Why you should visit Europe's capitals of culture for 2024

Why you should visit Europe's capitals of culture for 2024

The Norwegian city of Bodø, the Estonian city of Tartu and the Austrian city of Bad Ischl have all been crowned ‘European Capital of Culture’ for 2024. For the duration of 2024, the three European cities will be hosting a series of events that showcase their creative culture, traditions and dense history that you can see first-hand.

Our Travel Experts at Regent are here to tell you more about why you should visit Europe's Capitals of Culture for 2024. Find out what makes these cities ideal for an inspiring weekend away, as well as some of the top capital of culture events taking place this year, from festivals of rich heritage in Arctic Norway to exhibitions showing the everyday life in southern Estonia.

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Bodø is the first city north of the Arctic Circle to receive the ‘European Capital of Culture’ title. This year, it will host over 1,000 cultural events in a programme that follows the changing light of the seasons, as it illuminates Arctic culture. In its recent history, this small Norwegian city has transformed from a military hub into a lively cultural city with a vibrant arts scene. Boasting captivating Arctic landscapes and a unique cuisine, this region is also loved for its fascinating wartime history and Norwegian coastal culture and charm.

“While in Bodø, take in the awe-inspiring power of Saltstraumen, where four times a day, a colossal surge of 400 million cubic metres of seawater rushes through the 150m strait, creating magnificent whirlpools that dance between the fjords.” – Jane, Regent Travel Specialist


Sámi Trilogy

One of the highlights of Bodø’s programme is the trio of events dedicated to Sámi culture, the indigenous people of Norway, as well as Finland, Sweden and Russia. Norway will be expressing their rich history from April 2024, as the Bodø City Museum will be reimagined as a ‘Sámi Museum’, while the ÁRRAN 360° film project will combine Sámi storytelling with digital technologies to an impressive effect.


Feeding Europe Festival

Discover culinary delights at the Feeding Europe festival in Bodø. Local chefs of Norway will come together to showcase the region's rich gastronomic heritage, from fresh seafood to traditional Nordic flavours. This event celebrates the diverse and delicious offerings of Arctic cuisine.


Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale

Feel inspired at the Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale. This outdoor exhibition transforms the stunning landscapes of Kjerringøy into a captivating canvas, with immersive contemporary art installations created by both local and international artists.

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The home of Estonia’s most distinguished university, with its main neoclassical building now a landmark, Tartu is an intellectual and cultural hub. The city itself has a youthful vibrancy, which is reflected in its diverse arts programmes, bustling café culture and smattering of art galleries. Though young at heart, Tartu is also a historical gem teeming with beautiful architecture from the 18th-century, grand monuments, and enlightening museums, exhibiting fascinating programmes such as ‘Arts of Survival’.

As a ‘European Capital of Culture 2024’, Tartu is pulling out all the stops with a series of events that encompass the region’s quirky character and indigenous heritage.

“I really recommend a visit the Estonian National Museum, housed in an impressive glass block building on the runway of a former Soviet airfield. This is the largest museum in Estonia and showcases the everyday life of Estonians throughout history.” – Jon, Regent Travel Specialist.


‘Made a Washing Machine Out of Beetroot’ Exhibition

This avant-garde showcase brilliantly blends sustainability with creativity, revealing the unexpected ingenuity of repurposing everyday items. Immerse yourself in the playful spirit of eco-artistry – where common vegetables transform into functional marvels – and reflect on the scarcity associated with Soviet-era Estonia.


Mass Kissing Event & Concert

Experience the magic of love at the city’s mass kissing event, set to take place in Tartu Town Hall Square in May 2024. This enchanting celebration in the heart of Estonia promises an unforgettable blend of music, romance and community spirit. It will also mark the 30th anniversary of Estonia’s first participation in Eurovision.


‘Naked Truth’ Sauna Festival

Indulge in the steamy depths of conversation at Tartu's ‘Naked Truth’ opinion festival. Stripping away societal barriers, attendees will delve into diverse topics in the liberating space of the sauna. Head to Emajõgi City Beach, near the city centre, where you’ll find a collection of mobile saunas to warm up in.

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Bad Ischl

Located in the centre of Austria, the spa town of Bad Ischl is known for its magnificent mountain views and idyllic lake landscapes. This year, the city will be hosting a project to highlight the diverse cultures and history through art. The four major topics that the city will be focusing on are: Power and Tradition, Sharing Salzkammergut, Culture in Motion and ‘GlobalLokal’. With theatre productions, guided arena tours, themed art exhibitions and cultural lectures, you can learn all about how the traditions and cultures were shaped through creativity, education and culture-oriented tourism.

“When you’re in Bad Ischl, Salzkammergut, don’t miss the opportunity to see The Kaiservilla, the summer residence of Franz Joseph I of Austria. The architecture of the mansion is beautiful and open to the public, with the surrounding area is full of things to do from enjoying the thermal spa resort to guided tours around the city.” – Andrea, Regent Travel Specialist

‘Alma Rosé’ Art Exhibition

Jewish artist, Alma Rosé was closely connected to the Salzkammergut. Now, for one of the projects of the ‘Capital Culture Year of 2024’, you can learn all about her life story, and how her life through a concert reading by German actor, Corina Harfouch.


‘Arena of Human Rights’ Tour

Discover the dense history of how human rights have evolved through the 600 years of salt shipping on the Traun River. There’s such dense history that surrounds this topic, and you can discover it all through a variety of ways, from live concerts to guided tours.


‘Art your Village’ Amusement Event

Bad Ischl is home to a blend of history that comes from a multitude of cultures and art. The art from many locals and foreigners have changed perspectives throughout the years, and this event portrays the variety of art from the outside.


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Your first-hand experiences

With Regent, you can experience the 2024 festivals, events and exhibitions yourself. At any point in the year, see the event that appeals with you the most. From experiencing the Artic attractions of Norway’s coast with a holiday to Bodø, or experiencing the cultural centre of Estonia with a holiday to Tartu, you can find what it is you’re searching for with the help of our Travel Specialists.

Do you want to take part in one of the cultural events of 2024?

If you’re fascinated by one of the capital cities of culture, speak with one of our Travel Specialists to learn more about why you should visit Europe’s capitals of culture for 2024.

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