Hamburg’s gay nightlife
All I knew about Hamburg’s nightlife was that the Reeperbahn is legendary. Hamburg has a reputation for being one of Germany’s sex tourism capitals. Basically, prostitution is legal in several areas along the Reeperbahn—a large street with plenty of pedestrian-only areas catering to international and domestic tourists. Hamburg’s famous Red Light District (especially Herbertstrasse which is notorious for not allowing women to walk down the street) is filled with strip clubs, sex kinos (cinemas), sex shops and plenty of other ways to entertain most heterosexual tourists.
For the gays, though, Hamburg doesn’t disappoint. There are two major hotspots near Hamburg’s Reeperbahn for gay travelers (and locals). Here’s the lowdown:
The Talstrasse street runs perpendicular to the Reeperbahn and is pretty much in the heart of the district’s nightlife. Along the street you’ll find everything from cheap eats to gay sex kinos. The bar 3 Zimmer Wohnung is a popular spot for gays and straights with, you guessed it, 3 rooms (3 zimmers). It’s a bar and a club so it’s unlikely you could get bored here.
Just a few doors down from 3 Zimmer Wohnung are your other gay clubs: the kind with dark rooms, pornography and, perhaps, seedier clients. But hey, what happens on the Reeperbahn stays on the Reeperbahn.
Also on Talstrasse is a late-night pizzeria, Pauli Pizza. Their pies were cheap and there’s frequently a line out the door. Not bad for a cheap eats!
One of Hamburg’s more famous streets in the St. Pauli area, Grosse Freiheit is probably Germany’s most crowded street on any given weekend night. Even in the dead of winter the street was crowded with people drinking outside. Along the street you’ll find the phenomenon that is Oliva Jones.
Oliva Jones must be Germany’s most famous transvestite and drag queen. She’s competed in international contests and been the star of reality TV shows. In the 2000s, she opened a bar on Grosse Freiheit which has quickly become one of Hamburg’s most popular shows!
For more Hamburg tips, be sure to check out my Hamburg stories on Travels of Adam.