Did you know that the European Union designates two European Capitals of Culture every year? These cities are chosen for their rich culture and history and host numerous special events throughout the year. The selected winners for 2020 are Rijeka, Croatia and Galway, Ireland. Below we've gathered some brief information about these renown locations and included our favorite hotel recommendations, in case you decide to experience these culture capitals yourself.
EU Capital of Culture #1: Rijeka, Croatia
Motto: "Port of Diversity"
Located in the northeastern region of Croatia, Rijeka is better known as the "gateway to the Croatian islands". Ranked as the country's third largest city, this port location is the perfect place to enjoy a scenic escape, while still emerging in true Croatian culture. For the cultural program, Rijeka focuses on the topics of water, work and migration, which are all connected to its historic identity. If you haven't heard of Rijeka, you may want to make room on your bucket list.
How to Get to Rijeka
The easiest way to get to Rijeka is to fly directly into the Rijeka Airport, located on the island of Krk. From there, you can hop on a bus and take the short, 30 minute ride into the city center.
Where to Stay in Rijeka
We recommend staying at the 4-star, Hotel Jadran (rated 4/5 on TripAdvisor + Certificate of Excellence) for its unique location, and notably excellent views of the seaside. We found dates in late fall starting at $105, with free cancellations included.
EU Capital of Culture #2: Calway, Ireland
Motto: "Let the Magic In"
Calway, Ireland is another harbor city located on the west coast of the island. Galway has been crowned with the nickname "Cultural Heart of Ireland" due to its friendly reputation, high-profile sporting events, and other year-round culture actives. For the EU cultural program, Galway's themes will focus on weather and world literature for its source of creativity.
How to Get to Galway
The closest international airport to Galway is in Dublin. From there, you can take a bus or rent a car and drive two and 1/2 hours west, across the country. Though the drive may be a bit long, its scenic nature is sure to provide more exploring opportunities along the way.
Where to Stay in Galway
We recommend heightening your experience with a stay the 4-star, Jurys Inn Galway, due to its high guest rating (4.5/5 on TripAdvisor + Certificate of Excellence) and excellent location in the heart of the city. With rates starting from $115, it's a great-value option for any budget.
For more information regarding the Capitals of Culture, check out this brochure!