There is something about alternative places, that meant we just had to visit Freetown Christiania – Copenhagen’s Hippie Town in Denmark. Amongst the icons like the Little Mermaid (overrated) Tivoli Gardens (interesting), the palaces, museums and castles, and the main drag the Stroget, lies this free-spirited little ‘green’ commune known as Freetown Christiania.
We liked Copenhagen
We liked Copenhagen .. a lot. While it is sophisticated, there are also elements that are not overly sanitized, giving the city its dichotomous personality, and that is a good thing for any city. Freetown Christiania and the Street Food in Copenhagen at Papiroen, or more correctly Papirøe are two such areas that gives Copenhagen its different shades. Read about the street food in Copenhagen right here.
About Freetown Christiania – Copenhagen’s Hippie Town
Freetown Christiania was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some old and abandoned military barracks and developed their own set of societal rules, completely independent of the Danish government. There are now approx. 900 people who live in the community, and they have their own rules and make decisions through communal meetings. This commune and the Danish government have not always seen eye to eye on their autonomy, and a wander through Freetown Christiania and its open cannabis trade will probably give you a heads up as to why there has been conflict.
Our Visit to Freetown Christiania
We wandered past many of Copenhagen’s monuments and ended up along a delightful river bank. As we emerged from this tree and flower lined walk, we headed into a different world of street art, graffiti, music, muddy paths, roaming dogs and let’s face it, lots of alternative people, and a thriving and overt cannabis trade.
Freetown Christiania is a green and car-free neighborhood in Copenhagen and is now known as The Green Light District, and with plenty of signs to that effect. As we headed down the main and very festive street, known as Pusher Street which became pretty obvious why, we were asked, very very nicely not to take photographs. Another man gave us a rider and said if we asked and the person gave us their permission, then that would be ok.
It was quite confronting seeing all of the dope stations along the way, and the discerning clientele sniffing and feeling the produce. We could hear the discussions about the type of marijuana, the grade, etc. We felt it more prudent, and respectful, not to ask to photograph any of the sellers, nor the buyers, because it is actually illegal in Denmark to sell hooch on the streets, or anywhere actually.
More About Freetown Christiania – Copenhagen’s Hippie Town
This has meant that through the years, the people of Freetown Christiania have become used to police officers regularly raiding the commune and occasionally arresting dealers. Yet, the commune continued to exist. After three people had been wounded by gunfire in 2016, the commune decided to shut down Pusher Street. After Pusher Street had been closed, the city was covered in posters, created by the inhabitants, asking people to buy their hash in places other than Freetown Christiania – Copenhagen’s Hippie Town. However, on our visit in May 2017 Pusher Street was alive and thriving.
Freetown Christiania is a mix of hippy houses, art galleries, music venues, and workshops. As would be expected where undoubtedly the munchies are part and parcel of living and visiting Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen’s Hippie Town, have a lot of cheap and organic eateries.
The location of Freetown Christiania is very beautiful. As I said it lies on a river bank and it seems to be a very fertile area. Trees and flowers grew prolifically, and marijuana also I would guess, and while it is not your Pleasantville type of area, it has a lot of appeal, in a nature and hippy type way. There is street art and graffiti, and there is a colour, and there is life.
Everyone is welcome in Freetown Christiania – Copenhagen’s Hippie Town, as long as you show respect for their requests. There are even guided tours run by the local people, should you feel it all a little confronting.
Freetown Christiania is in the delightful Christianshavn area, and you can get there by metro, bus or bike. It is a pleasant walk also, and we would advise that you do this. If you don’t want to walk all the way there, is to take bus 350S from Nørreport St. in the city center and get off at Christianshavn St.