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Naked Germans at Saunas, Whirlpools and Nude Beaches

What German tourists enjoy? German tourists love to get naked at home and when visiting the world. Tourists in Germany can join in but have to follow some important rules.

The Nazis tried to root out nudism, and so did the Communists. All of this didn’t work. Germans love to get naked, especially when traveling. When people walk down the beach naked, it allows them to feel a little rebellious.

At nudist resorts, naked bodies floated on top of the water in the saline pool and lounged on submerged seats around the pool bar. They lined up for ice cream in the garden area, wearing only flip-flops and sun hats and, in one case, a T-shirt (but no trousers).

Nudists are ubiquitous enough that the practice has entered the national psyche. Most Germans find it totally normal to be naked in the sauna, see bare breasts on the beach and naked children in the paddling pool.

Sometimes foreigners not familiar with the unwritten rule to get naked in a Sauna will earn bad comments from fellow hotel guests. This happened to eTN reporter at the Hyatt Regency in Cologne, when German guests demanded he would undress when entering the Sauna.

A former US ambassador to Germany was once shouted at by a naked German for not taking off his swimming shorts in a whirlpool.

Although there are nudists around the world, no other country has developed a mass nudist movement. The first nudist congress in New York was organized by a German immigrant. German nudists also tried to colonize pockets of South America.

A few years ago, the German beach resort of Ahlbeck on the Baltic Sea agreed to move its nudist beach 200 meters westward, away from the border with Poland, to stop irritating Polish beach-goers. In theory, the border was invisible after Poland joined the European Union. In practice, there was a neat divide between (Polish) swimwear and (German) skin.

Bikinis, the argument went, sexualize the body. Nudism is about the cult of the natural. German experts think getting naked on a nude beach is the most unerotic thing in the world.

It’s also educational to understand  “The perfect body does not exist.”

Other tourism destinations in Europe are asking: Can Croatia bring nudist tourism back? 

More on tourism to Germany visit