Can’t go topless in Paris — even at the beach

Sunbathers at Paris Plages must cover up

The buff rebuffed

Ana Arevalo/AFP/Getty Images

For the past decade, Parisians have flocked each summer to Paris Plages, which transforms the banks of the Seine River to a series of urban beaches. All the necessities are there: white sand, parasols, roving ice cream vendors, even free concerts. One site currently has a giant screen allowing loungers to catch the Olympics.

But some appear to have been taking the beach theme a little too far. While topless sunbathing is welcome on beaches outside the city, Paris police are warning sunbathers to dress “in accordance with good morals and public order,” or face a fine of at least $46. Anyone who bares all and shows their “genital area or breasts” could face a much higher penalty—a year in prison.

Paris Plages, now in its eleventh year, was created by Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë to provide a beachside holiday to those who couldn’t afford to leave the city. Some criticized it as an expensive frivolity, but it’s expanded several times, a testament to its popularity, even without full-frontal nudity.


Can’t go topless in Paris — even at the beach

  1. France seems to be really schizophrenic on nudism. Additionally in Paris, the World Naked Bike Ride has been suppressed by the Paris Police in 2009,2010, and 2011.Recently, a Danish couple were fined 1000 Euros for walking nude in Paris.

    Yet, on the Mediterranean, Cap d’Agde is the world’s largest clothing optional city (50,000+ in high season August) and the beach is mandatory nude. The biggest conflict there is between the puritan nudists and the libertine nudists over sexual expression.

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