Reeperbahn Red Light District
flickr image by Abi Skipp

Reeperbahn Red Light District


No visit to Hamburg is complete without a visit to Reeperbahn, the one mile stretch in Hamburg famous for its vibrant nightlife. It is also the site for one of the biggest red light district in Europe. The place is sometimes described as the ‘most sinful mile’.

What can you expect here?

The Reeperbahn is an iconic street in Hamburg where you will find many bars, clubs, theaters, restaurants, sex museums, sex shops and, of course, strip clubs. Reeperbahn is the 2nd most popular attraction in Hamburg and is widely visited by tourists and locals.

Sex Kino

flilckr image by Abi Skipp

There is a musical theater also at Reeperbahn which played many hits over the years; there are other theaters also along with a number of cabarets. The most famous landmark here is the Davidwache which is basically a police station located on the Southern side of Reeperbahn. Street prostitution is allowed here during fixed times of the day and you will find women behind windows of the houses waiting for the customers.

The Great Freedom is another cross street on the northern side that is home to several bars, clubs and a Catholic Church. A few years back there were many sex theaters here that showed sex acts (live) on the stage. After it closed down, Safari was the only sex theater that was operational in Germany. In 1967 Reeperbahn was also home to Eros Center, a six-floor brothel that closed down in the late 1980s in the midst of AIDS scare.

Reeperbahn Red Light District Hamburg

flickr image by mmmWolf

Tips for visiting Reeperbahn

If you are thinking of visiting Reeperbahn then make sure you come down during the evening hours as the place comes to life at around 8 or 9 pm. The place gets very crowded during the weekends but it remains very safe due to increased police patrol. However, you should still remain cautious as a number of pickpockets stroll around in the area. Also if you get lured into a strip club which advertises free entry, you should be ready to shell out $20 for your first drink.

Although there are rumors of unrestrained sexuality at Reeperbahn, Hamburg remains a tourist town which you can visit even if you have kids. It is very easy to avoid the Reeperbahn area if you have children with you. If you are traveling alone and not keen on late-night entertainment then you may want to give Reeperbahn a miss as the area had some problems with high crime rate and in 2007 the Senate imposed a ban on weapons to curb the incidences of violent crimes. The decline of the image of Reeperbahn is mainly attributed to rise of discotheques and cheap bars that have managed to attract teenage customers also. Prostitution and pornography business is very rampant here as it’s one of most sought after ‘red light’ districts in Germany. There have been efforts in the last few years to improve the image of the area but it seems that Reeperbahn is finding it very difficult to shed its ‘image’.

Date posted: 1st September, 2015

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