When I visited Copenhagen in 2012, one of the things that was top on our list of things to do was to visit Freetown Christiania which is a self sufficient commune in the middle of Copenhagen. We visited and had a guided tour around and I have to say that it was one of my favourite things that we did during our trip and now that I am older (I was 13 when we went), I would love to go back and appreciate the place more!
Christiania is 84 acres and is on top of an abandoned military base. It was founded in 1971 by squatters and artists who created it initially as a social experiment. The founders said that Christiania is ‘beyond the reach of Danish law’ and it even has it’s own currency – the løn and its own flag. Christiania is the only place is Denmark where the selling of cannabis is overlooked by the law. They have a street in which they sell cannabis where they have shops that are open all day and sell around 30-40 different types of cannabis.
Walking around it, it is full of vibrant street art and everywhere you turn there is something new to see. There are also restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums, music venues and historic buildings within Christiania.
The residents initially didn’t want to own Christiania as individuals as they created the town to oppose those kinds of ideals but in 2012, after some struggles with the Danish government, they decided to buy the land as a collective.
Christiania has nine common laws that help to maintain order there and, when walking around the area, it does feel like the original message of the place hasn’t been lost over the 40 years that it has been there.
It’s definitely a special experience and if you find yourself in Copenhagen then definitely check it out, it’s definitely something you won’t find anywhere else!