Nudism and Clothing-Optional Beaches in Scandinavia

Winter/ice swimming in the glacier pond in the glacier cave underneath the Nigardsbreen, Jostedalsbreen Simone Stibbe swimming in glacial cave lake.
Guttorm Flatabø/dittaeva/ Creative Commons License

Nudism in Scandinavia is nothing unusual. After all, Scandinavia—comprised of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden—is the most open-minded region in the world. It's perfectly legal in Scandinavia for nudists to swim naked, or to sunbathe either topless or completely in the nude. 

Nudism in Scandinavia

Scandinavian travelers interested in nudism can find beaches quickly on the maps of nude beaches sorted by country. In Denmark, nudism is allowed on 4,500 kilometers of coastline and there are four "free beaches" dedicated to naturists only. Norway has more than 20 clothes-free beaches, and Sweden offers about 60 CO (clothing optional) beaches for nudists! Signs are often used to inform beach visitors about nude-only or CO beaches. It's nice that those areas are freely available or marked, depending on where you go — instead of outright forbidden like in some other regions.

Nudism in Denmark

Nudists love Denmark for its many clothing optional beaches. In fact, most of the beaches along Denmark’s 7,000 kilometers of coastline are clothing-optional. Nudism in Denmark is so acceptable, you can count on signs being posted should a beach require you to remain clothed (such as at Holmsland Klit in West Jutland and Henne Strand). However, if a Danish beach is not a dedicated nudist beach, anyone without clothing has an obligation to show consideration for the sensibilities of other users by keeping a reasonable distance from them.

Denmark does offer several designated clothing-free beaches which are officially dedicated to nudists. These are located south of Marielyst at Bøtø Strand on the island Falster, at Albuen on the island Lolland, on Houstrup Strand (part nude and part clothed) north of Hennestrand, and at Sønderstrand on the Island Rømø. 

Nudism in Norway

Nudism in Norway is fairly common and widely accepted. There are about 20 declared nude beaches (called "free beaches") along Norway's coastline and fjords. Strandskog Nude Beach on the Bunnefjorden, the central portion of the Oslofjord in southeastern Norway east of the Nesodden peninsula, may be Norway's most popular nude beach.

Nudism in Sweden

If you're interested in going to a nude beach in Sweden, you're in luck. It's technically acceptable to sunbathe and swim topless no matter which beach you're on, but it's not by any means the norm. Most Swedes do cover up at more popular locations. That's why there's a number of designated nude beaches, where most bathers do go au naturel.

Safety Tips

Note that, while nudism in Scandinavia is acceptable practically anywhere, sexually offending indecent behavior or overt advances toward others are not and you can be fined if your actions towards others are found offensive, whether you're a nudist or not.

If you prefer to visit a beach area where clothing is required or recommended, there are numerous great sandy family beaches in Scandinavia.

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