What is it?

The European Capital of Culture program was first created in 1985 by the European Commission and it soon became the biggest cultural event in Europe and one of Europe’s most emblematic programs. Since it was created it has already been awarded to more than 50 cities across the European Union, such as Athens, Liverpool, Istanbul, Florence, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Dublin, Madrid, Prague or Marseille.


Annually, two cities, in two different countries, are awarded the title of European Capital of Culture. The decision is publicly known five years prior, after an application and selection process taken care by independent experts.

The 2018 European Capitals of Culture are:

European Capitals of Culture have already been designated until 2022:

2019 – Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Matera (Italy)

2020 - Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland)

2021 - Timișoara (Romania), Elefsina (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia, candidate country)

2022 – Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch (Luxembourg)

2027 – We will have a Portuguese and a Latvia city as European Capital of Culture