copenhagen, denmark, travel

The Highs and Lows of Freetown Christiana

April 19, 2016

Assuming you’re a human, you’re going to enjoy some things and dislike others. Copenhagen, like every other city in the world, has something to suit everyone. The families will probably enjoy a day at Tivoli whilst the art lovers might prefer to spend time at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The weekend partiers might want to hang out in the meat packing district and those there for the photo ops need to get themselves to Superkilen.

If you’re anything like me (a prudish 90 year old woman in the body of a 22 year old who’s simple pleasures include pretty things and vegan food), you might agree with my thoughts and feelings about Freetown Christiana. But then again, you might not. But really, can you expect me to love every place I visit on my holidays? Of course you can’t.This one might be a simple case of personal preference, but I hated this place. Freetown Christiana is where most tourists go to score some legal weed. It’s located in Christianshavn, a metro ride or a short walk away from central Copenhagen.It should be noted that although I don’t do drugs myself, I don’t have a problem with those who do and I’m definitely not against weed being legalised. I agree that it’s a lot better for you than alcohol and it even has some medicinal qualities. But in most cases, weed simply isn’t necessary. It’s expensive and I’d rather spend my money on shoes and holidays. Besides, you don’t need sex and you don’t need drugs, because life is ecstasy! (Summer Heights High reference, anyone?)So what did I find so horrific about this place? Where do I begin?First of all, it’s extremely depressing. To avoid the crowds, we visited at 10am in the hope that it wouldn’t be too scary. Of course we were wrong. Drunks and druggies surrounded the nearby alleys and shouted rude things in Danish to passerbys. The whole place was rundown and if not for the street art and colours, it would probably be the single most depressing place I’ve ever visited.Secondly, I knew that pictures aren’t allowed to be taken in the ‘green space’ (this is not a beautiful garden like I usually associate with green spaces, but the marijuana market with Bob Marley posters and a lots of glassy eyed tourists) so I didn’t take any. However, this means put your camera away or you’ll be bombarded by English speakers telling you to hide it. A Scottish girl informed me that she saw someone’s camera being snatched away. Yeah, I quickly hid my camera in my bag after I heard that. The main reason cameras aren’t allowed is because most of the tourists would get into trouble if anyone saw them buying weed. I can understand that but do they really need excessive signs and balaclava-clad body guards (I’m not completely sure they could be called that) reminding you everywhere you turn?The final reason I found this place so terrifying is that it is supposed to be a hippie community formed to rebel against the laws surrounding drugs, wars and other things but that isn’t the vibe I got at all. What I saw was consumerism built around an addictive substance. What’s hippie about that? You might as well form a community that sells nothing but fizzy drinks.A community based on anti-government, anti-animal-cruelty, anti-slavery, anti-consumerism would intrigue me. A community based on pro-drug-use. Meh, what’s exciting about that? I’m sorry, Freetown, but I was not impressed. To me, it felt like a blot on a beautiful city. Luckily, there’s plenty of more exciting things to do in Copenhagen and even in Christianshavn. Unless you’re into weed, I wouldn’t bother with this place at all. Don’t waste your time on it when there’s so many more impressive things to see in Copenhagen.

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