Posted in Exploring Copenhagen

The Spirit of Christianshavn

Spending most of my days in the inner city near the DIS campus, I sometimes forget how expansive Copenhagen really is. It is home to many neighborhoods, each with their own unique spirit. One of those neighborhoods is Christianshavn.

Known to most tourists as the home of Christiania, or ‘Freetown’, this neighborhood is just a short metro ride away from the inner city. Exiting the metro station after having taken this trip myself, the first thing I noticed was the art. Christianshavn is full of eccentric art, adorning even the smallest details. Signs pointing people in the direction of certain businesses are hand painted and even poles are ornamented with colorful hand-made birdhouses. Beautiful murals depict people of all backgrounds and people in quirky hats and unique styles fill the streets. Immediately, it is clear that one need not worry about ‘fitting in’ in Christianshavn.

After walking around for a while and appreciating the beautifully peculiar art, my stomach began to growl, so I decided to grab a bit to eat at the next cafe I passed. I happened upon one called Les Amis. It’s interior matched the quirky energy that I had experienced walking the streets. It was decorated in a maximalist and alternative manner.

When I ordered, I asked the lady behind the counter if she has been a long-time resident of the area. She told me that she had lived in Christianshavn all her life, and that there was no where else she’d rather be.

“What makes it so special?” I asked.

“The people here,” she responded without needing a second to think. “The people here are special. Everyone is unique, and no one is afraid to stand out. We celebrate being unique through art, music and simply our way of existence. Everyone is celebrated in Christianshavn.”

I thought about that as I enjoyed my oat-milk chai latte and people-watched through the window. Simply watching folk pass by, it was easy to recognize that what she said was true. Although it wasn’t far from the inner city, the spirit of Christianshavn was something completely unique, and I was happy to be able to experience it.

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