Neighborhood Guide: Christianshavn, Denmark

Budget Friendly Tips to Explore Like a Local

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As a series of little islands and canals, Christianshavn is one of Copenhagen’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Scattered with houseboats, independent shops and galleries, hip cafes, and an eclectic community, this delightful neighborhood is a top hang out spot for all Copenhageners.  Just a short bike ride from downtown, visitors and locals alike must spend some quality time getting to know Christianshavn.

What to see, do, and eat in Christianshavn:

Canal Gazing

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On a glorious, sunny day, it can be hard to find a spot to sit and relax on the canals. In the spirit of hygge, many locals find that sitting with friends by the water and enjoying some food and drink is one of the coziest activities in Copenhagen. Many of the canals are lined with colorful buildings and boathouses and cobblestone streets, so something as simple as exploring the beautiful waterways is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Canal Tour

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If you’d rather view Christianshavn from the water, then try a canal tour! The canal tours in Copenhagen do put a heavy focus on wading through this charming neighborhood to take in the sites and you can learn a bit more history of the surroundings.

Lagkagehuset

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You may see Lagkagehusets all over Copenhagen, but this famous bakery chain originated in Christianshavn on Torvegade, so be sure to make a stop by the original bakery for one of their delicious and famous kanelsnegle, or cinnamon snails. The bakery itself was named after the building it resides in, which looks like layers of a cream cake, hence the name Lagkagehuset, or layer cake house.

Church of Our Savior

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This baroque church is easily recognizable across the Copenhagen skyline. The famous brown and gold spire holds a winding staircase that gives you incredible views over the city. Although you may find it closed on occasion due to high winds, it’s definitely worth the trek. The inside of the church is gorgeous as well with the largest carillon, an idiophone percussion instrument, in Northern Europe.

Freetown Christiania

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As a commune with interesting history, Christiania is a fascinating place for visitors to explore. You can stroll the streets to check out some of the local shops, graffiti, and handmade art scattered throughout or take in the beautiful lake and nature surrounding the community, which is dotted with creatively built homes. 

Independent Shops and Windows

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Apart from Christiania, Christianshavn has a number of creative independent second-hand shops and art galleries that can be nice to explore on a leisurely day. If you look carefully, you may even be able to spot one of the window designs by Danish artist Julie Kyhl.

Food Culture

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Christianshavn is home to some of the most delicious and famous restaurants in the world, including NOMA, which focuses on New Nordic cuisine and was voted as the best restaurant in the world several times in the early 2010’s by Restaurant magazine. Celebrity chef René Redzepi has inspired a Nordic food culture movement in the neighborhood that has spread all over the city, and new restaurants with a Nordic focus or who have an affiliation with NOMA are opening up all the time. You could stop by the burger joint POPL, which originated as a NOMA pop up burger bar, or try Hart Bar + Brød for some incredible pastries or NOMA wine pairings.

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