Christiania is a former barracks area colonized by hippies after declaring itself a “free city” in 1971. It has evolved into a self-governing entity based on collective ownership, with quirky buildings housing alternative small businesses such as a bicycle workshop and women’s smithy, as well as art galleries, cafés, restaurants, Copenhagen’s best falafel stand, music venues and Pusherstreet, once an open hash market. There are guided tours of the area (late June to Aug daily 3pm; rest of the year Sat & Sun only; 40kr), starting at the main gate by Prinsessegade, but it’s just as fun to wander around on your own. No photos are allowed, unless by special permission. The neighbourhood has been racked by controversy since the off, sitting as it does on prime real estate while its population remain exempt from the taxes most Danes pay. Although the area’s future is threatened by moves from the Danish conservative government, as its residents may tell you, the places earns its keep: it’s one of Copenhagen’s most visited attractions, and justifiably so.

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