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It may be Amsterdam that is renowned for a liberal spirit, but I think many travel books have overlooked Denmark. The biggest tourist attraction in Copenhagen, is not (as one would’ve thought) Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, but is Christiania.

Christiania is a hippie colony that exists as a separate state from the EU, right in the heart of Denmark’s capital. It was set up in the 1970s by squatters who moved into ex-army buildings, and has remained ever since. The Christianians, although subject to Danish law, exist by the own laws, which are pretty much summed up in 3 rules: no violence, no guns, and no hard drugs. It’s all community run, where decisions of who to accept into the community, what behaviour is accepted and decisions about the everyday running of the place are decided by votes from the entire community who lives there.

Visiting Christiania is definitely a curious throw back to what we may think of as the stereotypical hippie 70s. People just kind of sit about, marijuana is still legal and is sold on the streets there, the buildings are painted in bright colours with murals (think Bob Marley); and it seemed to us outsiders, that the inhabitants of Christiania lived with a liberal approach to cleanliness. Haha

But it’s definitely worth a look...just don’t expect it to be anything like the rest of the ultra-chic, ultra-modern and ultra-classy Denmark. You just gotta chill man...

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