This ‘green light district’ has been the subject of curiosity and indignation for many years, with the government tending to turn a blind eye to the illegal trade, which has become a part of everyday life and is tolerated by locals, if not fully embraced. Police raids take place on a regular basis, only for the drug trade to re-emerge shortly afterwards. After a police officer was shot during an incident in mid 2016, things changed dramatically, with local residents backing a plan to remove drugs from the area for good.
As you walk along Pusher Street you will almost certainly hear people whispering ‘Weed, skunk, hash?’, and there will probably be a few stalls set up selling weed openly. The smell of weed is still in the air, too, but the vibe is definitely different from how it was in Christiania’s heyday. Before you step into Christiania and pass under its famous sign, you may even see posters asking you to “Help Christiania and buy your hash somewhere else”. People are still buying and smoking weed in Christiania, but locals have agreed to video surveillance and police raids do happen more often than before. So, if you do decide to buy weed and smoke it there, do so at your own risk . Remember that buying marijuana is illegal in Denmark, even in Christiania. If you do buy, listen out for people shouting, which only usually tends to happen when police are on the prowl, and remember to be discreet when buying or smoking. Being high is not illegal in Denmark, so you can relax in Christiania for as long as you want after you’ve finished your joint.
For a long time photos were banned on Pusher Street, for fear that pictures would help the police to identify dealers. Nowadays, some of the ‘no photos’ signs have been painted over and it’s (mostly) okay to shoot again. Even so, you should still be courteous when taking pictures and you should always ask permission if people or private houses are involved. Most importantly: do not take pictures of weed being bought and sold! There’s a lot of nice food in Christiania, and not just for when you have the munchies. Right at the beginning of Pusher Street is the tiny Sunshine Bakery kiosk, which does a delicious dream cake (drømmekage) , among other freshly made delights. You can enjoy decent coffee at Månefiskeren, an alcohol-free café with a big outdoor space. It’s one of the key hangouts for locals and visitors. Another nice area with outside seating is Nemoland Café, painted yellow and red – the colours of Christiania. It serves up burgers, sandwiches and all kinds of casual snacks. For a more upscale meal, head to Spiseloppen, where an international team serves up fresh fish and meat dishes from an a la carte menu. Vegetarians will want to head straight to Grønsagen, a cosy eatery and grocery shop where you can choose from a hot and cold buffet and pay for your meal by weight. The slightly fancier vegetarian dining club Morgenstedet offers hearty dishes made from organic and mostly local produce. Christiania is still a popular destination for going out. You can sip locally brewed beer at Woodstock Bar, where plenty of merry (and sometimes downright drunk) people will be only too happy to chat. Listen to some tunes at Loppen or Operaen, both known for showcasing alternative musicians and emerging artists of all genres. Every Wednesday and Friday, jazz enthusiasts gather at the Børneteateret for some live performances, while on Tuesdays you can get tipsy at the Science & Cocktails events at Byens Lys, aiming to make science more fun and accessible by combining it with booze. There aren’t any hotels or hostels within Christiania itself but there are a couple of decent options nearby. Try the cosy Sankt Anna B&B, just a short walk to the southwest of Christiania. A cheaper, more sociable option is Bedwood Hostel, which is close by at Nyhavn, another popular Copenhagen sight and one that should definitely be on your sightseeing list when in town. The weed market may be less obvious than it once was, but there’s still plenty to see and do. And while other neighbourhoods in Copenhagen such as Nørrebro and Vesterbro have become increasingly gentrified, Christiania has managed to preserve some of its edge and originality. Hopefully, even as things change, that will continue for years to come. As the brightly painted signs say: ‘Bevar Christiania!’ (Preserve Christiania!) Don’t forget your insurance!
Christiania is a safe place but our advice is very simple: you still need travel insurance . A good policy can make a world of difference if things go wrong. For lots of different reasons we recommend World Nomads – you can get a quote on their website, even if your trip has already started. No, Marijuana in the country of Denmark is illegal. While many Danes are willing to tolerate its use, any weed-related activities, such as the growing, smoking, possession or selling of cannabis, is punishable by law.
According to Denmark's Euphoriants Substances Act, "the import, export, sale, purchase, delivery, receipt, production, processing and possession" of marijuana are classified as criminal offenses.