No Photos Please: Welcome to Christiania, Copenhagen’s Freetown

freetown denmark

Colorful Christiana: Note the rare sign here saying that photos are allowed!

If you really want to feel like a yuppie, walk through Christiania in Copenhagen while pushing a stroller with one hand while clutching your cappuccino from Baresso in the other.

christiana entrance

Welcome to Christiania: one of the main entrances to this hippe enclave.

In Christiania, the division seems to be not so much tourist vs. resident but rather yuppie vs. hippie. Oh, there were plenty of us coffee-carriers walking about, and I’d be willing to be most were, uh, visitors. But there were also free-spirited backpacker types lying on the grass or buying things that one can legally buy there (especially on Pusher Street and in the Green Light District) — and then lying on the grass.

freetown copenhagen

Freetown is not entirely free — there are rules here. This sign was all over Christiania, as well just outside (where this was taken).

I also saw many industrious people that July morning, as a large fruit and vegetable was being set up, but overall it was quiet because people were still asleep from the notorious parties the night before. The main noise was from large dogs roaming around, which made me kind of nervous.

christiania graffiti

A close-up of the mural at the entrance

As a Freetown that was founded in 1971, Christiania is one of Copenhagen’s biggest tourist attractions. But this is one tourist attraction that you’re NOT supposed to photograph. There are “no photos” signs all over this hippie enclave, and naturally that just made me want to photograph everything even more.

playground christiana

This playground near the entrance didn’t seem to inviting — or clean.

If I had more time, I would have taken a guided tour because that would have brought me to more areas that were OK to photograph. There are so many interesting houses that people built by hand with eclectic materials, and probably many of those owners would be happy to be photographed. But I wasn’t about to go knocking on doors by myself. There’s also a lot of cool murals and graffiti in Christiania.

christiana denmark symbol

This rock has the symbols of Christiana

It’s just amazing that a place like Christiania even exists within the confines of Copenhagen, which is so manicured, modern and design-oriented, with some gorgeous historical castles and buildings of course. Christiania is a time warp back to the 1970’s, although its heyday has long passed. In many ways, it feels more anachronistic than Rosenborg castle.

5 Responses to No Photos Please: Welcome to Christiania, Copenhagen’s Freetown

  1. Lillie
    Twitter: WorldLillie
    February 26, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    What an interesting part of town! I never would have known about it. Sounds lovely!
    Lillie recently posted..Are the Best Sights of India in Old Delhi? Look Here.

  2. wandering educators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    February 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    i love the colors in the murals – they are gorgeous!
    wandering educators recently posted..An Unexpected Encounter in Acadia National Park

  3. Larissa
    Twitter: changes_long
    February 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I love finding these quirky little enclaves in cities–will definitely have to check this one out :)
    Larissa recently posted..How to travel: 14 travel myths debunked (Part 1)

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    Twitter: sunshinesiestas
    February 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I’ve long been fascinated by hippie cultures, especially coming from a family of straight-laced WASPs. My favorite in Spain? One in a town called POO!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Andalusia: A Love Letter in Photos

  5. D.J. - The World of Deej March 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I have a little of both hippie and yuppie in me, but not nearly this much:) Cool spot!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The New and Improved Picture of the Week

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