Christiania, the famous freetown of Copenhagen, is without a doubt one of Denmark’s most popular tourist attractions.
This controversial area is loved by many but has been a turning point for strong debate. For visitors, the area is subject to safety concerns due to criminal activity and drug dealing.
It is important to know that dealing, buying and possessing illegal substances in any form is against Danish legislation.
Read more about safety in Christiania below.
Christiania was founded in 1971 when a group of people cut a hole in the fence to the military barracks in Bådmandsgade. Soon, the area was known for Pusher Street, where you could buy hash and pot – but no hard drugs – from various stalls.
Today, many of the original settlers still live in the collectively controlled village, and the area has a clear 70s feel to it.
Around 1,000 people live in Christiania, and every year, more than 500,000 people come to visit.
A lot of the people living in Christiania built their homes themselves, giving the area an extremely interesting architectural feel. And you will find a variety of eco-restaurants, workshops, galleries and music venues offering all sorts of cultural experiences.
Christiania existed under special conditions for 40 years, with constant conflicts and clashes between the local Christianites and the Danish state.
After many years of uncertainty about the future of Christiania, an agreement was entered in 2011, which meant that on 1 July 2012, a foundation, the Foundation Freetown Christiania, was founded.
The foundation now owns the entire part of Christiania located outside the protected ramparts and leases buildings and land on the ramparts, which are still owned by the state. Part of the money is raised by selling the symbolic Christiania shares.
Safety in Christiania
It is important that you are aware that Christiania is not like any other neighbourhood in Copenhagen.
According to Copenhagen police the area around Pusher Street is controlled by organised criminal groups. The residents themselves have adopted a set of rules for security reasons, which they strongly advise visitors to abide by.
They discourage visitors from photographing, running and talking on the phone in the area, especially in and around Pusher Street. At the main entrance, you will find a sign listing the rules, which the residents also advise visitors not to photograph.
Over the years, there have been reports of acts of violence linked to organised criminal activities, and it is advised to check the recommendations of the local authorities before planning a visit to Christiania. Read about current affairs from Copenhagen Police or visit their account on X.
Locals give guided tours of the area. Every day throughout the summer (26 June – 31 August) and every weekend the rest of the year.
This is a really good way to experience the special Christiania vibe. The guides have lived most of their lives here, and they give a personal tour of this alternative community.
The tours are in English and Danish and start from the main entrance at 15:00. The price is DKK 40 in cash to the guide.