A little bit different face of Copenhagen. The area is now "a city within a city", with an alternative market, and many pubs, restaurants and venues for live music.
This offbeat district, once a barracks for soldiers, is within walking distance of Vor Frelsers Kirke at Christianshavn. The craft shops and restaurants here are fairly cheap because the residents refuse to pay Denmark's crippling 25% tax. In 1971 many young and homeless people moved in, without the city's permission, proclaiming Christiania a "free city." It has been a controversial place ever since. It's an oasis of self-government, collective spirit, and individual freedom, just a five-minute bike ride from the center of town.
Years ago when WWII soldiers abandoned there "houses" near the river some hippies went to live there. And other hippies came and it is now a big hippy comuna just in the city. I have never seen something similar ... Take care and do not take pictures (hippies do not like). You can walk, take a cup of coffe, even visit the skate room ... Police go there very often.
Cristiania has 3 "i" so the flag is 3 dots on a red cloth. But you may see 3 hearts ....
Christania is not a place that is visited by the average tourist. Christania is a free town, a sort of vatican in Rome, having its own 'rules' you can find bars, hawkers, and 'other' stalls. I suggest going there by bus, the first time that I went there was by bike and i assure u that riding back to the city centre was a bit of a hasstle...
Christiania is a unique part of Copenhagen. The residents there declared independance in 1971, when it was one big commune. People still live there and the authorities leave it intact, even thought there is a open market for drugs. While walking through Christiania you´ll see a kind of market with such unusual products as hash cookies. I have been there in broad daylight and it is far from being a dangerous place and quite a few tourists visit there. Just remember that taking pictures is forbidden in certain areas.
Visiting Christiania was first on my list. In the Netherlands I also live in a community housing project with 150 inhabitants, a bar, a shop and a movie theatre.
Christiania is of a completely different size with more than 1000 inhabitants. What I took home for my own project; make room for initiatives; art wil develop, little shops give a lively atmosphere, every house is different and you can make a house that fits your character.
Some thing I didn't like;
- Pusher street where soft drugs dealers abuse their freedom of the good willing inhabitants who do not wan't many rules.
- Graffitty. It's nice to express yourself freely, but don't start singing in public when you are not talented.
- Everyone is equal. May sound nice in theory, but I think we'll stick to a good working relation with our housing company and choose a board which can make (quick) decisions.
The Freetown of Christiania was founded back in 1971 by a group of hippies. Today it is much more than just a political thinktank. Christiania offers handmade fabrics and art, but also a lot of cheap and very good vegetarian food. A good place for vegetarian food is the Falafelwagon by Pusher Street (Falafel = €1,5). It has probably has the best falafel in Copenhagen. If you want a bit less fat/more healthy food i can recommend the "vegetable barn" which offers a smorgasbord of vegetarian food at reasonable pricing. You can get a good meal with beverage for about $6.
Note! In some of the pubs and restaurant you can not buy alcoholic beverages!
Christiania also has many interesting houses and nice parks. Try to avoid the t-shirts with cheap prints on it, which are mostly of bad quality at outrageous prices (can be found at the little square next to Pusher Street).
In Christiania you can also buy Haschisch and sometimes also Marijuana. You will probably be offered to buy Haschisch from one of the many dealers around Woodstock Café when the police not is around. The price is around 50-70 DKK for a gram ($8-9/gram). But be aware that it is illegal to carry even soft drugs as Marijuana in Denmark, even if it is quite tolerated by the public as in most of Europe.
Christiania is an alternative district of Copenhagen, which arose after hippies, homeless, alternatives and autonomists military barracks occupied and the "free state Christiania 'proclaimed. Since then it has become a neighborhood where alternative people feel at home, and which the inhabitants an example of the Danish progressiveness and tolerance. The city council is trying to remove the squatters for years to build housing on the site. So far without success.
In Christiania is no motorized traffic and the neighborhood has its own rules. So soft drugs are openly used and sold. Hard drugs are prohibited. There was an entire subculture developed in this district. You will find murals, alternative clothing boutiques, art studios, and here and there are sculptures. The residents have also opened various issues, ranging from a grocery store, bakery and restaurants to tattoo shops and stores where jewelry is made and sold. Furthermore, there are often outdoor shows and musical performances.
The district calls himself a "free city", but is so very poor it is not. Almost everywhere it is forbidden to take pictures. Indicated on signs and not to be photographed. Photos of Christiania are for sale at various stalls
Christiana is a self-governing "free town" established in 1971 a city within the city, the government has recently cracked down on long-term activities, such as the open use of soft drugs (hard drugs, firearms and cars are among the prohibited items though)
Yet it is very safe and popular as a tourist site. Keep in mind that it is a residential, not commercial. Photography of the central "Pusher Street" will not be tolerated by the dealers. Picture taking inside is prohibited, so, be aware of that. Picture is only allowed at the entrance
Cristiana, as shown here, is NOT a tourist spot, let me just make that clear. So flashing your camera and maps is'nt recommended. It's a run-down residental area in Central Copenhagen, occupied by hippies and squatters. Christiana prides itself on being 'seperate' from Copenhagen, Denmark and even the EU as you can see from my photo. It's on a seperate island, well-connected to Copenhagen by bridges that you dont even realise you're on a different island until you check your map. Photography is not allowed in Christiana - oops!
Visit Christiana which is a 'free city' within the boarders of downtown Copenhagen.Though it is very run down it is still interesting(especially the fact that the copenhagen police never shut it down)this showed me a lot about the tolerance the people of copenhagen show for others.
If you're into out of the ordinary type stuff, check out Christiania. It's a neighborhood in Copenhagen that's known for it's, well... How do I explain it? It's like a hippie commune. You can buy neat little crafts and clothing, not to mention various substances... Hey, Rick Steves recommended it.
Most people have heard about Christiania, but many of them have never been there.
Christiania is kind of a sanctuary (in the early days for the hippies) in Copenhagen. The walls are often decorated with flowers & paintings & they have marketplaces every here and there.
Although Christiania is mostly known for its drugs, I can asure you it is well worth a visit. Drugs has never been legal here, but the authorities has always chosen "to look in another direction" when it comes to this matter. As long as it´s handled nice & smooth (the same thing goes for Amsterdam).
I personally have never been a smoker or user of any kind of drugs, but I have always loved Christiania because of its mellow atmosphere (well "duh! they´re smoking!" you think....but it´s not all about that). The people who live here have really nice small houses with gardens full of wilderness. The houses & apartments in Christiania aren´t allowed to be sold; you have to give them away when you move. The once who make decitions here are the people....and to do this they gather up their small community and simply vote.
Recently the authorities decided to make an effort against the drugs. They busted down in Christianaia several times a week, and the "infamous" Pusher-street is now no longer a street were they push (sell drugs..).
Christiania is an old military camp that was taken over by hippies when the military moved out. Marijauna and hash is legal to sell and smoke in there. You are not supposed to bring any of it out with you though. Very interesting place.
'Free State Christiania' It is not really 'off the beaten track', for many visitors it is one of the main reasons to visit Copenhagen and it is interesting indeed.