Saturday 31 March 2012

Copenhagen Christiania Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 5.75 km (3.6 miles), terrain flat

Copenhagen Running Routes:
Best Copenhagen Running Routes: Overview
Old Town  
Lakes (Søerne)  
Freetown Christiania  

Klampenborg Deer Park
For other running routes, see Route List

Photos courtesy the great photographers at Flickr CreativeCommons Thanks!

Here is a Copenhagen route that combines some real contrasts. It begins at the city hall, running through the normal downtown scene, then heads through the grandeur of Christiansborg Palace complex (the Parliament), and later makes a loop through the infamous "Freetown Christiania" neighborhood, known for its anarchic, borderline-illegal lifestyle, before heading back to the starting point at the city hall. And, as an added twist, we'll pass some of the strangest spiral steeples in the city.
Radhus troll, photo by Matthew Wilkinson
The route starts in the same spot as the Old Town Loop Run, on the city hall square (Rådhuspladsen), and also starts off the same way, heading northeast on Strøget, to Nytorv square. But here, we'll turn right and head down Rådhusstræde

Keep running straight (south) and you will soon come to a canal around Christiansborg Palace. This is an impressive ensemble of buildings housing the Danish Parliament (Folketing), the supreme court, royal reception rooms and museums. The first castle on this site was built almost a thousand years ago, and it has been the seat of Danish national power ever since.
Christiansborg, home of Parliament, photo by sebd_ch
Turn left, over the moat and into the big courtyard in front of the parliament. There is a gate on the right side of the building which takes you out through a smaller courtyard to the north side of the building.

There is a moat on this side, too. Turn right at the water and run past the long renaissance-style exchange-building (the Børsen) with the bizarre spiral tower on your right. The twisted dragons are said to protect the stock exchange.
Very strange Børsen steeple, photo by FastPhive
Now you run straight over the next bridge on Torvegade to the last neighborhood to explore, the "Free Town" of Christiania. This neighborhood was famous in the 1970s through 1990s as an anarchic commune where the police never tread, and drugs were sold and consumed openly on the street. Open drug sales were banned in 2004. Nowadays, Christiania is a fairly gentrified place, but it still has a bit of the old counter-cultural flair.

The area is also an old barracks area, with walls and moats around the back side.
Frelserskirke, photo by Lothann
Run past the nice new apartment buildings and restored historic buildings with their waterside marinas till you get to Prinsessegade, where you turn left. Run past the next spiral steeple at the Frelserskirke (Our Saviour Church) and keep going for 3 more blocks, to where the road curves to the right along the strange, graffiti-painted wall.

Turn right into the neighborhood behind the wall at the sign that says "Welcome to Christiania".
Welcome to Christiania, photo by burningmax

Bikes are everywhere in Christiania, photo by burningmax
 You'll run through a jumble of old hippie-style houses, the most interesting corner of the area. 
Christiania house, photo by spenny j
At the little green square, turn right and run straight southwest, past "Pusher Street", and out of the neighborhood again.

NOTE: If you come back again later, you can eat at Nemoland, at the south end of Pusher Street. It is a collection of food stands and bars where you can eat and drink inside and out for a decent price.
Christiania's Statue of Liber... huh?, photo by KnutYngve

Mosaic tree in Christiania, photo by only alice
You will come to the moat, where you follow the waterfront path to the right that zig-zags along the points of the old defensive walls.
Christiania waterfront, photo by Copenhagener
The path runs into the bridge going back into the main part of town, over the Langebro bridge. You are now on (the loud) Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard, which will take you past Tivoli and the city hall to your starting point at Radhuspladsen. Hope you enjoyed it!


  1. You are not allowed to run in Christiania. The locals will tell you as it is one of the (few) rules they have.

  2. Hmmm, well I've run there various times and nobody reacted negatively at all. It might have to do with the momentary situation with the policing of the area. It was very laid-back the times I was there.