Leeuwarden and Valletta, European Capitals of Culture 2018

Friday, 13 April 2018



One is in the north, in the Netherlands, one is in the south, between the Mediterranean Sea. The European Capitals of Culture 2018 are, specifically, Leeuwarden, the capital of the northern Dutch province of Friesland, and Valletta, the capital of Malta.


It’s since 1985 that the Council of Ministers of the European Union has defined the cities that represent an example of prosperity and of the European cultural diversity. The first was Athens, the capital of Greece. In 2019, it will be the turn of Matera (Italy) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria); in 2020, the capital cities will be Fiume (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland).



In 2021, the European Capital Cities of Culture will be Timișoara (Romania), Eleusis (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia*), while in 2022 Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg) and Kaunas (Lituania) will be in the spotlight.



The order of succession of the Countries that will host the European Capitals of Culture has been established until 2033. Also the United Kingdom should have been among these, together with Hungary; anyway, the European Union has excluded the British cities from the application because of the so-called Brexit.


Before providing you all the institutional sources to refer to, useful to learn more about Leeuwarden and Valletta, we want to remind you the goals of the programme “European Capital of Culture”:


  • To highlight the prosperity and the cultural diversities in Europe
  • To celebrate the cultural characteristics shared by all the European people
  • To increase the sense of belonging of the European citizens to a common cultural space
  • To promote the culture contribution to the development of cities


The programme – as the Commission of the European Union moreover highlights – has proved to be an excellent opportunity to requalify the cities, to increase their international profile and to sustain the tourism. That’s why we reported you the future European Capitals of Culture, and that’s why we want to list also the past ones:


1985: Athens (Greece)

1986: Florence (Italy)

1987: Amsterdam (Netherlands)

1988: Berlin (Germany)

1989: Paris (France)

1990: Glasgow (Scotland, United Kingdom)

1991: Dublin (Ireland)

1992: Madrid (Spain)

1993: Antwerp (Belgium)

1994: Lisbon (Portugal)

1995: Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

1996: Copenhagen (Denmark)

1997: Thessaloniki (Greece)

1998: Stockholm (Sweden)

1990: Weimar (Germany)

2000: Reykjavík (Iceland); Bergen (Norway); Helsinki (Finland); Bruxelles (Belgium); Prague (Czech Republic); Kraków (Poland); Santiago de Compostela (Spain); Avignon (France); Bologna (Italy)
2001: Rotterdam (Netherlands); Porto (Portugal)

2002: Bruges (Belgium); Salamanca (Spain)

2003: Graz (Austria)

2004: Genoa (Italy); Lille (France)

2005: Cork (Ireland)

2006: Patras (Greece)

2007: Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Sibiu (Romania)

2008: Liverpool (England, United Kingdom); Stavanger (Norway)

2009: Linz (Austria); Vilnius (Lithuania)

2010: Essen (Germany); Pécs (Hungary); Istanbul (Turkey**)

2011: Turku (Finland); Tallinn (Estonia)

2012: Guimarães (Portugal); Maribor (Slovenia)

2013: Marseille (France); Košice (Slovakia)

2014: Umeå (Sweden); Riga (Latvia)

2015: Mons (Belgium); Plzeň (Czech Republic)

2016: San Sebastián (Spain); Wrocław (Poland)

2017: Aarhus (Denmark); Pafo (Cyprus)


Here are the institutional sources to refer to:


The complete calendar events


Malta, Gozo and Comino Tourism Authority


The complete calendar events
Before saying goodbye, we want to remind you also that 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage. You can consult the official website to discover all the calendar events in each Country.


Enjoy your work with 6tour!




* Serbia is one of the Countries applicant to join the European Union
** Turkey is one of the Countries applicant to join the European Union




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