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Reeperbahn

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The Reeperbahn is the most famous street in Hamburg and at the same time the most famous entertainment and red-light district in the world. The 930m (3,051 ft) long street in the St. Pauli district houses bars, restaurants, theaters, and nightclubs. During the day, the quiet exterior of the Reeperbahn is deceptive, as it only comes to life at dusk. Then locals and tourists alike gather at the neon lights of the hip clubs to celebrate exuberantly.
Jessica DonevBy Jessica Donev
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Tours and Shows

See what the Reeperbahn has to offer during an exclusive tour.
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Hamburg: Sex and Crime in St. Pauli Tour for Ages 18+
4.7starstarstarstarstar half(11802)
 
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Hamburg: Reeperbahn Lust & Laster Tour for Adults Only
4.7starstarstarstarstar half(4844)
 
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Hamburg: St. Pauli Highlights Guided Tour with Beer for 18+
4.8starstarstarstarstar(1986)
 
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Hamburg: Lust, Luden & Die Große Freiheit Tour
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8 tips for visiting the Reeperbahn

Reeperbahn | Photo: Flickr, Martin Abegglen CC-BY-SA 2.0
1
Respect and ToleranceSt. Pauli is a district that is known for its tolerance and openness. It is important to respect the diversity of people who live and work here. Be friendly and respectful towards other visitors, locals, and staff of the establishments.
Reeperbahn | Photo: Flickr, Martin Abegglen CC-BY-SA 2.0
2
Safety and MindfulnessThe Reeperbahn and St. Pauli can be very busy at night, so it is important to pay attention to your personal safety. Keep an eye on your valuables and avoid solitary or poorly lit streets.
3
Diverse offers in the local sceneThe Reeperbahn offers a variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, and typical Hamburg pubs. Find out which offers appeal to you the most and make sure to visit different venues.
4
ToursThere are many different tours and neighborhood tours. These are a great way to learn more about the history and culture of the vibrant district. Browse through several tour offers to find the one that suits you and your interests best.
5
Art and CultureApart from the nightlife, St. Pauli also has a thriving art scene. Visit galleries, street art spots, and cultural events to get a glimpse into the creative side of the district.
6
Get informed in advanceThe Reeperbahn is a lively street. There are always new openings, current events, concerts, and events. It's advisable to look at the event calendar in advance to make sure you don't miss any special highlights.
7
Responsible consumptionThe Reeperbahn is known for its diverse offerings, including erotic entertainment and nightlife. If you plan on consuming one, two, or more drinks in the bars, always pay attention to your safety, as well as the safety of those around you. Adhere to local laws and regulations and act responsibly.
8
Use public transportationParking spaces are scarce in St. Pauli, so it's advisable to use public transportation. Subway, S-Bahn, and bus connections are a convenient way to get around Hamburg.
Entrance Herberstraße | Photo: Flickr, Steffen Klaus CC-BY-SA 2.0

Reeperbahn – What is there to see?

The Reeperbahn has many highlights. We have selected the most important ones here.
Beatles Square | Photo: Flickr, Michael Panse CC-BY-SA 2.0

Große Freiheit

In the 1960s, the Beatles had their first gigs in the Indra club. This one, as well as the Kaiserkeller and the Star Club, helped the five-member band to the success they could celebrate a little later. All these establishments are located on the 'Große Freiheit', a side street of the Reeperbahn. Since September 11, 2008, the 'Große Freiheit' runs from the 'Beatles-Platz' to the Reeperbahn. The Beatles-Platz with its round, dark floor covering, visually resembles a vinyl record - a tribute to the famous band and the significance of Hamburg in the global success of the Beatles.
Entrance to 'Zur Ritze' | Photo: Flickr, Sten Dueland CC-BY-SA 2.0

Ritze

The windowless pub 'zur Ritze' has its own boxing ring in the basement. The boxing ring is still used today. The entrance door is adorned with spread female legs. The pub 'zur Ritze' is probably the most famous on the Reeperbahn. On the walls, there are pictures with autographs of well-known personalities like Udo Lindenberg. In the basement, legends such as Henry Maske or the Klitschko brothers have fought, but also some Hamburg pimps.

Molotow Music Club

Founded in 1990, the club is mainly known for its indie rock, punk, and post-rock concerts. Bands like The Killers, The White Stripes, Die Toten Hosen, or Mando Diao played there before they became famous. The club had to move several times. From the dangerously dilapidated Esso houses at Spielbudenplatz, the club temporarily moved to Holstenstraße in 2012, before relocating in 2014 to the China Lounge on Nobistor, next to the Beatles-Platz. Currently, the club is again looking for a new home, as the China Lounge is intended to be demolished to build a hotel.

The notorious red-light district in Hamburg

The Herbertstraße can only be crossed on foot, and only if you are a man. Women or children who want to take a peek will quickly be disappointed, as privacy screens block curious eyes. In Herbertstraße, scantily clad ladies sit in the windows of the brothels. In other nightclubs like Susis Show Bar or the Dollhouse, one finds scantily clad ladies and gentlemen dancing on stages and poles. Burlesque art can be found at The Bunny Burlesque St. Pauli. Europe's oldest SM club Club de Sade has been gathering lovers of kink since the 1960s.

Panoptikum

If you want photos with Helene Fischer or Otto Walkes, you go to Germany's oldest waxworks. At the Panoptikum, you can also come across international stars and historical figures. A strong stomach is needed for the horror scene or the medical-historical cabinet. Today, all exhibits are made of wax and dressed in valuable costumes. However, at the opening of the Panoptikum, one could also admire living people such as little people or giants.

Musical and Theater

In addition to the Stage theaters on the Elbe or in the harbor, one can also sway along with musicals at the Operettenhaus in St. Pauli. From November 12, 2023, the musical Dance of the Vampires is performed there, replacing the hit musical Hamilton. Since 2003, the St. Pauli musical 'Heiße Ecke' has been playing at Schmidts Tivoli on Spielbudenplatz. The theater also continually offers new productions in various genres such as crime, comedy, or drama. Likewise, children's theater or readings take place. The St. Pauli Theater is a protected historic building; it is one of the oldest theaters in Germany.
St. Pauli Night Market | Photo: Flickr, Martin Abegglen CC-BY-SA 2.0

St. Pauli Night Market

For those like me who always sleep through the weekly market, here's a stroke of luck. The St. Pauli weekly market doesn't start until 4:00 p.m. every Wednesday and is open until 10:00 p.m. (in summer until 11:00 p.m.). In addition to fresh and regional products, live music performances invite you to linger in the lounge chairs. Anyone who gets hungry can buy one of the many fresh dishes at the night market.
Dancing Towers | Photo: Flickr, Melanie Richter CC-BY-SA 2.0

Dancing Towers

The most unpopular architectural project, known as the Dancing Towers or Tango Towers at the eastern entrance to the Reeperbahn, was strongly criticized by local residents for its too modern design, as they felt it changed the character of the neighborhood too much. The idea behind the design was to create an association of music and sex, in keeping with the Reeperbahn. On the ground floor, you'll find the famous Mojo Club and Reeperbahn Radio, while the top floor houses the Rooftop Bar and the Restaurant Clouds. The other interior spaces are office areas.

Major Events

The Reeperbahn Festival has been held every September since 2006. This is where the music and creative industries meet for concerts and art events, attracting thousands of visitors. The Schlagermove, a festival for (party) Schlager, takes place every year at the beginning of July. The Harley Days are held at the end of June / beginning of July and culminate with a ride over the Reeperbahn, following many rockin' open-air concerts and daring shows. The St. Pauli Christmas Market takes place every year from mid-November.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a guided tour make sense?

Yes! The often very extravagant tour guides know stories that are not on the internet. A guided tour opens back doors that as a normal visitor, you often do not discover. Read more.

Are the tours suitable for minors?

Yes and no. Before booking with children and adolescents, one should take a close look at the tour description. Some of the guided tours are offered only for persons over 18 years of age. However, some are also suitable for families. Read more.

Is the Reeperbahn interesting during the day?

During the day, the Reeperbahn offers mainly culinary delights and shopping pleasure. Those who want to see the Reeperbahn without crowds should visit during daytime. The real Reeperbahn experience, however, starts at about 6 p.m. Read more.

How do I get back to the hotel in the middle of the night?

If you want to avoid long waits for taxis or public transport connections, simply sleep right on the Reeperbahn. There are plenty of hotels that promise peace despite the night-time hustle. Read more.

General information

opening hours

You can visit the Reeperbahn at any time of day or night.

address

Reeperbahn 1
20359 Hamburg
Germany

tickets

Entry to the Reeperbahn and its side streets is free. The various tours vary in price ranges. Those who want to go to a club often have to pay an entrance fee. Tickets for theater performances and musicals should be reserved well in advance.

how to get there

Take the S3 or S1 S-Bahn trains and get off at the Reeperbahn station. The U2 goes to St. Pauli. You can also take the 283, 37, 36, or 112 bus lines to reach Reeperbahn.
Jessica Donev
Written byJessica DonevJessica is the definition of Jack of all trades. When she wants to do something, she just does it. That's why Jessica is an event manager, professional dancer, trainer, content creator, speaker / presenter in training and much more. Having traveled the world a lot, she knows what's important when traveling and shares it with you here on TicketLens.
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