The practice of nude sunbathing in Munich has been going on unofficially for years, at least since the 1960s (and as far back as the 1920s in other German locations like the island of Sylt). What better way to unwind from a busy day at the office than to take a mid-day snooze sans clothes in the park? But getting naked whenever you want is more of an East German thing than a buttoned-up Bavarian thing. Around 2013, the city made six areas nude-friendly.
Far from being tucked away where no one can see them, these nude areas are out in the open in some of the most popular areas in the city. If you do catch sight of some naked people, play it cool and remember leben und leben lassen (“live and let live”). And do not reach for your camera. While photography isn't forbidden, it is the height of uncool.
Join the Münchner of all ages and variation of tan at the six places it is legal to go nude in Munich.
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Located moments from Marienplatz (Munich's main square), you can go from clothed city-goer to nude sunbather in ten minutes.
The English Garden (Englischer Garten ) is one of the largest city parks in Europe and offers an oasis of calm within the city center. Alongside bustling biergartens and Japanese tea houses, there is Schönfeldwiese ("beautiful meadow-field"). This is where everyone from retirees to college students lounge in the nude in summer. Unofficially ok since the 1960s, the area has become a bit of a tourist attraction for its ballsy sunbathers.
Where: Schönfeldwiese is south of the Schwabingerbach, between the Monopteros and Japanisches Teehaus. The nude section is behind the American Consulate.
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The other official nude zone in the English Garden is Schwabingerbach in the north of the park. A quiet location next to the sports ground, only a few cyclists and pedestrians cross this way and relatively few nudes make an appearance.
There are no amenities but people have gathered here in the buff for years. If you require a little privacy, the shallow stream offers a respite from the sun and somewhere to hide your nether regions.
Another option within the park is in the eisbach (ice brook). At just around 2 kilometers long, you can drift lazily down the sun-splotched creek.
The Eisbach isn't an official zone but is still a popular hang out where people won't give you a side eye for getting nude. Continue up the stream to watch waves appear and daring surfers scoot between the shores.
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This leisurely section of the Isar River is the perfect place to show your body to the sun. There are plenty of open spaces, narrow islands, and sandy inlets to lie down your towel, and even some woods to take a break from the heat. BBQs are allowed at select locations (although if you'd like to fish it requires a license). It is the ideal location for a day out.
Where: Maria Einsiedel is a western Biergarten about 200 meters to Marie Klaus bridge in the north and south to Hinterbrühler lake. The east bank of the Isar, about 100 meters before the footbridge to the English Garden, is another option.
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Brudermuhlbrucke to Braunauer Eisenbahnbrücke
Located on the southern end of the Isar river, this floodplain on the east offers great spaces for sunbathing (plus much-needed amenities like toilets).
On warm summer evenings, bathers stay late around campfires as swimming turns to a grill party. Take a walk by the concrete pillars beneath the bridge to admire the graffiti.
Where: Near Brudermühlbrücke with parking at Agilofingerstraße which is a 5-minute walk away.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Reachable by a boardwalk, most of the nude bathers wade further away from the main area to relax in peace. This is one of the rare places where young people outnumber the old.
Where: Located near the zoo, visitors can park in nearby lots or arrive via UBahn line 3 at Thalkirchen. From there, walk toward Thalkirchner bridge on the east side then to the Boardwalk.
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In a northwestern suburb, this sparkling lake offers ample lawn and beachfront for the clothing free. It is the largest of three lakes known as Dreiseenplatte. Feldmochinger See is 16 hectares and is up to six meters deep.
Different areas of the lake offer imbisses, a biergarten, family fun like mini-golf, ramps for those with disabilities and there are also mature trees and shrubs for modesty.
Where: The FKK section is at the southeastern end of the lake.