Going nude is not an oddity in Austria. In fact, a quarter of the country reports that they have stripped in public on vacation at some point in their lives. Austrians have even taken the title of "Most Likely to Go Nude at a Beach" in 2016, with Germany and the United States following suit.
Although many consider Austrians to be a formal and rather conservative people, the extent of nudity in Austrian culture may surprise anyone who visits the nation. As in many European countries, nudity is more prevalent on television and films in Austria than it is in the United States, so there's not as much social stigma around going naked.
There is also a flourishing naturism movement in Austria. As in Germany, the free body culture, called freikörperkultur, has a large following. You're likely to see signs of it even if you're not looking for nudes; "FKK" (pronounced "eff-ka-ka") printed on a sign or stenciled on a wall or sidewalk indicates freikörperkultur or nudist areas. An FKK strand is a nude beach. However, look out for a sign that says verboten (e.g. "FKK verboten") which means forbidden!
If you're looking for some of the most popular FKK places to stay in Austria, there are many camping spots, beaches, and even hotels that can accommodate. Keep in mind almost all naturist lodgings are adult-only, so it's wise to leave the kids at home. Destinations include:
- Appartementhotel Rutar Lido is a naturist holiday village in Eberndorf (near Klagenfurt) in the Austrian Alps, near the Slovenian border. The property has a nudist beach, campsite, and winter camp with an indoor swimming pool.
- Gästehaus Lührmann claims to be the only naturist hotel in Austria. Clothes are mandatory while inside the restaurant and reception areas, but in the summer you can be naked in the swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, park, and terrace, and in the winter you can get naked in the swimming pool, sauna, and steam bath.
- Camping Pesenthein is a van and tent site with 220 slots on several terrace levels, each featuring a sweeping view of Lake Millstätter in central Austria.
- FKK Camping Sabotnik is a lakeside camping site in southern Austria. The site is in German, but it's easy to understand and has lots of pictures of the operation.
Nude Beaches and Naturism in Vienna
The capital of Austria has plenty of nude beach spots to check out. While not a sandy beach, the southeast Donauinsel in Vienna is right on the Danube and is a designated FKK nudism area. You can even dine nude if you choose.
It is completely safe to go nude in Austria as Austrians do not view nudism in a sexual way. The freedom to wear your birthday suit in public is seen as the natural way things should be, not sexual deviance. However, you will find most nudist places forbid people under the age of 16 from entering for obvious reasons. If you want to bring children to an FKK destination, check with the hotel or sauna before you book.