FKK beach is illegal. Nudism rather aims to promote a free and healthy lifestyle close to nature and helps to create relaxation and a positive body image.
You might find more nudist areas in the East of Germany; nudism was very popular during the East German regime, when taking off your clothes was an expression of freedom and a personal protest against the confines of the communist state.
Nude Beaches - What to Expect:
Nude beaches in Germany are co-ed, and you will see many families here – from the toddler to the grandmother, everybody gets naked. The atmosphere on a nude beach is generally relaxed and family-friendly.
At a FKK beach, feel free to sunbathe and swim in your birthday suit, as well as enjoy other activities without the burden of your clothes, like playing volleyball and basketball, or renting a boat. Some beaches at the ocean offer saunas, and there are also nudist campgrounds where you can go camping sans clothing.
Nudism in Public Parks:
Although nudism is mostly practiced at German nude beaches and lakes, you can sometimes find nude areas in public parks.
A famous example is the Englische Garten in Munich, where you'll find naked sunbathers on the lawn called Schoenfeldwiese.
In Berlin’s biggest public park, the Tiergarten, you will also find various areas where sunbathing in the nude is allowed.
Rules, Etiquettes, and Tips for Nudism in Germany:
- Be considerate of others and respect their privacy - Don’t stare, and don’t take photos unless you ask for permission
- Strictly no sexual activity on a nude beach; it is illegal and goes against the ideas of nudism
- Don't forget to dress when you leave a nudist area
- In saunas, it's a good practice to bring a towel to sit on
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