The Reeperbahn is the central street of Hamburg’s nightlife and red-light district and home to a special Christmas market: Santa Pauli.
Santa Pauli is advertised as “Hamburgs geilster Weihnachtsmarkt”. As the hottest/sexiest xmas markets, it features naughty cartoon depictions of Santa and his pals above most of the stands. You can also expect slightly different offerings at stands. I’ve seen penis candles made out of honey wax or a wool dick.
Some areas might even be age-restricted temporarily. But most of the time, Santa Pauli is simply Hamburg’s most colourful Christmas market.
The market is held at the Spielbudenplatz, location of various live events at the Reeperbahn (night market, Eurovision Song Contest). The Winterdeck and the show stage are located at opposite ends of the Christmas market. Santa Paula had a tent for strip shows in previous years, but these were performed on the main stage in evening hours this year.
The surrounding of this market is giving it a different vibe compared to the classic market in front of the town hall.
Santa Pauli is also a great place to get some last minute Christmas gifts. I don’t think that everyone will appreciate a penis candle, no matter how much effort went into these. I found one vendor selling upcycled Astra beer bottles. These were turned into soap dispensers, magnets and earrings.
Another vendor sold Christmas hats with a message (“party bitch”, “Christmas for Future”, “party king”) and offered custom ones as well. There was a shop for love toys and underwear, but there are various shops selling those at the Reeperbahn anyway.
On Mondays, the very special “Einhornglühwein” (unicorn glow wine) is sold.
Less special is the photo box. Not far away, just across subway station Feldstraße, is a photo box that has like a cult following in Hamburg. Cram as many friends as possible in one box and let the automatic camera do its worst. This year, I’ve seen such a box at two Christmas markets. I’m surprised, because these photo machines don’t offer much. They are not comparable to the Purikura machines in Japan and Korea, which allow you to edit and decorate the photos before they are printed.
Just one fortune teller was present at the Christmas markets I visited. Santa Pauli’s Norma does white magic and red magic, analyses photos and dreams.
Santa Pauli is one of the Christmas markets you should visit, when you’re in Hamburg during Christmas time. This year, I visited the market on the last day (December 23). I recommend going earlier, because there are no stage performances on the 23rd and the market closes earlier.