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I've learned it's practiced to sunbathe naked in public parks in Germany. But also in some parts of some parks.

What are the general legal regulations about naked sunbathing in public parks in Germany? I know that German laws tend to be quite fluid in some areas, but what are the rules of thumb I should comply with as a tourist not knowing the local specifics, to avoid conflict with local laws?

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You should try this in Saudi Arabia man. Rules here are ok with this... hahahahahahahaha –  MeNoTalk Jul 11 '13 at 1:10
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There's a probably designated area for that so get ready to be surrounded by old naked dudes. –  user7472 Jul 11 '13 at 5:41
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Come to Munich The tourism office is officially concerned about the increasing lack of nude sunbathers, causing disappointment among tourists who've read about it in their tavel guide. And yes, most of the remaining nudists are old-timers. –  Michael Borgwardt Jul 11 '13 at 13:00
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@MichaelBorgwardt: Now that you mention it...it really seems to be a problem with 30-. I have already seen some men using the shower in the public swimming pools with bathing trunks on.... –  Thorsten S. Jul 11 '13 at 14:05
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It really depends on the locality. The 'English Garden' in the center of Munich actually has a specific area for FKK. –  Andrew Jul 12 '13 at 11:03
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The current law in Germany divides between

  • Exhibitionism (§183 Abs. 1): Only applicable to men (!), there was in fact a constituitional complaint which was rejected by the highest court in Germany. The targeted person needs to feel bothered and the exhibitionist must display a sexual pose (erection, sudden exposure, display before minors). Punishable with 1 year prison or hefty fine, the person must be also diagnosed by a expert witness. Probability: nil.

  • Erregung öffentlichen Ärgernisses (§183a, public indecency): Everything with sexual content which is not exhibitionism, also applicable to women. Also punishable with 1 year or hefty fine. Probability: very low, the problem is how you define "sexual behavior". A verdict of the highest court in Bavaria excludes especially pure nakedness from public indecency.

  • Störung der Allgemeinheit (§118, Disorderly conduct). This will be the law which will be encountered at the worst case. Fine between 5 - 1000 €, most likely something between 30-100 €.

Now to the specifics and local customs. Naked sunbathing at the beach is accepted. Either there are signs explicitly forbidding it or FKK beaches where you must be naked. Sunbathing in the park is a gray zone. Some parks like the Englische Garten (English garden) in Munich, nearly all parks in Berlin (Charlottenburg, Tiergarten etc.) are used by nudists. That there are some zones in some parks is simply because you want to be with other people, everyone knows what to expect and you have no problems if some idiot starts to complain.

If you choosing a place which is far away (30 m) from the paths or you see other naked people, I do not see a problem with naked sunbathing in a park. If you are very unlucky, some lockjaw turns up and complains or call the police. Because the police is bugged with these kind of complaints, they will normally turn up, give you the wiggled finger ("Please do not do this again and leave the park") and leave. Do not resist and search another park. If on the other case they do not turn up, this is a clear sign.

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So you suggest try block with catching NudityNotAllowedException? :) –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jul 11 '13 at 16:10
    
Yes. If you keep yourself apart, you show your intent that you do not want to disturb anyone and you want to preserve your privacy. You want simply sunbathing. If then someone balks...you can meet these kind of people everywhere...shrug. The police itself, if called, is only interested to maintain its authority, so what will likely happen is a simple warning without recourse if you remain polite. –  Thorsten S. Jul 11 '13 at 19:32
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Well to be honest this depends.

There are special "FKK" areas at German beaches and parks.

In general as a male you can go topless nearly everywhere. As a female you can go topless in parks or at beaches but if somebody feels disturbed he can report you and you may get banned from a certain area.

I am talking about places for sunbathing. If you go naked on public transit I guess there will come some nice guys with white jackets for you.

Here is a link where most of the places are listed. You may need the German names of the places you want to go:

http://www.nacktbaden.de/22-0-fkk-in-deutschland.html

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Actually, in Munich it's a widely told story that back in the 70s when FKK as a Hippie thing got big in Munich, naked people would swim down the Eisbach creek and take the tram to get back. Even though they were naked and not paying, people eventually got used to it and even the police stopped bothering. –  Michael Borgwardt Jul 11 '13 at 13:17
    
i would say this is special occasion ;-) but to be fair in general if nobody reports you - you can be naked your whole life but anyway i don't believe we Germans are so open minded ;-) –  Paul Jul 11 '13 at 13:22
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You may precise that FKK areas means nudist areas. –  Vince Jul 11 '13 at 13:29
    
I used to love living in Munich - very chilled out sunbathing (and surfing!) –  Rory Alsop Jul 11 '13 at 22:07
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It's a matter of state-level and local regulations. For Bavaria, the Badeverordnung says:

  • Who bathes publically must wear bathing clothes. This includes sunbathing.
  • "public" means publically accessible or visible without special effort. (i.e. including your own backyard if visible from the street)
  • Exceptions are:
    • Children up to 6 years old
    • places where people can reasonably assume that they will not be seen (i.e. in the middle of nowhere).
  • Commmunities can designate areas where nude bathing is allowed provided that these areas are marked as such, the owner agrees and there are enough other public bathing opportunities in the vicinity.
  • If you bathe without bathing clothes you can be fined.

The second to last part is where "some parts of some parks" comes in.

I tried to find similar regulations for other states, but it's proving difficult. There are websites like http://www.nacktbaden.de that list places where nude bathing is allowed, but this is not authoritative information. This isn't considered a big problem, though; as Thorsten S. writes the worst thing that is likely to happen is that someone complains and you get asked to put on clothes by the police.

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So theoretically, such places as English Garden in Munich should be designated areas, but are they? –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jul 11 '13 at 16:16
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@Łukasz Lech: Here's the official designation of the Munich city administration: muenchen.de/rathaus/Stadtverwaltung/Kreisverwaltungsreferat/… - there may be signs but I've never noticed them. There are definitely signs for the areas on lakes around Munich. –  Michael Borgwardt Jul 11 '13 at 19:54
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You should just go where other people are already sunbathing naked, and you are good. Personally I have not seen people sunbathing naked in inner-city parks so I would advice against it; but it is common in or near public pools (one pool in the town i used to live in had an all-nude day once a week), lakes, some campsites or the beaches sea; but they usually have designated nude and non-nude areas with signs in place.

I don't think people would get offended or "feel disturbed" as Michael pointed out. Nudity is quite common on TV, billboards and advertising, so it's nothing exceptional or unexpected.

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OK but it's what I'm asking for: how to find out where people are sunbathing without clothes / where it is allowed? As a tourist you don't have so much time to find it out :) –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jul 12 '13 at 5:05
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