St. Pauli is known far wider than the borders of Hamburg. This district in the heart of the Hanseatic city has largely the Reeperbahn to thank for this. The nightclub district around this notorious street is world-renowned and a spectacle that no visitor to Hamburg should miss.
The almost 1km long street owes its name to the cable and rope makers, the so-called ‘rope-strongmen’ or ‘Reepschlägern’. Today there are numerous pubs, discos, bars, cafes, and diverse shops residing here. The live clubs, which in their time laid the foundations for the Beatles success, are legendary. Somewhat tamer evening entertainment can be found at the opera house, the Schmidt Theatre and Schmidts Tivoli, the St. Pauli Theatre, the Café Keese or the Quatsch Comedy Club.
Right next to the St. Pauli Theatre you’ll find the Davidwache, probably the best known police station in Germany. With just one square kilometre and just under 14,000 residents, the officers here are responsible for Europe’s smallest beat, but it’s definitely never boring for them!
You shouldn’t just visit St. Pauli in the evening though. During the day visitors can also see and do a lot here. The Panoptikum Wax Museum on the Spielbudenplatz, not far from Davidwache, has been showing guests big personalities and Hamburg originals for over 130 years.
Probably the biggest vinyl record in the world, which you can walk across, can be found at the other end of the Reeperbahn: the Beatles Plaza. Almost 30 metres in diameter, the plaza at the exit of the Große Freiheit was inaugurated in 2008, and is a reminder of the Beatles’ start in Hamburg. Not far from here you can immerse yourself in the history of the Fab Four and their music at the Beatlemania Museum, and wander through the 60s decade and the fictitious ‘Yellow Submarine’.
Another Hamburg boy also has a plaza dedicated to him not far away: Hans Albers, the singer of the unofficial local anthem ‘On the Reeperbahn at half past twelve at night…’. The almost 3 metre high bronze statue in the middle of the plaza was created by Jörg Immendorff and looks over the centre of the old St. Pauli, the ‘little district’.