In 2016 both myself and my friend stumbled across Freetown Christiania after deciding to do a miniature European trip covering a few destinations in Europe. However, we managed this on a very strict budget. Instead of interrailing, we decided that by booking the cheapest flights we could find, somehow we could make our way back home within our budget. A little bit stupid, a little bit crazy but a lot of fun!
During this spontaneous trip, neither of us had any plans or expectations of what we wanted to see or do. It was for this reason that when we arrived in Copenhagen (the last destination on our route) we were over the moon to stumble across Freetown Christiania – a gem within the Danish capital of Copenhagen.
Whilst we were in Venice we met a couple of travellers who suggested that we should visit Christiania if we were planning a trip to Copenhagen but they didn’t really explain what Christiania was or where to find it and so this left us both more confused and even more intrigued to find out exactly what Christiania was…
Once we had arrived in Copenhagen, after a stressful attempt at crossing over from Malmo in Sweden, we made it our aim to find Christiania and see what all the fuss was about. Like every other citizen of Denmark, we jumped on a bicycle and just peddled our way around Copenhagen stopping at random locations in the city and pretending we knew where we were. To be quite honest we had absolutely no idea where we were and we didn’t really care because it was raining and we were just having fun racing each other on the bikes we spent our last 100 Krone on.
Whilst randomly racing each other around the city, to our surprise we finally stumbled across a sign. It was a signpost that had the one word we were excited to see… Christiania.
After following the signposts we were amazed at what we stumbled across… An alternative/hippy styled neighbourhood with art galleries, music venues and a sketchy area dedicated to the sales of cannabis. Christiania was formerly a military base but has since been transformed into an independent community after a group of hippies squatted there in the 1970’s. We wandered around the town and took in its hippy vibes and after visiting the art galleries we walked out with colourful posters to take home as souvenirs from this strange but in my opinion must-see destination.
The green light district of Freetown Christiania (the area where cannabis is sold) felt like a less touristy Amsterdam, but unlike Amsterdam, it felt extremely illegal…and probably because it is illegal. Completely oblivious to the signs I decided to start taking some photos on my Nikon and within 10 seconds I had a local demanding I put my camera away. It was the mix of this illegal set up, the alternative cafes and the funky art galleries that made Freetown Christiania feel like nowhere else in the world. It felt like an independent city within a city – sort of the like the Vatican and Rome.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get any substantial photos of Christiania during my time there back in 2016. However, after doing some research it seems that the green light district has faded out due to recent turmoil in the area and the area now allows photos to be taken.
If you are thinking of heading to Copenhagen then you HAVE to visit Freetown Christiania. You’ll want to experience the laidback hippy vibes of this alternative community and witness something completely different to what you may think Copenhagen offers.
Thank you for reading this blog post and if you have any questions feel free to email me through the contact page on the website or alternatively message me through the Bankrupt Backpacker Facebook page here.
Feel free to leave comments and if you have visited Freetown Christiania then I would love to know about your experience!