Scandinavians are an open-minded lot, and this includes Swedes. Many Swedes like to swim or sunbathe in the nude, so you'll find a number of nude beaches or topless sunbathers throughout the country. Nudism in Sweden is nothing unusual, and Swedes make it clear that the purpose of nudism and naturism is strictly non-sexual. One prejudice is that Sweden is all about sex with regards to nudism, but that is incorrect.
This closed-minded prejudice likely stems from Swedish schools' teaching sex education to young students. Swedes, however, are taught to be respectful of the human body.
Though Swedes are generally liberal when it comes to nudity, there are quite a few rules—both official and unspoken—to follow when you're planning on stripping down. For instance, it's not acceptable to be naked just anywhere in Sweden. But there are designated public places where it's actually expected for you to be naked, such as in saunas or in swimming areas near saunas.
As for beaches, 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. Though you're absolutely welcome to cover up on a nude beach if you so desire.
If you want to visit a dedicated nude beach in Sweden, you can find the one closest to your destination by checking maps of nude beaches. It might also be wise to ask your hotel concierge or a local about where the nearest nude beaches are—some are not well-publicized online.
There are some exceptions to the unspoken rule of only going nude at designated beaches—if you're in a secluded area, perhaps one way out in the interior of Finland, it's legal and acceptable to go swimming or sunbathing in the nude.
It's also acceptable to sunbathe nude on your own balcony or in your backyard, as long as you aren't purposefully doing so to offend the neighbors.
At the end of the day, going nude in Sweden is all about being respectful of others. If you're a visitor, it's best to listen to the advice of locals before taking your clothes off. Or you can simply stick to being nude at one of the popular nude beaches in the country, where it's always permissible to strip down.
Popular Nude Beaches in Sweden
These nude beaches are especially popular with locals and tourists alike. Some have facilities like restaurants or snack kiosks (most people dine clothed) and bathrooms, while some are simply barren stretches of sand where you can bare it all.
- Ågesta Nude Beach in Stockholm
- Tullan Nude Beach in Södertälje/Stockholm
- Svärdsön Nude Beach in Stockholm-Saltsjöbaden
- Säbyträsk Nude Beach in Stockholm-Vaxholm
- Truvebadet Nude Beach in Lidköping
- Mollön Peninsula in Uddevalla
- Smitska Udden Nude Beach in Gothenburg
- Ramsöbadet Nude Beach in Mönsterås
- Tallparksbadet Nude Beach in Öregrund
- Herrfallet Nude Beach in Arboga