The hottest nightspots in town are concentrated on and around St. Pauli's pulsating thoroughfare, the Reeperbahn, and a buzzing little side street known as Grosse Freiheit ("Great Freedom"). It was there, in the early 1960s, that a then-obscure band called the Beatles polished their live act. The Kiez, as the area is known colloquially, is a part of town that never sleeps—literally, in the case of at least a couple of bars that claim to never close their doors. It has long been famed for its music halls and drinking holes, but also for its strip clubs, sex shops, and brothels. The first brothel was registered here in the 15th century, and although the love-hungry sailors that the area became famous for no longer roam the streets, streetwalkers still line Davidstrasse; around the corner, on Herbertstrasse, skimpily dressed women sit in windows and offer their services to passersby.
The Kiez is about more than just its red-light activities, however, and the Reeperbahn swells on evenings and weekends with bar hoppers and nightclubbers, concert- and theatergoers, and locals and out-of-towners out for dinner and a few drinks. And maybe a walk on—or at least through—the wild side afterward.