Freetown Christiania—often referred to as simply “Christiania”—came into being in 1971, when squatters occupied the former Bådsmandsstræde military barracks, and then declared itself a state. The tax-free commune is home to around 1,000 residents, who make their own laws. One controversial law is the legal sale of cannabis, which is now technically forbidden by Danish law.
Many of the city’s colorful houses were built by the residents themselves, and a walk around the streets will reveal painted murals and other street art. All visitors are welcome in Christiana to wander around or eat and drink in the cafes, watch a live band, or buy souvenirs—residents sell everything from Christiania T-shirts to umbrellas.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors are asked to respect the rules of Christiania when visiting, which include no mobile phone use.
- If you want to take photos of a resident of the area, it’s polite to ask their permission first.
- Visitors can learn more about these pieces with a tour geared specifically to alternative culture in Copenhagen.
How to Get There
Christiania is located in the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen. It’s best explored on foot—there are multiple entry points, but one of the easiest to find is the brick arch at Badmandstrade and Prinsessegade streets. Hop-on hop-off tour buses stop at the entry to Christiania, making it easy to combine a visit here with a trip to see other major sites in the city.
When to Get There
Visitors are free to come and go from the area all year round, although exploring is more enjoyable in the summer months when you’ll find more cafes open, and more events happening, such as live music.
Visit the Copenhagen Opera House Jutting out over the Copenhagen harbor opposite Amalienborg, the royal palace, Copenhagen Opera House is a landmark building in the city. The award-winning steel and glass construction is well worth a visit for the architecture alone, but visitors can also enjoy great views from the rooftop restaurant, or book tickets to see a musical performance in the auditorium.
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- Christian's Harbor (Christianshavn)
- Old Stock Exchange (Børsen)
- Kunsthal Charlottenborg
- Casino Copenhagen
- Castle Islet (Slotsholmen)
- Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen)
- Ruins under Christiansborg Palace
- Lapidarium of Kings (Kongernes Lapidarium)
- Thorvaldsens Museum
- Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot)
- Amalienborg Palace
- National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet)
- Kunstforeningen Gl Strand
- David Collection (Davids Samling)