“Information for Your Destination”

Capitals of Culture

One can not emphasize exactly how much culture Europe has to offer. Europe’s ages of humanism, realism, creativity and exploration pulled Europe out of the dark ages and the rest of the world and human civilization into the modern age.

Greece was the birth of western civilization. Their literary, political, scientific and philosophical principles set it apart from other civilizations. Their formation of city states, government, politics and democracy provided individual identity. As well they provided, cultural contributions to the arts, medicine and sciences.Rome then further made cultural contributes to law, engineering, architecture, language and government.

Europeans would later re-discovered these concepts that would propel Europe into a renaissance of thinking. This would lead to a reformation of religion, exploration and colonization of most of the world and industrialization of society. From the mid 16th century to the 20th century Europe would dominate most of the world politically, militarily and economically.

Most visitor’s go to Europe to experience this array of culture that has evolved through its vast diversity and history over the centuries. Because of this we have categorized areas of interests. You may find some are duplicated because they can come under several classifications. 

Cultural Web Sites…

France ➾ Centre des Monuments Nationaux
Germany ➾ Historic Germany
Portugal ➾ Aldeias Historicas d Portugal
Spain ➾ Spain is Culture
United Kingdom ➾ English Heritage

Capitals of Culture…

European Commission annually designates a city or cities, to exhibit their culture. In the last 30 years starting with Athens in 1985 and member of the EU has been able to participate in this event. According to the European Commission the European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to:

  • Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe
  • Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share
  • Increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area
  • Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities

In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for:

  • Regenerating cities
  • Raising the international profile of cities
  • Enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants
  • Breathing new life into a city’s culture
  • Boosting tourism

Initially just one city hosted to the event from 1985-1999. In the year 2000 nine cities hosted to celebrate the millenium. Since then there have been years when two or three cities have been hosts. You will note that EU member countries alternate to host the event with cities competing for the opportunity to exhibit their culture.

It is advisable to plan a visit to one of these cities in a year when they are a capital of culture. Special events, attractions, and exhibits will be available that you normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to see or do.

YearCity – CountryYearCity – Country
1985 Athens, Greece2016 San Sebastián, Spain
1986 Florence, Italy2016 Wroclaw, Poland
1987 Amsterdam, Netherlands2017 Aarhus, Denmark
1988 Berlin, Germany2017 Pafos, Cyprus
1989 Paris, France2018 Leeuwarden, Netherlands
1990 Glasgow, Scotland, UK2018 Valletta, Malta
1991 Dublin, Ireland2019 Matera, Italy
1992 Madrid, Spain2019 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
1993 Antwerp, Belgium2020-21 Rijeka, Croatia
1994 Lisbon, Portugal2020-21 Galway, Ireland
1995 Luxembourg, Luxembourg2022 Kaunas, Lithuania
1996 Copenhagen, Denmark2022 Esch, Luxembourg
1997 Thessaloniki, Greece2022 Novi Sad, Serbia
1998 Stockholm, Sweden2023 Veszprém, Hungary
1999 Weimar, Germany2023 Timișoara, Romania
2000 Avignon, France2023 Elefsina, Greece
2000 Bergen, Norway2024 Bad Ischl, Austria
2000 Bologna, Italy2024 Tartu, Estonia
2000 Brussels, Belgium2024 Bodø, Norway
2000 Helsinki, Finland2025 Gorica, Slovenia/ Gorizia, Italy
2000 Kraków, Poland2025 Chemnitz, Germany
2000 Prague, Czechia2026 Trenčín – Slovakia
2000 Reykjavik, Iceland2026 Oulu, Finland
2000 Santiago de Compostela, Spain2027 Liepāja – Latvia
2001 Rotterdam, Netherlands2027 TBA – Portugal
2001 Porto, Portugal2027TBA – *TBA
2002 Bruges, Belgium2028 TBA – Czechia
2002 Salamanca, Spain2028 TBA – France
2003 Graz, Austria2029 TBA – Poland
2004 Genoa, Italy2029 TBA – Sweden
2004 Lille, France2030 TBA – Cyprus
2005 Cork, Ireland2030 TBA – Belgium
2006 Patras, Greece2030TBA – *TBA
2007 Sibui, Romania2031🇲🇹 TBA – Malta
2007 Luxembourg, Luxembourg2031 TBA – Spain
2008 Liverpool, England, UK2032 TBA – Denmark
2008 Stavanger, Norway2032 TBA – Bulgaria
2009 Vilnius, Luthuania2033 TBA – Netherlands
2009 Linz,  Austria2033 TBA – Italy
2010 Essen, Germany 2033TBA – *TBA
2010 Pécs, Hungary2034TBA – *TBA 
2010 Istanbul, Turkey2034 TBA – *TBA 
2011 Turku, Finland2035 TBA – *TBA 
2011 Tallinn, Estonia2035 TBA – *TBA 
2012 Guimarãres, Portugal2036 TBA – *TBA 
2012 Maribor, Slovenia2036 TBA – *TBA 
2013 Marseille, France2036 TBA – *TBA 
2013 Koišce Slovakia2037 TBA – *TBA 
2014 Riga Latvia2037 TBA – *TBA 
2014 Umeå Sweden2038 TBA – *TBA 
2015 Mons Belgium2038 TBA – *TBA 
2015 Plzeň Czechia 

* Starting in 2021 the third city will be a non alternating slot so countries and cities may openly compete against each other. This will also allow cities to re-host every third year, providing they win the competition.