Culture street St. Pauli Hafenstrasse

This colourful street parallel to the harbour has a long history of protest and activism.

Hafenstrasse St. Pauli, Hamburg, Germany

St. Pauli Hafenstrasse - activism and protest

The colorful street by the harbour

Over recent decades, Hamburg’s Hafenstrasse (which literally means ‘harbour street’) and the surrounding area have developed into a popular and culturally diverse district. Right next door are the Landungsbrücken piers and Park Fiction, an urban oasis with landscaped (artificial) palm trees, as well as the beloved Golden Pudel Club, another mainstay of the neighbourhood. And in summer, the popular beach club StrandPauli lures visitors to the shores of the Elbe. Both the Reeperbahn and the fish market are just a few minutes walk from Hafenstrasse as well, offering locals and visitors alike opportunities to take in plenty of local flair by the port.

Resistance road

While strolling down the colorful Hafenstrasse of today, it’s hard to imagine the civil war-like conditions that prevailed in the 1980s. For in a period of fifteen years, there were protests, street barricades, arrests and evictions in Hafenstrasse and the neighbouring Bernhard-Nocht-Strasse. These protests stemmed mostly from issues relating to housing, namely the city’s frequent attempts to shut down high profile squats in the area. However, as time went on, Hafenstrasse and the surrounding streets became the focal point of leftist movements in Hamburg, with residents and allies drawing attention to anti-NATO politics, anti-nuclear politics, political prisoners, and international solidarity. These historical acts of resistance to the Senate of Hamburg are part of what makes Hafenstrasse an important block in the political history of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Getting there

Hafenstrasse is easily accessible from Landungsbrücken via the U3 or the S1, S2 & S3, Reeperbahn via the S1, S2 & S3,  or the 112 bus stop St. Pauli Hafenstraße.




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