Trippin’ around Freetown Christiania, Denmark

What would happen if one day; you wake up and decide that, you don’t like the country you’re in? You may think about moving to another, or campaigning to your local council, or even parliament.

OR

You could start your own country (of course!)

There are over 70 micro nations in the World, and I had no idea about any of them, until I met up with Jonny from Don’t Stop Living, and we toured a former Micronation in London called Frestonia

Though this didn’t give me much insight, as it was a former Micronation, and there weren’t any citizens living there. All we had to go on was information from the internet.

However, during my recent trip to Copenhagen, where I spent the time cycling around the city, I decided to stop in at Christiania, again with Jonny, who happened to be in town.

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Freetown Christiania

The border of Christiania is located in the neighbourhood of Christianhavn in Copenhagen, and is a short walk from the city centre.

There is no official border or customs. You won’t need a visa or a passport; everyone is welcome. A sign which informs you that you are entering Christiania, is made of wood, and almost looks as if it has Maori carvings in it. The back of the same sign will inform you that you are heading back into the EU. Christiania has been declared a free independent state since 1971. It also has its own constitution; The Christiania Law of 1989.

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Christiania has 900 residents living in the area. It has its own flag (a simple red flag, with three yellow circles), and it even has its own currency, which we exchanged at the local gift shop.

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A metal version of the Christiania flag, at one of the other entrances into the country
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A replica of the flag, painted onto a contained in Christiania
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50 Christiania LON, which was exchanged for 50 DKK (a great exchange rate)

Visiting Christiania

One of the first things you will notice about Christiania is how colourful it is. Murals and street art everywhere; it genuinely feels like quite a happy place to be.

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Colourful artwork is a key theme in Christiania.

The second thing is its pace; everything seems to slow down when you are there. Everyone is so relaxed and not bothered by anything. Though that could be the influence of the cannabis, because oh yes – quite literally everyone is on it, and you can probably get high just being here. The infamous Pusher Street; otherwise known as the Green Light District is where you can can find the happy bakeries and such like.

It is of course still illegal and there has been much trouble with the local police in the past. As such, there are no photographs allowed in the green light district.

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What is there to do in Christiania?

If you’re not into getting high; there are plenty of things to do; people watching is also a great pastime, just to get an idea of the culture and an insight into life there.

Here are some things we got up to, and you can too, on your visit.

The art gallery and museum

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Entry into the museum and art gallery in Christiania

Currently surrounded by scaffolding, the museum is at the top floor of this building, although is only open until 6pm. Here there is a very small cafe, and you can purchase postcards, as well as other artwork.

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Artwork on display in the Museum and gallery in Christiania

During our time in the Gallery, we met a lady called Atse, who gave us a small tour, as we happened to be buying some postcards, and had asked for some information. She lived in Christiania from 1972 to 1977, but now lives elsewhere in Demark. She returns to Christiania to help out at the museum at times.

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She left me a small note in my notebook and thanked us for visiting

A note from Atse, a former resident of Christiania
A note from Atse, a former resident of Christiania

The bars

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Christiania has a number of bars in a small area, with its own beer. Although we were unsure as to whether the beer was brewed in Christiania. We had a local beer (aptly name Christiania) in Nemoland bar, where there were a number of locals and people from various nations, here to check out the place.

The gift shop

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The gift shop is at the exit/entry point to Christiania. Here you can buy various things from t-shirts and hoodies, to fridge magnets and badges. This is where we got our Danish Korne changed into the local currency (the LON)

The countryside

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If you take a little stroll away from the happenings of the ‘town centre’ of Christiania, you’ll come to an even more peaceful area. Christiania sits on a small island like area, so is surrounded by water. Here you can look back into the city of Copenhagen.

There were a number of people sitting or laying by the grass, not doing an awful lot; but they seemed to be enjoying life. We thought that perhaps this a retreat for the locals.

 

My experience of visiting Christiania was certainly very unique. I had never been to a place quite like it. Christiania is one of the more well known Mirconations, and I can sadly see it become more of a tourist attraction. Locals here are obviously buying into that, with the gift shop, as well as offering guided tours for 50 DKK (during summer months only).

However, if you Β are in Copenhagen, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to come here. We did hear that there was a guesthouse you can stay in, but were unable to find it.

Have you been to Christiania or any other disputed countries? This has really opened up a new interest, and I am keen to check out more sometime.Β 

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Peace out, and happy travels

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