Novi Sad: The European Capital Of Culture 2022

Novi Sad, the new European capital of culture
Novi Sad, Serbia

If you’ve ever been to Serbia, surely you’ve heard about Novi Sad and its famous EXIT festival.  Although a relatively small city, Novi Sad has become one of the most attractive cities on the Danube. More and more visitors and tourists from all around the world are drawn to its laid-back atmosphere, and on the other hand, vibrant nightlife. 

Known as Serbia’s second city, or Serbian Athens, Novi Sad is famous for being a liberal place of music, fun, and art. It is also an open and tolerant city proud of its cultural diversity. With six official languages, diverse religions, and various temples of worship, Novi Sad represents one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Serbia. 

Although Novi Sad is packed with museums and galleries, concerts, and beautiful Austro-Hungarian architecture, you should also visit some interesting localities in and near the city,  that locals keep a secret. So, if you want to truly experience this region, and its people’s way of life, look for a Pannonia private tour, and experience the real laid-back atmosphere of Vojvodina Province. 

Today, we are not going to talk about the ever-popular EXIT festival, because, believe it or not, the European Union has named Novi Sad the Europan Capital of Culture in 2022.  

Why Novi Sad?

Way back in 1985, Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture, and Melina Mercouri, Greek Minister of Culture,  presented an interesting idea. They suggested that every year a European Capital of Culture should be chosen, as a means of connecting people in Europe and raising awareness of common history and values. This would emphasize the richness and diversity of European cultures, strengthen bonds between European citizens, and promote mutual understanding.

The goal of these projects would be to place culture at the center of social development. Hence,  economic development would be based on knowledge, innovation, and creativity.

Interestingly, Novi Sad is one of the first cities outside the European Union to be declared the European Capital of Culture. Therefore, for one whole year, the city will host 1,500 cultural events with 4000 local and foreign artists, that will focus on a wide array of topics such as migration and gender equality. 

The Program

Interestingly, Novi Sad is the smallest city with the biggest number of bridges on the Danube, and this was the inspiration for the  ‘’Four New Bridges’’ slogan.  This slogan represents the concept of building new bridges of cooperation between artists and organizations from Novi Sad and the European cultural scene.

The four program bridges are named after the four bridges in Novi Sad: Freedom, Rainbow, Hope, and Love.  

The bridges are also divided into eight programs that will happen in 2022: Doček, Migrations, Future of Europe, Heroines, Fortress of Peace, the Danube Sea, Kaleidoscope of Culture, and Other Europe?. 


"'Zenit" magazine publication from 1921
Zenit magazine

Source: Wikimedia

The event was conceptualized to connect two celebrations of New Year’s Eve, two calendars, two alphabets, and two ways of measuring time.

The event was created as a unique celebration in Europe, where citizens from other European countries joined the citizens of Novi Sad in a program that celebrates diversity through traditional and contemporary artistic expression.

More than 280 artists from several countries performed at this event including the new queen of fado music ‘’Carminho’’, and  Finnish musician Jimmy Tenor. 

The event was officially opened on the 13th of January( Serbian new year) with a spectacular architectural and multimedia project called “Zeniteum:2022” which was directed by renowned Slovenian director Dragan Živadinov.  The event was held on Mihajlo Pupin Boulevard, in front of the government of Vojvodina, and was inspired by mathematics. 

Einstein and Milutin Milankoviić. In the scenario, mathematics was presented as a tool and language that allows individuals to describe their spiritual achievements.

The title ‘’Zeniteum’’ comes from the transnational movement “Zenetisim”, which was founded by the artist and editor of Zenit magazine, Ljubomir Micić. In his international magazine, Micić shaped modernist art between two world wars in Belgrade, Zagreb, Paris, and  Berlin.


The program “Migration”  will present the Novi Sad as a European space of movement through numerous artistic events, which are divided into four parts. The first part is called Raskršće(crossroads), which will last until mid-February, and the central events will be exhibitions that will present the rich cultural heritage of this area. 

The second part of these four units is called “accents’’. Namely, The geopolitical position of the city of Novi Sad is at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Balkans. Hence, the city must be presented in a European context. This exhibition will present the historical values ​​of Novi Sad, which were created, accepted, and developed for more than three centuries. 

Through 22 years and 22 accents, you will be able to see the rich history of this city and how it was always characterized by multiculturalism. 

In the Museum of Vojvodina, you will also have the opportunity to see the multimedia exhibition “Where Migration Ends: From Roman Pannonia to Today’s Vojvodina”, which presents the most valuable exhibits of this cultural institution – three gilded Roman helmets from the 4th century. This exhibition will bring you closer not only to the distant historical context but also to the exciting process of discovering and conserving ancient helmets. 

Various art programs, workshops, and tribunes will speak about the heritage, while the monodrama Blood and Mud, in as many as sixteen performances, will present the character of the Roman officer Dizon, a possible bearer of such a helmet.


As we can see, the year 2022 looks very bright for the city of Novi Sad. During the year 2022, the city will provide many interesting events for all types of art lovers. Therefore, whether you’re visiting Serbia, or just passing through, make sure that you include Novi Sad in your Balkan tour.