Are women allowed to go topless near an outdoor pool in Germany?


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For god’s sake! It’s 30 degrees! In summer it is already a familiar sight in Germany: In order to achieve an even all-round tan, at least the top is taken off. So far so beautiful. So can women in Germany go topless?

But is it allowed to sunbathe topless everywhere? And what about when it goes into the water? Does the bikini have to be complete again? Why can’t women in Germany not go topless near an outdoor pool?

Topless in the outdoor pool

go topless

Regardless of whether it is a municipal outdoor pool or a luxury bathing temple: public bathing establishments have bathing regulations. This specifies whether or not you can leave out the bikini top.

►Here, topless can be completely prohibited or only be declared permissible in individual areas. Depending on the bath, it will also be clarified whether you can go into the water basin without a bikini top.

If you don’t want to spend hours studying bathing rules before having fun in the bath, you should look around and, if necessary, comply with the request to put your top on again. Especially, of course, if this comes from the pool staff.

Otherwise you could be kicked out or, in the worst case, even be banned from the house.

Topless on the beach

go topless

At least here, the same law applies to men and women: topless is generally permitted on the beach.

► In principle, it is not forbidden to wear the upper body at the seaside or on bathing beaches by lakes.

Attention: When traveling, however, you should note that different customs prevail in other countries. The German freedom of movement on the beach does not prevail everywhere.


The 16 best nudist beaches in Germany for naked bathing

Women “topless” in the outdoor pool: Why this is not a good idea

► Rules are not clear everywhere – Often “normal swimwear” is prescribed. But what does that mean? Trousers, a top or a swimsuit? Even at the largest of the Allgäu lakes, the Forggensee in Ostallgäu, the statutes of the open-air bathing areas are vague: “Unclothed people are not allowed,”

► Children near the swimming pool – So bare breasts next to the children’s playground in the outdoor pool are not a good idea.

► Pubescent young people near the swimming pool – Bare-breasted sunbathing is also not recommended in the vicinity of pubescent young people – provided the woman does not want to end up “topless” in the background of the latest Instagram story.

Tips on going topless near a swimming pool

► Try finding spots for sunbathing “covered by bushes and maybe even on days when little is going on”. Sunbathing in the bush: why not? That would then also accommodate the tensioners, as they would not have to zoom in so far.

► Find a swimming pool that has some kind of moral police that protects female bathers from gaping tensioners, could help. Regular patrols between towels, female security guards that keep an overview from a viewing post and an absolute ban on cell phones would be suitable measures.

It’s 2021. Not 1950! Let’s talk about equality

go topless

The question of “immorality” should not even be asked! A woman who sunbathes “topless” or the man who gives her lustful glances and has corresponding thoughts? A man who only shows himself in swimming trunks should not be accused of being frivolous – no matter how many women might think that he is attractive. 

We are talking here – as so often – about the issue of equality and also about power: men are not only allowed to sunbathe without being disturbed, but also have the power to prevent women from doing the same through their behavior.

“When sunbathing, topless is okay,” he emphasizes. When swimming in the open air pool, “suitable swimwear” is always required – which means: men wear bathing trunks and women wear a bathing suit or bikini, in other words, a top.

On site, the staff can still make “situational” decisions. What is meant is that, depending on the current overall situation in the outdoor pool, the lifeguard can tolerate “topless” swimming.

Michelle Halterman
Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.


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