Sports, cultural, musical events, numerous exhibitions, events and festivals make Banja Luka a great location to enjoy these activities if you are its fan. Numerous visitors from the region and the world visit the city on the Vrbas River in large numbers every year to attend many events unique to Banja Luka, and in addition to the many dates you need to record during the summer, winter is not lagging behind, so you will enjoy Banja Luka throughout years.
Where to start than with festivals. What Banja Luka is perhaps best known for when we talk about the popularity of a place, are certainly music and sports festivals, which are not far behind numerous events closely focused on some of the activities.
Nektar Fresh Wave Festival is one of the festivals that needs to be listed first. For years, it has gathered many well-known and recognized names in the world of electronic music, and three days of incredible fun are provided for all fans of this music genre. Apart from being popular in Banja Luka, Fresh Wave is also the most important festival of this type in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and since 2019, numerous performers from the world of hip-hop, techno and drum and base music have participated in the festival. The festival is an ideal opportunity for everyone to enjoy the beauties of Banja Luka and its surroundings, and it is held in August, the ideal time of the year when you can try numerous activities in the field of adventure and fun, which Banja Luka is not far behind. Run & More Festival is a sporting event that is growing and progressing from year to year. The half marathon, which is the central event of the festival, has become popular among many athletics fans, both professionals and recreational athletes, so every year in Banja Luka we can see a large number of foreign visitors and participants. The festival gathers a large number of runners in the spring, ie in April, when it is held, and in addition to the half marathon race, there are competitions for children, numerous short-distance races and relay races. The whole event will be accompanied by music concerts and activities that guarantee good fun.
Motofest is already a traditional event that Banja Luka can be proud of. At the end of May, when the motorcycle season begins, many fans of two-wheelers visit the city on the Vrbas river, and in addition to locals, many visitors from the area come, so last year alone, the festival recorded over 20.000 participants who marched through the city streets. Numerous additional activities and events are included in this unique concept, such as the selection of the best motorbike, biker games, exhibition and motorcycle fair, and the festival grows from year to year and thus received the epithet of a humanitarian event – as part of the funds are donated to the Association of chemophiliac patients and ill children.
An event with a very long tradition, dating back to 1953, is becoming more and more popular and richer every year. During recent years, the festival was called "Carnival on the Vrbas" and in 1995 it changed its name to "Summer on the Vrbas" which remains to this date. The event lasts fifteen days, and it brings together Banja Luka during the period, as well as many sports fans, especially dayak, for which Banja Luka is widely known, but also lovers of art, culture and music, given that during the "Summer on the Vrbas" there are many performances by musicians and cultural and artistic groups. The main events are the dajak boat race and jumps from the city bridge, and in addition to these, the event is marked with the selection of the most beautiful dayak, beach volleyball competition, divers' performances, kettle races, open-air cinema and numerous other activities.
In addition to its popularity for outdoor activities, Banja Luka is also known for numerous exhibitions of world and local artists, who have the opportunity to show their works to the citizens of Banja Luka, but also to all visitors to this city. The Museum of Contemporary Art of RS regularly organises art exhibitions, which are recognized by the people of Banja Luka and well attended. In addition to the constantly organised exhibitions, another event marks the cultural scene of Banja Luka. The Museum Night is something that has traditionally been held in the town on the Vrbas river for many years. The event is supported by UNESCO and the Council of Europe, and each year has a specific theme, which seeks to highlight a sphere of museum work. The Museum of Contemporary Art of RS regularly holds numerous workshops, lectures and activities, and in that way constantly maintains the Banja Luka cultural and artistic scene and everything it has to offer. Researchers' Night, an event initiated by the European Commission and held throughout Europe, gathers a large number of visitors and lovers of research. The goal is to promote scientists but also the importance of research for the progress and development of achievements in the future. It happens every year, on the last Friday in September.
Banski dvor is the cultural center of Banja Luka and the place of numerous events from various fields such as music, theater, monodrama performances, literary and cultural events, numerous workshops, congresses and symposiums. The representational interior of the Banski dvor preserves tradition, while the Concert Hall, the City Hall and the Ceremonial Salon have an authentic look, which gives even more importance to this cultural institution. The most recognized world and domestic names from the world of music, film and other fields are regular performers, and throughout the year, at least three times a week, you can attend some of the rich content, and often offer numerous exhibitions and permanent
exhibitions that you can see unrelated to schedule and dates.
Banja Luka boasts numerous content from the world of drama and theater, with as many as 3 theaters for adults and one for children. The National Theater of the Republic of Srpska, as the largest and most developed, can be freely compared with some renowned European stages and the offer of performances it offers, considering that the quality and significance for culture and art do not lag behind in any way. Numerous award-winning performances are the pride of Banja Luka and Republika Srpska, and its repertoire offers performances and concerts of musicians from the country, the region and the world. The Petar Kočić Theater Fest is one of the biggest events celebrated here, and as part of the organization, in addition to performances, we offer over a hundred various cultural, artistic and entertainment events. Jazavac City Theater is also doing a great job when it comes to cultural and theatrical promotion of Banja Luka, and in addition to this mission and great performances for which more tickets are always required, Jazavac also works on promoting culture in educational institutions, educating children and youth and raising awareness on importance of art and its role in everyday life. For the youngest, there is the Children's Theater of Republika Srpska, which has shown 312 premieres in the last 50 years of operation, and the plays have been watched by more than 3 million people. The list of events and manifestations that Banja Luka can be proud of is too long and so much more could be written about it. The Vinosaur Festival or the Chocolate and Wine Festival are just some of the popular and favorite content for all wine and food lovers, and it is worth mentioning the "Plot", the International Festival of Young Actors, which supports and brings together all theater and acting lovers on the youth and the talents they possess. Banja Luka is really rich in cultural events that grow and develop more and more from year to year. With each new season, the organizers try to expand and enrich the offer, and the city on the Vrbas river does not lag behind the European and world cultural centers, and keeps pace with the times and modern events.