The name Reeperbahn means ropewalk, which is a place where ropes are made (Low German Reep = rope, the standard German word is Seil; Bahn= track). The street was a ropewalk in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The street, and its side streets
The street is lined with restaurants, night clubs, discotheques and bars. There are also strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, a sex museum and similar businesses. The Operettenhaus, a musical theatre, is also located at the Reeperbahn. It played Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats for many years, after that Mamma Mia!, an ABBA-musical, and now "Ich war noch niemals in New York", ("I have never been in New York") featuring hit songs by Austrian singer/songwriter Udo Jürgens. There are other theatres at the Reeperbahn (St. Pauli Theater, Imperial Theater, Schmidts Tivoli) and also several Cabarets/Varietés.
A famous landmark is the Davidwache, a police station located on the South side of the Reeperbahn at the cross street Davidstraße.
better stay away from it !
Street prostitution is legal during certain times of the day on Davidstraße. The Herbertstraße, a short side street of the Davidstraße, has prostitutes behind windows waiting for customers. Since 1933, large screens block the view into Herbertstraße from the adjacent streets. Since the 1970s, there have been signs saying that entrance to the street is prohibited for women and juveniles; however, technically it is a public road which anyone may enter