In 1971 an abandoned military area in the Christianshavn district of the city was taken over by squatters. They claimed the area as a free city, free of taxes and run by their own laws. New settlers poured in to this alternative area and the social experiment of a few free thinkers became a permanent feature of the city. Christiania survives and adapts and it is still a vibrant alternative hub in the city, with around 1000 people permanently living in the area.
Christiania is a real experience; a hotch-potch of warehouses, huts and houses, colourful murals and outdoor sculptures. Visitors are welcome to stroll around Christiania and to eat and drink in the area’s cafés, restaurants and bars. There are a number of live music and other outdoor events in Christiania over the summer and a few nightclubs to enjoy. You can also walk around the lake which Christiania backs on to. Join a guided tour by one of the locals throughout the summer to get to know this unique part of the city.
Christiania has always been controversial and is still a very hotly-discussed area, not least because of problems with the illegal trading of hash. The police have recently stated that they do not have free and open access to Christiania, which may cause problems for visitors. Some visitors may find Christiania, particularly the area around Pusher Street, to be rough.
When entering Christiania it is therefore extremely important that you follow the Do's and Don'ts signs up at the entrances. Here you'll find advice against running or talking on the mobile phone inside Christiania. As well as this, visitors must not take photographs or film inside Christiania.
For your own safety, we recommend that you do not take cameras with you at all to Christiania. A tourist has recently been attacked inside Christiania simply for having a camera on them, even though they were not attempting to take photographs. The same applies to cameras on mobile phones.