Top 10 cities with best cultural facilities in Europe

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Culture is the cornerstone of the society. It provides priceless value and enhances the quality of life for everyone. From museums, theatres to public libraries, culture brings people together.

Cultural experiences are an important part of personal development. It was proved that participation in culture from early ages helps children develop their thinking skills, build self-esteem and improve resilience. Children who participate at arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree than those who do not.

Europe’s cultural heritage is supported by a range of EU policies, programmes and funding, notably the Creative Europe programme.

Eurostat conducted a perception survey in 2019 to find out which citizens are the most satisfied with cultural facilities such as concert halls, theatres, museums and libraries. A total of 103 cities participated in the survey. The Austrian capital Vienna ranked first with the amazing 75,70% of very satisfied people with the cultural facilities.

Home to Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss, just to name a few, Vienna is the most famous capital of classical music in the world. Although the city has been facing many challenges of globalisation, including an increasingly diverse population and widening generational and cultural gaps, Vienna started a number of immediate and long-term cultural policies and projects that intend to develop alongside these changes over the coming years. Some of those include renovations of important cultural venues like the Volkstheater (“People’s Theatre”), which was founded at the end of 19th century on request of the citizens of the Austrian capital.

The long term, multi-step plans indicate the city’s continued commitment to enhancing the quality of life and cultural engagement of its multinational population while maintaining Vienna’s reputation as a leading smart city, says World Cities Culture Forum.

Some of the most popular cultural events in the city are Vienna Opera Ball at the Vienna State Opera, the New Year’s concert in the Musikverein or the Vienna Festival, the event where the world-renowned elite of opera and theater directors, conductors and orchestras present the very latest on the performing arts scene.

The German city of Dresden ranked second (65,20%). It is indeed a high-ranking cultural metropolis with more than 800 years of city history manifested in the architecture, fine arts, music, literature and theatre. The three major landmarks in Dresden are the Baroque Zwinger Palace, Semperoper opera house and the Church of Our Lady, however there are so many other sites this city offers. From museums, contemporary architecture, religious buildings to sculptures, monuments and fountains: Dresden has it all.

Zurich, the third European city with the most satisfied people with cultural facilities (64,50%) is an infallible choice for all those in search of cultural inspiration. In this Swiss city, culture doesn’t belong just to indoor facilities: it is actually available on every corner. From buildings of architectural significance to art installations, Zurich is a museum in the open air.

Also, Zurich is home to the smallest of the world’s large opera houses. The Zurich Opera House has approximately 1,100 seats. In 2014, it was awarded Best Opera Company of the Year at the International Opera Awards. All in all, Zurich is a prime example of the combining tradition and the latest trends.

The cultural capital of the Northern Denmark, Aalborg, was rightfully placed on the top of this ranking. The city made a score of 62,90% of people who are very satisfied with the cultural facilities that the city is offering. Some of the most famous cultural facilities in Aalborg are The Musikkens Hus (“Music house”), the Northern Jutland’s main concert hall with eight floors and four different sized concert halls and The Utzon Center, the facility used for activities such as art, design and architecture. It was constructed by Jørn Utzon, the architect who designed the famous Sydney opera house.

The fifth place is reserved for Graz (61,50%). In 1999, the city’s historic centre was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. In 2003, Graz was awarded with European Capital of Culture title, while in 2008, it became a City of Culinary Delights.

As part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003, Graz Art Museum was built in the city centre and has immediately become an architectural landmark. Besides this contemporary art museum, Graz has many other things to offer for culture lovers: from the beautiful historic city centre and the Schlossberg fortress, to the renowned Styriarte Arts Festival, one of the most famous cultural events in Graz.

From sixth to tenth place are positioned Munich (60,70%), Glasgow (59,40%), Cardiff (58,60%), Leipzig (57,50%) and Amsterdam (56,90%).

Culture is considered a reflection of a country and its communities. It is such an important part of people’s lives. It produces stability, expands horizons and provides the opportunity for everyone to grow. Culture has a very important role in the growth of economic progress and therefore, it should always be positioned at the very top of every city’s agenda. (photo credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)