Swiss habits For Members

Are there nudist beaches in Switzerland and what are their rules?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Are there nudist beaches in Switzerland and what are their rules?
Yes, you can strip off, if you are not 'indecent'. Photo: Pixabay

As the weather gets hotter, you may want to shed all your clothing and go swimming in just your birthday suit. But are there places in Switzerland where you can do that without breaking the law?


If you want to go to a beach stark naked, you will be relieved to know that Switzerland’s, um, penal code, does not ban public nudity — as long as it is not lewd.

At the same time, the country does have legislation against public indecency, so the line here is quite blurred.

But the bare facts are these: as long as nudity is not provocative or vulgar — again, this is all in the eye of the beholder — then bathing naked should be no skin off your back. 

So which Swiss beaches are nudity-friendly (or at least tolerant)?

Here are a few beach and park areas where you can strip down, according to this Swiss guide

Werdinsel, Zurich

A little island on the river Limmat is where you can find the only official nudist beach in Switzerland.

It is conveniently located 40 minutes from the Zurich train station and can be accessed by public transport — though you should definitely wear your clothes there.

Die Neue Zeit, Gampelen (BE)

This nudist beach is located on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, towards the Thielle canal.


Les Bains des Pâquis, Geneva

While the main section of this popular public beach does not permit nudity, its sauna area (which includes two hammams, a rest room, a steam bath, and a space with direct access to water) is clothing-optional.

Naturist Club, Geneva

This vast nudist park has no access to the lake, but has a large salt-water swimming pool for entire families.   

La Petite Amérique, Yvonand (VD)

This stretch of sand along Lake Neuchâtel is not an official nudist beach, but in-the-buff buffs like to sun and swim there nevertheless.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about getting naked in Switzerland


Are there rules to be observed in nudist areas?

Other than bringing lots of sunscreen and a towel to sit on benches and other hard surfaces, the etiquette is "to respect the space of others and that nudity be without ulterior motive. Also refrain from judging your neighbour's physique out loud".

What about topless bathing?

This practice is very common in Switzerland (and not just for men).

Nothing in the federal law addresses the issue of toplessness; cantons don’t have such legislation either, leaving final decisions in this matter to individual municipalities.

It is perhaps incorrect to say that the vast majority of communes in Switzerland actually authorise topless sunbathing and swimming, but they don’t ban it either.

This means that unless there is a sign forbidding topless sunning and bathing, you can assume that you can do so safely.

In fact, toplessness is a political issue in Switzerland.

“From an equal opportunities perspective, it is clear that the same rules should apply to all genders, including women and non-binary people,” said Helena Trachsel, head of the Equal Opportunities Office in the canton of Zurich.


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