Deventer Book Market - the biggest book market in Europe

Deventer Book Market - the biggest book market in Europe

Aug 06, 2023

Visit Deventer Book Market, the largest book market in Europe! With over 870 stalls covering six kilometres, it’s no wonder that over 125.000 visitors descend on Deventer for this yearly event! It’s a book lover's dream come true.

Browse the stalls at the biggest book market in Europe

Typically held on the first Sunday of August and now in its 33rd year, Deventer Book market has something for every kind of reader! From rare hardback editions offered by antiquarian bookshops to brand new bestsellers, you can find anything and everything at the market.

As well as literature, you can also expect poetry, travel writing, comic books, children's literature, art books and more. You'll even find magazines and postcards. Quality - not just quantity - is a defining trait of the book selection at the market.

Some true book fans show up at 7am to make the most out of the book market and get the first pick, even though the booksellers don't start trading until 9.30am when the market opens. For many, that’s rather extreme. 

You can also enjoy a relaxing day, pottering around the stalls and browsing the selections on offer. There are often book-themed exhibitions taking place in the surrounding streets.

Looking for Dutch, English or German books?

Being in the Netherlands, it's predominantly Dutch books, as can be expected. Of course, you can always expect plenty of books in English, too. There are many in the German language as well, due to Deventer being relatively close to Germany. This can prove to be a worthwhile event for expats in Germany who are willing to make the trek into the Netherlands! 

Deventer - the city of books

Deventer is a picturesque little town on the river IJssel. In the late 15th century, Deventer was one of the most important cities in the Netherlands for printing. Today, printing is still significant in the city, with many printers, publishers, libraries, bookshops and even antiquarian bookshops located there.

Plan your visit to Deventer Book Market

If you plan to load up on books, then make sure to bring an ample supply of carrier bags or a rucksack - some punters even bring luggage on wheels! Check out the Deventer Book Market website (in Dutch) for more information.

The book market is a very short walk from the train station, so it’s perfect for visitors coming from out of town. It's easy to get to Deventer by public transportation from many cities and towns in the Netherlands. Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Zwolle are the closest Dutch cities.

Visit Deventer in December

If you don't make it to the famous book market, it's also good to know that there's another renowned event for families and kids in Deventer each year in mid-December: Dickens Festival, in which the centre of Deventer is transformed into 19th century London, reminiscent of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.