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If you want to get a real taste of Freetown Christiania’s unique atmosphere, make sure to dedicate at least a day to exploring the autonomous neighbourhood’s car-free alleys and hidden corners. The area’s lovely cafés, cosy restaurants and vibrant bars will keep you engaged from morning until late at night.
Start your day in Christiania with a warm cup of cappuccino and a filling breakfast at Cafe Månefiskeren. Before a group of hippies squatted Christiania in the 70s, the building, which now houses the cosy café, used to be a heating station. Even though it’s difficult to guess the place’s past, as today the room is decorated with bizarre artworks hanging on the walls and a pool table that is always reserved, Cafe Månefiskeren has an industrial style that creates an underground and laid-back tone. Smoking is allowed in Månefiskeren, but due to the room’s high ceilings, it rarely feels smoky. Besides, you can always grab a table in the café’s outdoor area.
Christiania might be known for its cobblestoned car-free streets and the old buildings with the graffiti-painted walls, but once you pass through this area the scenery changes completely. Stadsgraven canal spans in the middle of a green area where Christianistes’ little colourful houses stand by the waterfront, creating the feeling that you’re in a place miles away from the city centre. Cross Dyssebroen bridge and roam the dirt roads by bike or on foot.
Once you’ve discovered Christiania’s hidden corners, grab a tasty lunch at one of the neighbourhood’s cosy eateries. Grønsagen and Morgenstedet are two of the most popular and cheapest vegetarian restaurants in the district known for their delicious organic dishes and the calm and laid-back atmosphere. For a full meal inspired by the Thai cuisine, head to Spiseloppen, the neighbourhood’s most stylish restaurant. Run by a group of people of more than 10 different nationalities, the multicultural restaurant attracts a mixed crowd of both locals and tourists.
Continue your day trip at Freetown Christiania with a walk around the district’s main area and discover the little alleys with the numerous souvenir stands and the cute little clothing shops. Stop by the wooden skatepark Wonderland and watch experienced skaters do their tricks before moving into ALIS, the store with Christiania’s official brand. Keep in mind that taking photos while you’re in Pusher Street isn’t allowed.
Do it like locals and relax at Christiania’s sauna. Especially, if you’re travelling during winter time, the sauna’s heat will help you recharge your batteries and keep exploring Copenhagen’s autonomous neighbourhood. Christiania Badehuset is open from Tuesday to Sunday until 9pm.
Now that you’ve boosted your energy levels, it’s time for the first beer of the night. Again, Christiania offers plenty of choices for all tastes. If you don’t mind the thick smell of smoke, head to Woodstock, the area’s oldest bar where beer coast less than 20DKK (£2,39) and habitués are always willing to strike up a conversation and share some stories from their lives in the neighbourhood. For a more pub-style place grab a seat at Cafe’s Nemoland comfy red couches.
Finally, night owls who want to soak up every bit of Christiania’s atmosphere shouldn’t leave the hippie neighbourhood before hitting one of the quarter’s music venues. Loppen hosts local and international artists of all music genres all year round so make sure to check out their official site. For jazz lovers, the place to be is definitely Jazzkluben, Christiania’s jazz bar, while those who want to sweat it out on the dance floor should keep an eye out on Operaen‘s program for upcoming DJ sets and live performances.