On my recent trip to Copenhagen, I visited Freetown Christiania, the self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents which covers 34 hectares of the Christianshavn borough. Independent by currency (it has its own, the Løn), laws, flag and even mayor, the area is virtually separated from the rest of the city.
Christiania has been a source of controversy ever since its establishment in a squatted military area in 1971. There have been a number of drug-related crime issues in the 80s, which led to clashes with government and police.
Nowadays, it remains a well-know spot for pot trade, which is still illegal in Denmark. In Christiania, cannabis shops operate 24 hours a day and apparently sell 40 different types of hashish. While it is very touristy and people tend to walk around taking pictures everywhere, Pusher Street, the ‘green light district’ bans visitors from taking what is essentially photographic evidence.
I don’t know what Christiania is like at night, but I expect it might be dodgy in places. Having visited it during the day though, there’s nothing to be afraid of. The area is a real artistic and social experiment, full of quirky houses, murals, workshops and other buildings, a vibrant scenery with a hippie edge.
Definitely check it out if you’re down in Copenhagen 🙂