St. Pauli is a district of Hamburg which is perfect for urban party people with no preconceptions. It is the home of Germany's most famous red light district with all related aspects like drunken people and homeless people, however, as often the case, the reality is much less exciting. It is true that in St. Pauli you can buy sex, related toys, there are table dance bars and drag queens. But most of the Reeperbahn has nothing to do with that and simply benefits from the "sinful" reputation. Actually, the Reeperbahn is a rather safe place, even for women - unless you are member of one of the gangs.
The quarter became a very hip place to live recently and real estate prices increased rapidly. A couple of new built houses brought increased real estate value and improved the neighborhood as it became more mixed. You will find luxury design lofts as well as apartments satisfying only the very basic needs, and most apartment houses are still in dire need of renovation. But you can start your nightlife right in front of your apartment and you have the city center in foot reach. The population is young and one third are foreign nationals. If you have a place to live in the side streets of the Reeperbahn respectively you will still mostly enjoy a quite night throughout the week. Quieter neighborhoods are also around Hein-Köllisch-Platz and around Paulinenplatz.
This is not really a family area and you should not leave your bycicle out on the street, not even secured. The best place is a locked cellar with a real good locker or your balcony. Groundfloor apartments are not recommended unless the apartment is circled in by the whole block.
Schanze & Karoviertel (part of St. Pauli)
The very popular Schanzenviertel and its neighbor Karolinenviertel also belongs to St. Pauli and has nothing to do with the red light district but represents a very urban, self-confident quarter with lots of creative folks living here. There are a lot of small boutiques, cafes and restaurants which focus on individuality rather than the mass market. The Marktstrasse and the Schanzenstrasse and the Schulterblatt are the heart of this small quarter. The quarter is also considered left-wing political and is, unfortunately, target of violent disruptions every 1st May. There is a lot of graffiti on the walls and the streets are not the tidiest, however, there are many cozy and hidden spots to feel at piece with the whole world.
Living in the above mentioned street is a reliable method to find no sleep, as the restaurants and bars all have outdoor spaces and next to every venue is crowded from Thursday to Sunday from 4:30 pm onwards till late in the night. The side streets are quieter. Forget about owning a car if you live here, you are faster with the train departing from station Schulterblatt or Sternschanze, both within 5 minutes walking distance. It is a place for young (party) people and a place to spend a night of relaxed celebration with friends in comfy sofa cafés, hip and stylish restaurants, well-used bar counters and easy change of location. Very lively, and saught after. An apartment will be next to impossible to grab.
Get an impression of available apartments in this district
The link refers to the biggest real estate webportal and what you see is representative. The search is limited to unfurnished apartments with a built-in kitchen. Any furniture you see will go out before you move in.
Get an idea of rental price development in this district
The link refers to statistics of the biggest real estate webportal and shows the m² prices as so requested by the landlords. They can be considered being the reality since there is no room for negotiation in this market.
Photos f.l.t.r:St. Pauli (c) Henry Mühlpfordt wimox CC BY-SA 2.0, (c) Oxfordian Kissuth PIXELIO, St. Pauli Hafenstraße (c) Arne List CC BY-SA 2.0, Modernes St. Pauli (c) Eichental CC BY-ND 2.0, Fernsehturm and St. Pauli (c) photocapy CC BY-SA 2.0, Dockland (c) Eichental CC BY-ND 2.0, „Bernstorffstraße 160c+d“ (c) Hinnerk11 CC BY-SA 3.0, „Hamburg St. Pauli“ (c) AltSylt CC-BY-SA 4.0, „Davidstraße (Hamburg-St. Pauli).Blick Richtung Gebrüder-Wolf-Platz“ (c) Ajepbah CC BY-SA 3.0, all following pictures by(c) www.elblicht.de