2. Its 84 acres sit on an abandoned military base, and it was founded in 1971 by squatters and artists as a “social experiment.”
7. The town was said to be “beyond the reach of Danish law” by its founders, and has its own currency, Løn. (It’s often referred to as Freetown Christiania.)
Upon entering the town, you pass a sign that says “You Are Now Leaving the European Union.”
9. In Christiania, cannabis shops operate 24 hours a day and sell 30–40 types of hashish. Pretty cool.
Although weed is technically illegal here, it is still openly sold and tolerated. Police raids, though infrequent, do happen, however.
10. DIY signs abound.
13. The town is full of art galleries, restaurants, cafés, and historic buildings.
16. At many places, like Café Nemoland, you can smoke weed in an outdoor seating area.
This restaurant/bar/music venue, like many spots in Christiania, is open for late-night shenanigans. There’s also the Woodstock Café, which hosts live music and serves organic beer and coffee until 5 a.m., and plenty of other laid-back places to hang out well into the night.
17. Most of the food you’ll find in Christiania is organic and high quality — though reasonably priced.
At Morgenstedet, an adorable eatery with an ever-changing menu of (really delicious!) homestyle vegan and vegetarian fare, the atmosphere is rustic and relaxed.
18. Some spots look sort of trippy and post-apocalyptic.
Hej means “hey.” The chairs here are pretty chill too.
22. Even the dumpsters are cool.
24. Freetown Christiania has not been without controversy, though. Drug-related crime became an increasing problem in the ’80s, which led to clashes with the police and government.
Even Denmark’s tourism organization currently provides safety information for visitors.
26. Residents, however, have always largely been opposed to the idea of owning property, as the town was created out of a collectivist, anarchistic spirit.
The deal was made, but under the stipulation that “individuals would not actually control the land; the ‘collective’ would.” (Christiania property was was also offered at a price much below market value.)
27. Though crime has increased since its founding years, Christiania still retains the community-focused, hippie-like spirit of its original inhabitants.
Many of its near 1,000 residents are artisans who try to live as organically as possible. Things are pretty mellow here: Christiania prohibits running — it may be seen as a police raid — as well as private cars.
29. It’s a bucket-list destination for sure — with an atmosphere and a spirit that pictures simply don’t do justice.
(When leaving Freetown Christiania, a helpful sign reminds you that you’re returning back into the EU.)
While cannabis is openly sold and tolerated in Christiania, it is technically illegal. An earlier version of this post stated that weed was legal here. (h/t: user Ciliak.)