European Capital of Culture 2022 Kaunas attracts 2 Million visitors: Key Figures

Kaunas opening

Results from “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” indicate a successful year and a solid recovery from the pandemic with record visitors.

Having attracted over 2 million visitors in 5 years, “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” can be named among the most successful Capital of Culture cities. In a press conference held on the 5th of November, Lithuania’s Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys, Virginija Vitkienė, CEO of “Kaunas 2022”, and the Head of Communications and Marketing Mindaugas Reinikis, presented results which showed that their programme which offered 3000 events, led to an increase in tourism and international media attention:

● Internationally featured in 66 countries
● Presented 1,370 cultural initiatives
● 18,000 artists and creators contributed to Kaunas2022
● Kaunas accommodated 258,000 tourists in 2022

Record Numbers of Visitors and Artists

Over the five years of the project’s implementation, almost 2 million culture lovers have visited Kaunas, with over half of them visiting in 2022. 18,000 artists and creators from all over the world, including Europe, Japan, the USA, South Africa, Israel, and elsewhere, contributed to creating the Capital of Culture in Kaunas and Kaunas District. However, it is worth noting that 70 percent were created and implemented by Lithuanian artists. In 2022 alone, Lithuanian and international artists organised 1,370 cultural initiatives open to the public in Kaunas and Kaunas District.

A total of 26 million euros has been earmarked for European Capital of Culture projects, or 13 euros per person over five years. More than 50 donors and partners contributed to the cultural initiatives, with a total value of 2.8 million euros in financial support and services.

Media visibility worldwide

The head of the initiative, Virginija Vitkienė, emphasised that the Kaunas 2022 project gained visibility not only in Lithuania, but also worldwide. Kaunas was featured in 66 countries in total, including in Europe, the US, India, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Africa, South Korea, and Singapore. Kaunas 2022 welcomed over 170 foreign journalists to its city.

Foreign media representatives were attracted not only by the ongoing events, but also by street art, the themes related to memory, Kaunas modernist architecture, and the appearances made by world-renowned artists. According to Mindaugas Reinikis, Head of Communications and Marketing.

International press attention and high-profile artistic events and exhibitions, such as Marina Abramović, William Kentridge and Yoko Ono led to an increase in tourism; In 2022, Kaunas accommodated stays from around 258,000 tourists, the majority of whom were from Germany, Italy and the neighbouring countries of Poland, Latvia and Estonia. Results showed more people were choosing Kaunas for more than a single-day trip, spending a whole weekend or a few days in the city.

Press release available here: “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” Programme Concludes: Key Figures and Future Plans Revealed – Kaunas 2022

What do you think about Oulu as a cultural city and how the region is preparing for its year as European Capital of Culture? Let us know your opinion by responding to our survey!

Oulu will be European Capital of Culture in 2026 along with 32 other municipalities from Northern Finland. The role of European Capital of Culture is important for the entire nation and Finnish culture, as the eyes of Europe will turn to the North. Oulu2026 will offer diverse, inspiring and unique contents already before the culmination of events in 2026.

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The Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore is conducting this survey to gather information for a study assessing the impact of Oulu2026 European Capital of Culture activities. The answers are confidentially processed at Cupore, and any individual respondent cannot be identified. We do not collect personal data in the survey. More information about the data policy: https://www.cupore.fi/en/research/data-management-policy-in-cupore