After Prague, Milan and Barcelona, Utrecht can now also call itself UNESCO City of Literature. So it’s hardly surprising that the city is set to host a two-week international literature festival from 15 to 29 September. A few tips.

Reading marathon
A very special reading marathon will start at 11.00 on 15 September at Utrecht Centraal station. It’s set to last twelve days! Thousands of women will read aloud from the book Anna Karenina by the Russian author Tolstoy, in Dutch and almost sixty other languages.

Antique books
Come and browse through stacks of second-hand and antique books on the 120 book stalls at this first edition of the Utrecht Book Fair on Sunday 16 September on Vredenburgplein.

Struggle between good and evil
On Friday 19 September, heroes, scoundrels and the struggle between good and evil will be the focus of Humanities Night in TivoliVredenburg. The evening, organised together with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University, will feature mini-lectures, addresses given by international scientists, debates and a real pub quiz.

An evening with…
Various international writers will visit Utrecht during the festival, among them Julian Barnes and Paolo Cognetti. Julian Barnes has written many books, including The Sense of an Ending, for which he won the Man Booker Prize in 2011. The Italian writer/documentary maker Cognetti has been writing for years, but his breakthrough came in 2017 with the novel The Eight Mountains, a bestseller about loneliness and friendship set against the backdrop of the North-Italian Alps.

For the full programme, go to