Copenhagen. I’m writing this while it’s still fresh in my mind. I can still see the colours of Christiania vivid in my minds eye, the holiday blues still hanging heavily upon me.
It’s a little bit funny how we came about visiting Copenhagen. At the beginning of the year we decided we would spend as little as possible on things and spend more on adventures, making memories together, also moments not things. I made a vision board at the beginning of the year, and adventures and the outdoors featured heavily upon it. Families gathered around the campfire, sleeping under the stars, festival fun and upon there I pinned a picture of a beautiful colourful street, not actually having any idea what this place was, just that it looked like somewhere I would absolutely love to be. This was Freetown Christiania, in Copenhagen. Although I didn’t know that at the time, it was only after I had booked to go to Copenhagen that I realised this place was there. I was beyond excited.
We booked to go to Denmark completely spur of the moment, when a cheap flight deal came up. We were originally planning on Norway. I’d love to see the whole of Scandinavia someday. All I knew of Denmark was Hygge. While there is no translation as to what Hygge actually means, it it something along the lines of coziness, comfort and contentment. Oh and the Danes are apparently the happiest country in the World! I couldn’t wait…..
We set off at 2am in the morning, the country roads were thick with mist, the moon full and bright in the sky. I’m not going to bore you with all the travelling there. It was a bit (a lot) of a nightmare, I hadn’t slept a wink, our flight was delayed by 3 hours, Arthur fought sleep the whole morning until the plane touched down on the runway for landing, if your a parent, I’m sure you can imagine the delights…..
None of that really mattered when we headed for the train to take us to the central station. I really love travelling with the kids. Not only do I get to explore I get to watch the boys explore too. I feel like I am giving them a precious gift when we discover new places together. The excitement was palpable as we headed for Copenhagen center.
Our Airbnb was just a few moments walk away from the centre. We have been really lucky with every Airbnb we have stayed in and this one was no different. There was also the added bonus of a cat to sit too while we were here. See, I just love the randomness!
The cat was called Ulla and she was absolutely adorable and Arthur quickly fell in love with her.
The Apartment was lovely, bright and peaceful, with a little balcony overlooking a courtyard. Just perfect for our stay.
We were tired, we were aching but we wouldn’t settle until we went to visit the place I had wanted to see for years. Freetown Christiania.
I read about this place a few years ago, and always wanted to visit, I didn’t realise I’d had it pinned on my vision board for the last few months. Christiania is an intentional community established in 1971 by a group of hippies who took over some old abandoned military barracks. They developed their own set of societal rules, completely independent of the Danish Government. There are approximately 900 people that live there in around 7.7 hectares in a corner of the Danish Capital. The Christiania and the Danish government don’t see eye to eye, probably something to do with the open cannabis trade in the centre of the community.
We set off from the apartment and headed through the centre. The first thing you will likely hear is screams, loud petrified screams, but fear not, this is just Tivoli. Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the whole world. But that was for another day. Off we headed for Christiania.
We ended up along a delightful river bank. The sky was a vivid blue the sun was shining.
People were gathered at the waters edge, music was playing, the sweet smell of marijuana in the air. I personally love the smell although I know some can’t stand it. As we emerged from this tree and flower lined walk, we headed into a different world.
Christiania is car free, one of the reasons, amongst the obvious ones, why this hippy haven is known as The Green Light District. The streets are alive with Art. Every house is individual and unique, riots of colour, political street art and some just plain awe inspiring.
You are free to take pictures everywhere in Christiania except Pusher Street. This is where you will find the Market place. Except there is only one kind of product being sold in this street, Marijuana. This is what most tourist will flock here for, but this really only makes up a very small part of Christiania. Walking through the Main Street is not intimidating at all, there are signs stating just three rules, no photos, no running and no hard drugs.
The atmosphere is friendly, happy, free. People of all ages gathered around enjoying the atmosphere. Music is playing, it is very relaxed, I know I know that’s just because everyone is probably stoned…but either way it felt safe. As you would expect there is lots of arty hippie types, think Glastonbury to the extreme. There is lots of little cafes too. Apart from being famed as a stoners paradise, Christiania is well know for environmental activism and a strong sense of community spirit.
Arthur was wild and feral, as usual, and had all the locals smiling.
We headed back before dark, we were absolutely shattered and we had a busy busy day to wake up to.
We had purchased a Copenhagen Card, which worked out around £100 for all four of us. This lasted 24 hours and allowed entry to most of the attractions in Copenhagen.
We visited the Zoo, which was great, although I have mixed feelings about zoos. One one hand I love the kids to see animals they may never get to see and we were all in awe of them. They were so beautiful. Arthur was absolutely blown away by the giraffes, Ollie had his dreams made by seeing a panda in real life and Dan and I couldn’t tear ourselves away from the elephants. Such amazing creatures. BUT there’s always an icky feeling, that’s these beautiful creatures are in cages, I can never bring myself to take a picture, but I know it’s an experience the kids will treasure.
We visited The National Museum of Denmark. It was fantastic. There was exhibits all about Scandinavian history, The Vikings, and most importantly tons of old bones, which was the highlight for Ollie! The best part of all, The Children’s Museum. This was a delightful little section, The Children’s Museum is an indoor playground where kids of all ages can have fun discovering the past. They are all fully interactive exhibits. There was a Viking ship, a shop, an ancient medieval kitchen and a castle!! Absolutely tons of fun. Arthur would have literally spend hours making carrot soup. Go on Daddy, eat up!
It had been a busy busy day, but we still had more to come (because we had to fit it all on our 24 hour Copenhagen Card, ha!)
We headed to Tivoli.
Tivoli was magical. Extremely expensive, but magical none the less. The kids aren’t huge fans of rides (thank god, it was £8 per ride!!) so we wandered around, drank tea, from the cosiest little tea shop, the hygge was alive here, and soaked up the magic as the sky got darker, the lights became brighter, and the screams got louder!
The evenings in the apartment were so lovely. Arthur was shattered come bedtime, Ollie was occupied with a tv in his room, Dan and I relaxed on the balcony, watching the sky change shades of pink.
I got to play cat lady for a little while, I definitely have potential, but I am also definitely allergic to cat hair.
The next day, and timed perfectly so we checked into another attraction before our card ran out, because we are frugal, we headed to Ripley’s believe it or not. This was mostly for Ollie but it had the added bonus of the Hans Christian Anderson exhibition too, which was really lovely. Arthur was fascinated by the Tin Soldier story.
We were off to explore another beautiful corner of Copenhagen. On the way we had a browse in a few shops, mainly Lego, because we all absolutely love it, then we reached Nyhavn. Nyhavn is beautiful.
Totally touristy, but beautiful. Houses in all colours line the canals, obviously I couldn’t resist a nin snap here;
Cafes and restaurants line the canals, boats meander up and down the canals. It is a lovely experience, a definite must see if you visit Copenhagen.
On the final day we headed back to Christiania. There not much else to say about this place that I haven’t already said, but I feel blessed to have been able to visit. I truly loved it, food for the soul.
I think Arthur agrees.
The journey home was much smoother, thankfully. I am usually really happy to be back home but I felt sad this time. I missed the colour of Christiania but a day spent in the garden soothed my spirit, I would just have to make my own colour right here, I best start that rainbow welly collection because this would look amazing in the veg plot!
Thank you so much for reading,
P.S. Denmark is soo expensive. I would definitely recommend a Copenhagen Card, and shopping at Netto there, which is still the equivalent price of the extra special section at M&S. We stocked up on fruit, veg and croissants each morning to eat through the day and I cooked dinner back at the apartment on the evening. An ice cream was £6 but delicious, Coffee was £6 a cup, but Ive got to be honest, on a morning, as the sun came out and the city rushed past, it was worth every penny.
P.P.S if you happen to sign up to Airbnb using my link, you can get pennies off your first stay and I get pennies off my next one, so if you do, thank you very much.
P.P.P.S Worst thing about Copenhagen was these god awful hotdogs, I mean why would you want to eat that?! I didn’t think hot dogs could be made to look more vulgar, but they obviously can. Also not my picture, because why would anyone want to take a picture of that?! Lol