This is where Hamburg's heart beats. On Hamburg's city coast, the Elbe and the harbour, you can sit on bollards and look at ships or simply let the rough wind blow around your nose. Just a few metres further on, in the heart of the St. Pauli district, you can experience the "sinful mile", the Reeperbahn, known all over the world. If you don't like one after the other, you can simply take a stroll through the streets far away from the Reeperbahn and indulge yourself with culinary delights.
I have been living in St. Pauli for 13 years now. This borough is rough and vivid, it has everything but uniformity. I feel really comfortable here and would like to introduce you to my favourite places and some sights. Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit - easy girls and wicked pubs. St. Pauli stands for pleasure and party around the clock. The colourful lights in the Kiez, as we call our borough, seduce thousands of visitors every day. Hans Albers, Udo Lindenberg and Jan Delay, they all sang about Hamburg’s sinful mile. But St. Pauli is so much more than this. It offers art projects and theatre, cool cocktail bars and restaurants. Plus, it is in direct proximity to the Elbe and the port of Hamburg.
Hamburg’s most famous entertainment mile owes its name to the hard profession of the ropemakers. On today’s Reeperbahn, 17th-century ropemakers crafted long ropes for boat trips. Those were twisted on long tracks (Reeperbahnen).
IN THE MORNING
The day in St. Pauli begins with the view from my bedroom, facing the fish market and the Elbe, which glitters in the sun in the beautiful weather today. I enjoy this Hamburg idyll for a bit before I go for a delicious breakfast in Kraweel (Paul-Roosen-Straße 6). You sit here as if you were in granny’s living room, between vintage furniture and floral-patterned plates, and even the homemade jam tastes like granny’s. You cannot yet feel the hustle and bustle that will fill the nearby Reeperbahn towards evening. Especially in the parallel streets of the world-famous mile - the Paul-Roosen-Straße, the Clemens-Schultz-Straße or the Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße (directly next to Hamburger Berg) - one meets many native “Paulianers”, who still populate the district despite rising rents. Here, small quaint shops line up. My personal recommendation is the flower shop Saintpaulia (Paul-Roosen-Straße 12). The ladies behind the counter always take their time to chat with the customers while, at the same time, they tie up the most beautiful bouquets in the whole district of Hamburg-Mitte.
In Hamburg, if you want to have a snack, you need to try the fish sandwich. Whether with fried fish or sand shrimps, fish sandwiches are especially good at Brücke 10 (Landungsbrücken 10), where you also have a beautiful view of the port of Hamburg. If you want to get a taste of the South Sea, stroll a few steps further into Park Fiction (Fischmarkt 27), a meeting place and art project with mobile plastic palm trees. From here, you get a wonderful view of the Elbe, the harbour and the musical theatres, and you can just watch as ships, ferries and tugs pass by. If you are in the mood for a boat trip, you can simply take the public ferry line 62 over the Elbe from Landungsbrücken and admire Hamburg’s cityscape from the water. It is also fascinating to walk through the old Elbe tunnel, which has been the connection between Landungsbrücken and Steinwerder for over 100 years. The atmosphere you feel underground is fascinating.
IN THE EVENING
I stroll along the Elbe and past the former Soviet submarine 434, which can also be visited on the inside. Those who get hungry from the excursions do not have to look far in St. Pauli, as the culinary supply here is varied. Especially around Reeperbahn, you will find some good restaurants, such as Krug (Paul-Roosen-Straße 35) or Standard (Große Freiheit 9), an aperitivo bar with a large selection of Negronis. I recommend you try the ÜberQuell (Fischmarkt 28-32). The menu includes home-brewed beer and delicious pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. Continue to Drip Bar (Antonistraße 4). In "Slow Drip", alcohol slowly trickles over fresh herbs, vegetables or fruits and gets its own special flavour. In the end, you cannot help but throw yourself into the fray. But first, you should treat yourself to St. Pauli from high above. In Hamburg’s highest restaurant, Clouds (Reeperbahn 1), located in the Tanzenden Türmen (two slightly bent skyscrapers), you get a view over the hustle and bustle that turns the “Kiez” into a single entertainment district every evening. In addition to many bars, clubs, pubs, strip clubs and traditional joints, such as the Hans-Albers-Eck (Hans-Albers-Platz 20) or the concert venue Grünspan (Große Freiheit 58), the Schmidt Tivoli and the St. Pauli Theater entice the masses with musicals, comedy and midnight shows. The "geile Meile” (lit. raunchy mile), as sung by Udo Lindenberg, is a world of its own. 24 hours a day.
Nowhere else it is as loud and colourful as on the Kiez and in St. Pauli. Here you will find the real Hamburg highlights and experience the unique flair of this cosmopolitan city.
Free travel by bus, train & harbour ferries,
up to 50% discount on over 150 activities,
attractions and restaurants.
Free travel everywhere by bus, train & harbour ferries
Up to 50% discount on over 150 tourist attractions
Online, tourist info, hotel or ticket machine