Warnings and Dangers in Hamburg: Red Light District
Hamburg’s Red Light District, also called the Reeperbahn and “most sinful mile,” is a popular tourist destination due to its risqué nature. Be warned, however, that there is an element of risk when you visit.
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Leave the credit cards at home
At the sex shops and strip clubs, do not pay by credit card. A common practice to be wary of is an establishment getting your PIN and then charging your more (sometimes as much as €300 to €3000). So you might have only been thinking of spending a bit of money and it can end up being crazy. Leaving your credit cards in the hotel safe, and consider using a money belt to conceal extra cash that you have on you.
When everyone’s attention is on one thing, they all can be easy prey for thieves. Pickpockets are common throughout tourist districts, but it’s never easier to pickpocket a mark when they can’t take their eyes off the goods. Use a traveler’s wallet and don’t bring valuables that could be lifted by someone with light fingers.
Avoid Side Streets
Hamburg’s Red Light District is home to many prostitutes, and with that comes other unsavory characters: drug dealers, thieves, and muggers. Always travel in groups of two or more, stay alert, and never wander away from the main area, especially if someone is trying to lure you down a darkened alley. Avoid side streets.
On The Street
In addition to the shops of the red light district, sex workers can also walk the street in search of customers. Some aren’t looking for a customer, however, but an easy target. Some might be working with thieves to rob you, while others will simply demand exorbitant payments for something as simple as a photo. Others may lead you to a new place that requires a hefty door fee with plenty more costs once you step through the door.
Odds are good you’ll run into a stag party or bachelor party in the Red Light District. And, odds are good most or all of them will be drunk, and some may be aggressive or even outright hostile. Be careful with your money and your drinks around others frequenting the red light district.
Reeperbahn Station After 10:00 p.m.
The main strip of the Reeperbahn is generally safe and just requires the usual amount of caution you would practice in any other big city at night. A word about the train to and from the Reeperbahn, though: After a certain hour on weekends, some of the more colorful patrons become quite drunken and belligerent. Ignore their antics (while still being aware) and you’ll make it to the Reeperbahn just fine. Also excercise caution while exiting the station, as it will be filled a few wandering drunks. As a rule, the station is usually relatively full on weekend nights with young people and other tourists on their way to the nightclubs, but you will probably bump into some intoxicated homeless people.
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Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers of Red Light District in Hamburg.