Journey to the Freetown of Copenhagen

7 May 2015 Copenhagen, Denmark

view of modern architecture in copenhagen

The Christiana Freetown is well known to both the local danes and tourists who visit Copenhagen. A place where they have their own set of rules and laws independent from the rest of Copenhagen, and where weed is completely legal.

I wanted to visit Freetown Christiana on my second day in Copenhagen, but I didn't want to do it alone, so I signed up for a free short afternoon walking tour.

Since I stayed near the Tivoli Gardens, I planned to head over to the gardens that same morning. Unfortunately, the gardens were closed for renovation and were only said to open the day AFTER I left Copenhagen. Imagine the heartbreak when I found out.

Accommodation: Urban House Hostel
Booked for a 6bed dorm - got upgraded to a single room due to lack of beds
+ SUPER near the main train station, nice bar, nice communal lounge area, good shower Facilities
- Not very spacious, the beds in a 6-bed dorms were very squeezed together
The single room was pretty luxurious though :)
Tivoli Garden Copenhagen

The Tivoli Gardens were on the top of my list of places to visit, along with the freetown but sadly, my evident lack of proper planning meant that I didn't get that opportunity. There is a down side to having a "just wing it" mentality.
But also an upside.
In the spirit of just winging it, I headed from the gardens and just walked till I found myself at yet another harbour - with nobody in sight - and a nice view of colourful houses and empty benches for me to sit and stare into space.

What I Wore
Sweater: H&M
White Denim Skirt: Forever21
Shoes: Carlo Rino
On a sidenote, when I was taking pictures, the wind was so strong, it blew my camera off a ledge and nearly into the water. At that moment I had a horrific shock of my life. My immediate thought was not "my camera!" but "OMG MY PICTURES FROM YESTERDAY!"
There must be something wrong right there, right?

copenhagen book cafe

After recollecting my thoughts, my stomach rumbled, and I made my way towards the main shopping district (where we were suppose to meet for the tour) and grab a bite before the tour started.
The very awesome thing about Copenhagen is they have all these book cafés around. Cafés that sell books and food, I would love to spend an ENTIRE afternoon just chilling in such a place. I know my sister would LOVE to.

The tour started of at the centre of Copenhagen, and the tour guide brought us along a short walk through the modern parts of Copenhagen, explaining the different architecture, telling us various stories of Copenhagen, and fun facts.
1) The green tower above is on the 20 dollar bill
2) There is bridge that has the song with the tune of London bridge but instead of falling down its going up (it sounds very cute in danish! Like I would want to teach my kids that song!)
3) The tower up on the right above, has a person who plays the organ and there will be tunes/chimes coming out, one time when he was bringing a tour group around, they heard the harry potter theme song!

So I was wishing that we would get to hear it too, but sadly, we didn't.

The district of Christianshavn used to be a merchant town that thrived because of capitalism back in the day, which is pretty ironic since the Freetown - located within this area - is now a place that doesn't believe in capitalism.

I loved walking through the alleys and streets of the district. They have walls that are uneven, very old merchant-town-esque architecture that I really appreciated. It was a stark difference from the modern buildings just one bridge away.

Eventually, we found ourselves entering Freetown Christiana. It was definitely an eye opener, and I believe its a very important part of Copenhagen. It's nice to see the everyone embracing the fact that the people living in this freetown have different believes and just, accepting that and not forcing them to conform to the majority.

In the freetown, you see a lot of self-made sheds, many people selling weed, "shop doors" made out of leaves and strings tied together, and countless of no photography signs. It's an experience i really appreciated. And because I did not know much about the history of this freetown, going on a tour provided just the right amount of background information.

christiana freetown in copenhagen
freetown christiana
christiana freetown flag

See the red flag with 3 dots, that is their own flag! On the other side of the sign below, it says "you are now entering the EU" because they believe they are a Freetown and hence not part of the EU.

christiana freetown walking tour

At the exit of the free town, you were able to take pictures, and thus most pictures of Christiana Freetown online are pretty much identical. But trust me, its completely different from what you see inside, its... a very interesting environment.
Definitely one of those places you'll only "get it" when you visit it.

Since the Christiana was located near to a food market I wanted to visit, I was hoping to have a snack there after the tour, but low and behold, when I arrived at this sign board, it said the market was only opened from Friday to Sunday. It was a Thursday.
Note to self: It pays to do a little more research. Thankfully traveling alone means you only disappoint yourself, and its super easy to have a change of plans!

I made my way through the merchant town, and back towards Copenhagen's city centre, but not before passing by some gorgeous canals, and lovely sailboats just parked casually on the side of it.
These sailboats don't look like they belong to anybody, but of course since it looks a lot like a residential area, it must be!

I think its just lovely to be able to see a different side of Copenhagen than what is being offered in the main part of the city. Taking sometime to walk around in the residential area (despite my hungry stomach) was something I enjoyed, where else would you get to see sights like these, and to know people actually live in such places. Where just right out of their window is a perfect view, serene and calm, then across a big bridge is a shopping area with BikBok, H&M and Macdonalds!

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