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Buses, trams, cars and bicycles were banned in 1964 to allow for the thousands of shoppers who walk down this open air market. The "cheap" end is at Rådhuspladsen, with simple bars and burger joints, but things get more expensive further down with stores like Gucci and Birger Christensen. Some come here to shop, others just to see and be seen. Walking down Strøget is always an experience; Denmark's national poet, Klaus Rifbjerg, summed it up in a song titled Imagine Walking Down Strøget Dressed In Your Light Blue Pyjamas.
Brightly hued townhouses line the banks of Nyhavn, their vibrant reflection in the rippled waters of the canal like swirls of myriad colors upon which sailboats glide. Red, blue, yellow and green, the banks of Nyhavn are akin to a mismatched box of crayons. Nyhavn is a canal that links Copenhagen's harborfront with the Kongens Nytorv; an ambitious project undertaken at the behest of King Christian V in the 17th Century. While the southern bank is lined with lavish mansions, the northern side is thronged with 17th-century and 18th-century townhouses, the oldest of which dates back to 1681. Once a lively haunt for sailors, Nyhavn's alehouses and pubs were forever brimming with life, dens of merriment and ill repute. Today, the townhouses have been restored and transformed into fine restaurants and cozy cafes that attract a more sober crowd. Nonetheless, Nyhavn remains a popular summertime gathering place for locals who come here to relax by the quays with a pint of beer. The townhouses of Nyhavn have also been the home of several noted artists, including the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen and the artist H.G.F. Holm whose watercolors drew inspiration from Nyhavn's picturesque scene.
Christianshavn harbor was founded by Christian IV in the area between Slotsholmen and Amager. In the early years the people of the Christianshavn were given freedom from taxes in return for reclaiming the land and building houses on this bit of swampy land outside Copenhagen. The oldest houses, as for example Strandgade 30, go as far back as 1630. The well-known painters P.S. Krøyer and Wilhelm Hammershøi lived at this address. In the 19th Century a lot of industry moved into Christianshavn, the most famous factory being Burmeister and Wain (B&W). Today Christianshavn is a very hip place to live. In the summer, a nice, simple life is led along the many canals, especially at Overgaden Oven Vande and Overgaden Neden Vande. Many of the people of Christianshavn have a boat of their own and a mooring for it. Houseboats can also be seen here. Tourists have the opportunity of dicovering this side of Christianshavn by taking a trip with one of the canal tours.
Founded in 1971, Christiania is an anarchic part of Denmark. It was set up as a direct result of the student uprisings of the 1960s. Today, Christiania is home to some 750 outsiders and is a "free city," which means that it is not part of the city, the country, or the European Union. It is a lively place and there are always lots of activities happening. One of the original ideas was to have a "no car town," but nowadays the inhabitants have trouble finding parking spaces outside the district because of the multitude of tourist buses. Visitors should be aware that the sale of drugs is legal here, and that dogs run around the streets freely. Guided tours can be arranged.