Running West to East between Gerhardstraße and Davidstraße on Hamburg’s grid-like streets, Herbertstraße (or Herbert Street) is famous for its association with prostitution.
Formerly known as Heinrichstraße, the nature of the activities purveyed on the narrow thoroughfare has been tolerated since the 19th century.
Close to the port, the area was an important part of the services offered by the city to mariners on layover.
Situated on the edge of one of the city’s red light districts, the Reeperbahn, the area is known as ‘the most sinful mile’. Herbertstraße is one of several streets where sex services can be secured.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the history and modern day story behind one of the most famous Hamburg prostitution hot spots.
Sex in Hamburg: Prostitution Through The Years
Herbertstraße Reeperbahn has been linked with the sex industry for many decades.
When the Nazis were elected to power in 1933 they simply placed wooden screens at the entrances to the street to mask the illegal activities whilst allowing the women to continue in their work.
Due to the amount of corruption surrounding the activities at the time, it was considered easier simply to mask the street than to shut it down.
In the seventies, the authorities added warning signs to these barricades; forbidding young people and women from entering. These screens still exist today but have a more playful tone to them and could be seen as encouraging rather than dissuasive. Now constructed of steel, painted red, one sign suggestively advertises ‘…for more foreplay’, whilst another shows a scantily clad woman with the word ‘…for more tourism’.
The barricade is found to be a positive feature of Herbertstraße by the working girls as they believe it allows shyer customers to browse at leisure.
However, the iconic gated entrance has come under fire for gender discrimination as women are still not allowed to pass through the barrier. This was originally intended to protect unworldly women from being enticed into working and, latterly, to protect the resident working girls from any street competition. However unpopular this ban is to equal rights activists, it remains in force. It is rumoured that the punishment for ignoring the ban is harsh with offending women being doused with penis water; the water that clients use to clean up after they have been serviced.
Herbertstrasse: The Street Today
Today, around 250 women work on the street and prostitution is legal in the area (as well as in other designated areas of the city).
Just 60m in length the street is lined with shop windows in which prostitutes pose in order to entice potential clients inside the facilities. The fronts behind which they perform often open so that they may also talk to passers-by.
Sitting on stools or posing with chairs, the scenes you can witness along this narrow, neon-lit street are reminiscent of popular film depictions of red light districts around the world.
In fact, the street has been used as a location for several German films and TV shows.
During the day the area is busy with tourists taking photographs at both entrances but at night the area is mainly populated by potential customers. The Reeperbahn area is a hot spot for nightlife with bars, clubs as well as brothels and strip clubs so the Herbertstraße is typically a stop for any night out.
Herbertstraße prostitutes offer a divers and full range of services from BDSM and dominatrix to straightforward suck and fuck.
As ever, it is advisable to ensure that you negotiate the services you require prior to committing to any establishment as well as prices in order to avoid any dissatisfaction.
The street has a reputation for its high-class girls and you can expect to pay higher costs than anywhere else in the city (see below).
Sex in Hamburg: Prices
As a popular area for the sex trade, the girls are never short of customers either from enthusiastic locals or tourists keen to try the famous Hamburg hooker street.
As a result, prices are much higher on Herbertstraße than in other areas of the city.
However, the costs are usually worth paying as the calibre of girls working on this prestigious, landmark site are usually of a very high quality both in looks and in performance.
There have been reports of several scams running around the city including on Herbertstraße where the girls quote a price for full sex to get you inside and deliver less than you bargained for. As ever, be clear with what you are paying for before committing to any establishment.
A current estimate of a full service on Herbertstraße is 150-200EUR if you negotiate well but there are reports of men paying as much as 350EUR for exactly the same level of service.
Your mileage may vary.
And so may the dent to your wallet!
Have you passed through the Herbertstrasse red light district?
Can you recommend any other hot spots for sex in Hamburg?
Let us know your thoughts and comments below.