The name “Reeperbahn” comes from the old German word Reep sex shop in hamburg “heavy rope”. In the 18th century, heavy hempen ropes were produced here for sailing ships in the Hamburg harbor.
Today, the area is known for the many great bars, restaurants, theatres like the Operettenhaus, and clubs. This eclectic mix makes the Reeperbahn a fascinating place to visit for travelers and locals alike. In the early 1960s, the soon-to-be world famous Beatles wooed their German audiences and rose to international stardom. If you are into the Beatles, twist and shout in the Indra Club where the the band first played. They also had regular gigs at the Kaiserkeller in the 1960s.
The Spielbudenplatz is the historic core of Hamburg’s entertainment district. It started out in the 17th century with acrobats, jugglers, magicians, and wooden stands selling refreshments to sailors. Today, this street is home to many great theaters and you can visit one of the oldest wax figure museums of Germany at Panoptikum. Prostitution is legal at certain times of the day on Davidstraße so you might see the “ladies of the night” waiting for their customers here. Be polite and don’t take pictures. Perhaps not surprisingly, at the corner of Reeperbahn and Davidstraße, you can find the most famous police station in Germany. The most notorious and exclusive street of Hamburg’s red light district is Herbertstraße.
While they may officially enter this street, it is strongly discouraged by the police. Prostitutes here can be hostile to visitors who just want to look. Trade is actually down from what it once was. A good time to visit is on the weekends, begging at 20:00 and continuing until the morning hours.
The Reeperbahn gets very crowded on the weekends. The area is fairly safe thanks to the high police presence, but you should still be cautious and beware of pickpockets. Violent crime is rare, but petty crime is fairly common. Be clear about what you expect to spend and know your limits. Drinks usually come with a heavy surcharge.
Getting there: Metro Stop “Reeperbahn” or “St. Hamburg set for 2016 Christopher Street Day Gay Pride Aug. What Cities Should You Visit in Germany? Hamburg’s Legendary Nightlife at the Reeperbahn Hamburg’s Red Light District is more than just sex shows and clubs, it’s also one of the hippest areas for nightlife and hanging out in Hamburg. I’ve heard countless stories about Hamburg’s legendary Reeperbahn but without seeing it for myself, it was hard to imagine what it actually is all about. Turns out that it’s a healthy mix of exactly what I was expecting plus a few nice surprises. Well, basically it’s a street in the St.
Hamburg has a loooong history and used to be a walled city, and the Reeperbahn was the street just outside one of the gates to the city. It was here where Hamburg’s sailors got to enjoy a bit of companionship. But it was also where the city’s rope-makers worked to produce the many ropes needed for the port city. Today the Reeperbahn is the heart of Hamburg’s Red Light District.
Herbertstrasse is probably the Reeperbahn’s most famous street as it’s a one-block road barricated by wooden panels. I didn’t venture down Herbertstrasse myself but apparently it’s similar to Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This is the street that’s famous for not allowing women to walk through. Gay nightlife in Hamburg Hamburg’s LGBT scene seems to be scattered between the downtown St. George neighborhood and Talstrasse which runs perpendicular to the Reeperbahn.
Germany’s most famous gay shopping chain store, Bruno’s and a few popular cafes and bars. Hamburg’s gayborhood for nightlife is unquestionably centered along Talstrasse. From posh clubs like 3 Zimmer Wohnung to sex kinos and sex shops, Talstrasse seems to cover the full gamut. You can read more about the gay nightlife in Hamburg on my other blog. Beatles-Platz, is also the one full of music and rock clubs. But like everything else along the Reeperbahn, there’s a healthy dose of sexuality added to the mix—this time in the form of Olivia Jones Bar. The street is crowded with party-revelers all year long because even on a cold winter night when I visited, people were drinking out on the street.