1500 cultural events, 4000 artists: Novi Sad is 2022 European Capital of Culture!

If you have never visited Novi Sad in Serbia, then 2022 is probably the right time to do it!

The biggest city of Vojvodina province, and the second biggest city in Serbia is this year’s European Capital of Culture! It’s among the first cities outside the European Union to be declared ECOC, thus becoming one of the 60 cities bearing this title and fostering the richness of diversity and interculturality.

Central square photo V.Velickovic

Petrovaradin by V.Velickovic

It all started in 1985…

“…when Melina Mercouri, Greek Minister of Culture, and Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture, had an idea of choosing the European Capital of Culture once a year, intending to connect people in Europe and raise awareness of common history and values. This initiative soon became one of the most prestigious events in Europe. 

Also, many capitals of culture took the opportunity to develop cultural infrastructure during and after the project, provide wider access to culture, improve the image of a city, develop the tourism economy and strengthen cultural and creative industries.” (Learn more here)

For New Bridges

The main idea of the ‘4 New Bridges’ programme narrative aims to leave Novi Sad firm legacies that improve the cultural life of the city: new programmes, new processes, involved people (citizens, cultural institutions, associations, organisations, artists) and new spaces for culture. That is exactly why the vision of the project is: ‘The Beginning of New. Now!’ (source)


SNP by V.Velickovic

Into the future

I always loved Novi Sad. Especially in the early 2000s. It was the city where famous Exit festival came to life, and the city of enthusiastic and very forward-thinking cultural scene. You could always hear and see something unique and inspiring, and I have this feeling that every person I met there was in some capacity part of innovative initiatives and cultural and music programmes across the city.

Combined with the laid-back atmosphere you get when you visit Novi Sad – priceless.

Since then, the city grew in size, changed itself with time, and still somehow managed to stay a big city with a small town vibe.. entirely different from Belgrade.

Today, Novi Sad is “the first city in Serbia and among the rare ones in the region whose almost all cultural institutions have a five-year strategy work plan, preceding a year-long engagement of hundreds of cultural workers and experts for the cultural issues.”

Serbia’s northern province is a multicultural and multiethnic melting pot of 26 ethnic groups and 6 official languages; an open, diverse and hospitable place. Novi Sad, the province’s biggest city, was Serbian capital of culture during the 19th and early 20th century and today hosts many important cultural events including Sterijino pozorje theatre festival, International Novi Sad Literature Festival, Jazz Festival, Cinema City, Novi Sad Music Festivities (NOMUS), Festival of Street Musicians, International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre… just to name a few. (Find out more about the events here)

Add to the story Exit festival – one of the best in its category in Europe…

If happens you have opportunity to visit Serbia in 2022 – then stopping by in Novi Sad is a must-do thing.

It won’t disappoint, I’m sure.

Here’s the amazing atmosphere from the opening ceremony taking place on 13th of January this year:

Morcheeba by Marko Ristic – @zamrznutitonovi

Josipa Lisac by Marko Ristic – @zamrznutitonovi

Chrystabell by Marko Ristic – @zamrznutitonovi

To find out more about the programmes, please visit:

Official website

Facebook Page


Cover photo by Zoran Jesic; Photos kindly provided by Milana Milovanov / novisad2022.rs