Europe's Sleaziest Tourist Destinations
From Paris to Athens, avoid (or enjoy) these sex-and-drugs zones
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 6:13 PM CDT
Pigalle, in the north of Paris, is still a notorious sex and drugs area despite ongoing gentrification.   (©Brett Hammond)
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(Newser) – Ah, Europe, home of landmark cafés, glorious historic churches—and stinking, dangerous red-light districts rife with hookers, drug dealers, and pickpockets. Correspondents for the Times of London highlight the continent's most tawdry areas.

  • Reeperbahn, Hamburg: Germany's decorous port town turns as seedy as it gets here. Pimps fight turf wars with knives, while half-naked prostitutes pelt other women with perfume-filled condoms.

  • Wenceslas Square, Prague: Contains some of the Czech Republic's most beautiful architecture, but you'll probably get your pocket picked while you crane your neck. Police are trying to drive out the drug dealers, and locals are nowhere to be seen.
  • Damstraat, Amsterdam: The conduit to Holland's most famous red-light disrict teems with drugged-out tourists. At least it has a good dim sum joint.
  • Place Pigalle, Paris: The area near the Moulin Rouge has gentrified a bit, but tacky sex shops still line the streets.
  • Omonia Square, Athens: Once the heart of the Greek capital, it's now home to Albanian criminals and African whores. Kiss your wallet goodbye.