In 1960, the Beatles came to Hamburg and started performing in St. Pauli clubs and bars. Soon they became one of the biggest bands in the world. Here are a few places to explore Hamburg’s rock ‘n’ roll history and follow in the Fab Four’s footsteps.
Hamburg’s infamous red-light district is a proudly alternative neighborhood that played host to some of John Lennon, George Harrison, and the Beatles’ first gigs—when they left Liverpool for Germany. Today St. Pauli remains one of Hamburg’s most vibrant and welcoming districts.
Decades after John, Paul, George, and Ringo were in Hamburg, the city recognized their place in rock history by constructing Beatles Platz, a public square that honors the band in a unique way. Five statues in outline form stand to represent the band members. Of course, since a few members changed in those early years, the drummer’s outline could represent either Pete Best or Ringo Starr.
Running through the heart of St. Pauli, the Reeperbahn is a lively street popular among Hamburg visitors. When darkness falls over the city, neon-lit bars jostle for space among the vibrant clubs, and energetic revelers enjoy the colorful side of Hamburg’s nightlife.
The Beatles performed their first Hamburg gig in the Indra Club. Though it closed in 1960, it has recently reopened at its original location. The building has been remodeled, but you can still go there to enjoy a beer and see bands perform live.
After the Indra Club closed in early October 1960, the Beatles started playing at the Kaiserkeller. They preferred the location of this venue, since it was a little closer to the action on Grosse Freiheit. Today the club continues to have live shows as well as other parties and events.