Located conveniently along the Elbe river, the historic ropemakers’ district became a popular destination for seamen and others looking for amusement. In the 1960s, the red light district turned into something of a pop culture hothouse; The Beatles, The Jets, and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were among the many budding artists who rose to international stardom after getting their start in the Reeperbahn's many dive bars.
Today, the Reeperbahn and the surrounding area are still packed with nightclubs, bars and restaurants as well as art galleries, cabarets and theatres. Must-sees include the Panoptikum wax figure museum, the Beatles monument, Große Freiheit street and Hans-Albers-Platz. Spielbudenplatz, a large square at the centre of the Reeperbahn, is home to markets, fairs and outdoor concerts. And the district’s red light days aren’t over completely. Herbertstraße just off the Reeperbahn is off-limits to women and minors because of… well, you’ll figure it out.
Whether it’s live music acts or international DJs you’re after, the clubs along the Reeperbahn offer the right tunes for everybody. Venues like Mojo Club and Große Freiheit 36 acquired legendary status over the years. Molotow, Gun Club, Komet and Prinzenbar are all worth a visit as well. For a cosy atmosphere and affordable drinks, head to any of the small bars along side streets like Hamburger Berg and Talstraße. In late September, the annual Reeperbahn Festival attracts around 25,000 visitors as the district’s music venues offer top-notch concerts, art exhibitions and a music industry convention ─ all wrapped up into one big event.
Click here for a guided tour of the Reeperbahn.