Something for everyone Reeperbahn31 October 2012
On the Reeperbahn, Hamburg's red-light district rubs shoulders with restaurants, bars, theatres and nightclubs. Recently the street was voted Hamburg's best street in Prinze.de, the city's entertainment guide, followed by Schulterblatt and Mühlenkamp. The street's nightlife has something for everyone and is the first stop for every nightowl.
Reeperbahn in Hamburg
Address: Reeperbahn, 20359 St. Pauli
Public transport: S1 and S3, Station 'Reeperbahn'; U3, Station 'St. Pauli'; Bus line 112, Fast bus (Schnellbus) 36 and 37. [Link to HVV website]
Parking: Reeperbahn-Garagen, Spielbudenplatz 5
In a song well-known in Germany, Hans Albers sings: 'On the Reeperbahn at half 12 at night...'
Of course, the emphasis is on 'at night'. If you were to visit this Hamburg neighbourhood during the day, you would find a rather quiet street with a few shops, and you would perhaps wonder why there were so many closed doors.
But when it gets dark, St. Pauli springs to life: neon signs flashing everywhere in competition. The hottest clubs on the Reeperbahn and Hamburger Berg open, with Irish pubs and Hans-Albers-Platz packed full of live music.
The most famous street in Hamburg got its name from the old German word 'reep', which means an old heavy rope for a ship. During 1600 and 1880 the space north of today’s Reeperbahn street was used as a 'ropewalk' for the production of ropes for the nearby harbour. Nowadays, the street is the first-stop for all sorts of entertainment.
In the 1960’s the Reeperbahn became a mecca for rock music with its “Große Freiheit” area. Everybody from the Beatles to the Searchers was performing in clubs like “Top Ten” or the “Starclub”.
Grosse Freiheit branches just off the Reeperbahn. Here the Beatles had their first appearance on German soil in Club Indra. You can trace the Beatles footsteps to the Kaiserkeller, which is still running, as well as the site of the now-closed Star Club, where a plaque commemorates the venue.
Beatles-Platz, a tribute to the band, is a circular plaza, painted black and modeled on a vinyl record. Both this and a sculpture of the band's early members are located not too far from 'Beatlemania', a dedicated Beatles museum.
A mixture of entertainment
Alongside music venues is a varied assortment of entertainment, including Reeperbahn's famous strip clubs and brothels. Just around the corner from the Reeperbahn is Herbert Street, the principal red light area. Both ends of the street are blocked by barriers and it is inaccessible to women and minors.
In Spielbudenplatz you can find three floors worth of waxworks at the Wax Museum with several famous wax figures including the King of Rock'n'Roll.
Also in the area is the Operettenhaus (Opera house) for music lovers, as well as Schmidts Tivoli or St. Pauli Theatre for theatre enthusiasts which attract the city's locals as well as tourists.
With so much on offer, a night in the Reeperbahn can go on well into the early hours of the morning.
31 October 2012