Away from Copenhagen’s most famous attractions, consider adding Christianshavn to your city break itinerary.
There’s due to an exciting new landmark arriving in Copenhagen later this year, with the installation of a fantastical, futuristic-looking ‘Cirkelbroen’, Circle Bridge to you and I, to be situated at the southern mouth of Christianshavn’s Canal along Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour (Inderhavnen). Due to have already been in situ by 2013 but now scheduled for opening by the end of this year, the 32-metre long swing bridge, designed by the world-renowned Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, comprises five staggered circular platforms of differing sizes, each with their own mast and three of which will be movable so as to make way for ships and other large sea vessels.
Visually, the bridge is based on a sailing ship and was so designed to trace the history of Christianshavn and the culture surrounding canals. From a practical perspective, the Circle Bridge will also give both cyclists and pedestrians a new and more direct method of crossing the Christianshavn Canal, thereby opening up access all the way from the Brygge Islands to the Inner Harbour, connecting the district of Christianshavn with the Danisco promenade.
Indeed the district of Christianshavn is one that you should definitely be sure to explore on a Copenhagen city break for its narrow cobbled streets are teeming with restaurants, cafes and culture and the area offers an attractive maritime atmosphere. It’s where you’ll find noma, the world-famous gastronomic restaurant, not to mention a host of other Michelin-starred eateries including Kadeau and Era Ora.
Amongst its other attractions, Christianshavn is also home to the waterfront Royal Danish Opera House as well as the fantastic, interactive Experimentarium City where adults and children alike can explore hands-on science in all its forms. Current exhibits explore the brain and inventions. One of Copenhagen’s most famous and indeed most beautiful ecclesiastical monuments is the soaring serpentine spire of the Church of Our Saviour. Inaugurated in 1792, a climb to the top of the 400 steps (the last 150 of which are outside!) offers a most rewarding view over the city.
You’ll also find here Freetown Christiania, an autonomous, car-free community renowned for its alternative way of life, reputedly Copenhagen’s fourth-largest visitor attraction. Established in 1971 in a former military base by a group of hippies living under their own society rules, Christiania existed independently from the rest of Copenhagen and indeed Denmark. This form of independent and alternative living, a society within a society, was officially recognised in 2012 when the Foundation Freetown Christiania was created.
If you’re liberally minded it’s worth taking the time to explore Christiania, for you’ll find a refreshingly charming mix of art galleries, organic eateries, homemade houses and workshops, all complemented by the open-minded and laidback attitude of its people. It’s one area however that you won’t be able to capture on camera, visitors are advised not to film or take photos, particularly around Pusher Street, the main ‘thoroughfare’ through the community.