Bodø 2024 – European Capital of Culture

Find your experience
Bodø2024. Photo: Dan Mariner

This is the first European Capital of Culture north of the Arctic Circle. Bodø2024 is one the largest cultural projects in Norway ever, and the largest event in Northern Norway. More than 1,000 events take place this year – and you are invited!

This whole-year cultural event is much more than art exhibitions and concert halls in the city of Bodø. It is a diverse event for everyone, for both locals and visitors to Nordland – the region around and north of the Arctic Circle. This is a perfect opportunity to meet the locals, and get to know the cultural heritage of the coastal people and the Sami people. You can even participate at big sporting and hiking events. All wrapped up in the most spectacular natural scenery you can imagine.

Imagine a midsummer night, the mood is high and the sun won’t set for weeks. Your favorite artist is ready, right in front of you. On an outdoor stage, with the most spectacular scenery in the background

From the opening to your selected event

Anyway, this year-around-cultural-programme has actually already started. In addition to these opening events in Bodø and among the more than 1,000 events in Nordland, we have selected six suggestions for you:

The great opening ceremony

Let us gather in a circle around the Bodø marina on 3 February 2024. Regardless of the weather – and enjoy a spectacular show before moving inside and continuing the party in town of Bodø. Join us on the Opening Day.

How to ARCTICulate the seasons of the sun and the pulse of nature in the North?

Historically speaking, the first season of the year is about production and prosperity. Our history will form the foundation and beginning of the programme year, ARCTICulating the real story of the Nordland region. Read more about the Your northernmost holiday.

Spring is optimism, forward thinking and youth. Spring Optimism will also focus on togetherness, unity and our common European identity. Together we will nourish a warm, democratic society and impede a new cold war. Read more about Spring in the North.

Summer in the Arctic means full daylight for weeks on end. It means fresh seafood, “utepils” (which is the exact same pilsner as the rest of the year, just enjoyed outdoors) and the world’s sweetest strawberries growing around the clock. It means lack of sleep due to intense encounters with nature at its most beautiful. Read more about Summer in the timeless society.

The Arctic winter is not about darkness. It’s about colours, nuances, and shades. So is the Bodø2024 programme. When the lights are dimmed, new perspectives and colours appear. Read more about The best time, the locals say.

The Arctic winter is not about darkness. It’s about colours, nuances, and shades. So is the Bodø2024 programme. When the lights are dimmed, new perspectives and colours appear. Read more about The coolest time, the visitors say.

Sami cultural week

Sami National Day is Tuesday, February 6. There will be an official celebration in Stormen library on the national day itself. Sáme Kulturvahkko is a tradition in Bodø, and 6 – 11 February will be celebrated throughout the Sábme region. These events in Bodø and Salten are coordinated by Stormen sami center. Read more about this Sami cultural week.

“We are proud of the Sami culture. Bodø2024 will enable us to raise the visibility of the Sámi people and the various issues in Sábme to a new level”

Maria Hernes (34), Sami coordinator for Bodø2024

Marcialonga Arctic Ski Race

This will be a spectacular ski marathon, with start and finish in Rådhusparken at the 9 March 2024, right in the city center of Bodø. “A ski fest out of the ordinary, boasting both urban surroundings and overwhelming nature. The track is designed to be accessible to everyone – from the ordinary skiing enthusiast to the elite athlete. An elevation of 850 meters still ensures a tough, but fair competition.” There will be a Park Fest, Fan zones and separate events for Kids and Youth. Read more about Marcialonga Arctic Ski Race.

The Trail Way

Join us on a cultural journey along the Nordlandsbanen in Helgeland and Salten. “Activities such as salmon fishing, rafting, city walks, storytelling, mountain tours, geopoetry, concerts and performances exploring Nordland’s role during the Second World War are offered here. Using digital tools such as an audio guide on board the train, podcasts and VR experiences as an extra dimension to the storytelling.”

Did you know that Bodø2024 also takes place in Helgeland?

The Trail Way is focusing on a low environmental footprint and vibrant local communities, aimed to modern backpackers, bucket listers and those interested in culture. Begin the journey in Trondheim, and choose from six distinct concepts along the majestic Nordland Railway at Visit Helgeland.

K-Lab 2024 – Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale

K-LAB is an artist-run, international, interdisciplinary and site-specific platform for art in and with the landscape – at Kjerringøy in Bodø. Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale 23/24 Special Edition, professional, international artists are invited to apply to come and make place-specific land art projects. “It is an interdisciplinary arena where ecology and a mindful interaction with nature are explored. The work is to explore and interact with the place and the natural and biodegradable materials available here, and investigate, transform, alter, reflect or commune with these on site. The activities should not contain any artificial materials and should be made in mindful ways with respect for the place and its inhabitants, creatures great and small. The work will integrate with the landscape or be temporary and gradually decompose.”

The selected artists are invited to stay for two longer periods: May 2023 and June 2024. ​Each artist plan and develop a site-specific work of art to be ready for presentation to the opening 6 – 7 July 2024. The artists will be present at the opening and present their own work. Read more about the K-Lab 2024 at Kjerringøy Land Art.

Eurogym 2024

Eurogym 2024 has chosen the theme “Midsummer Madness” to mark the first Eurogym (European Gymnastics) above the Arctic Circle. This will be a spectacular event for both the participants and the audience 9 – 10 July 2024. This event brings together young people aged 13-18 from all over Europe to train together, perform for each other and have fun with other young people. The event will include the European Gym for Life Challenge, which will take place from 13 July 2024.

Eurogym 2024 has broken all previous records, with over 5,800 participants already registering their interest! This might be the largest event during the year of Bodø2024! The participants will showcase their talented performance in a variety of gymnastic disciplines and dance styles, and many spectacular displays are expected. Read more about Eurogym 2024.

“KulTur” – a spectacular trekking event

“European Cabins of Culture”, organizied by the regional project Nordland Trekking Trail, is involving the famous Norwegian tourist cabins. These cabins are an important part of our proud tradition of hiking and outdoor life. All are open to the public – built and run by the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT). Their local team Bodø og Omegn Turistforening (BOT), in close cooperation with the other local trekking associations along the Nordlandsruta trekking trail will organize KulTur. This is a joint trip in 27 July – 17 August 2024, with various artistic events at selected locations. The events will be free and open to everyone, regardless of whether you hike parts of this trail or just a short day trip to the mountains. 

More to come

Your gateway to Nordland -the most beautiful coastline

Practical about Bodø and Salten

Bodø is found just north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway, and is the administration centre in the county of Nordland.

Salten is a region with its own character, dialect and identity in Northern Norway. It stretches from the Saltfjellet range in the south to the Tysfjord in the north, with Bodø at its centre.

Bodø’s airport has frequent connections to Oslo, but also to Trondheim, Bergen and Tromsø. The legendary shipping line of Hurtigruten calls at Bodø both heading north and south. The Nordland Railway connects Bodø, Fauske and Rognan with Trondheim and Oslo.

The railway is useful between Bodø, Fauske and Rognan. The catamaran Nordlandsekspressen connects Bodø with coastal communities south and north of Bodø. There are local buses in Bodø itself, and to almost any inhabited location in the Salten region. EnTur is the best website for public transport.

Bodø has a great selection of mid range and first class accommodation. There is also camping and budget options, along with a youth hostel. Out of town, a number of self catering huts and holiday homes on picturesque places, campsites and holiday homes. The E6 main artery has a wide selection on mid range hotels and guesthouses catering to people on the road.

Most visitors come in the lovely, bright Summer period. The Midnight Sun shines from late May to early to mid July, depending on the latitude. The coastal weather can be a bit of a lottery, but the inland valleys are dry and sunny with temperatures frequently passing the +25C mark. Mountain hikes, kayaking, visiting museums and attractions that all have extended open hours, fishing… there is plenty to do, and in the Norwegian school holiday from Mid Summer to early August, you have plenty of company. This is particularly true the first three weeks of July.

Mid to late August already sees tourism slowing down, and in September the mountain forest is ablaze with colours. This is a lovely time for mountain hikes and kayaking, as the water is clear and the air is fresh.

October and November can be crisp a clear, or wet and windy, but now the Northern Lights are frequent on the night sky. This is also the time to meet the locals, enjoy good food and have a glass in a candle-lit bar.

Mid Winter, December and January, are the depth of winter. Kjerringøy has fun pre-Christmas week-ends, and the Chrismassy atmosphere is all around. This is a time with concerts, culture and indoor togetherness.

February and March have more guaranteed snow, and this is definitely the time for skiing and fun snow activities in both the city mountains around Bodø and in the Sulitjelma area. The coastal areas are snow-clad and look fantastic, both in the daytime sunlight and in the evening blue light. The night is, however, reserved for the Northern Lights.

April is when spring starts on the outermost islands and the outer coast. The weather is the best of the whole year. Go for long walks along the shore, see the rich birdlife and enjoy the first spring flowers. However, the mountain resorts have plenty of snow, and see a lot of cross country skiers. By May, spring has all Salten in its grip. May sees very few tourists, there are many public holidays and the weather is generally good.

More than 1,000 cultural events through out 2024 in Nordland

Book your trip to Bodø and Salten today

For the official travel guide to Bodø and Salten with updated information on accomodation, activities, attractions, events, cutlure and other information on Bodø and Salten, click the link below.