It’s definitely time to bring the candles out and start wearing those cosy oversized jumpers by the fireplace. But before we dive into the hectic Christmas season, there is still some time to relax and enjoy what November has on offer. Music and film festivals, food fairs and a little bit of Cologne carnival: rest assured, there is plenty to discover this month.


Geneva International Film Festival (1 – 10 November)

Grand international premieres, master classes and plenty of professional networking events: each year, the legendary Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) explores the links between cinema, television and digital art. A true hotspot for film professionals and film enthusiast alike.

Procession of Weinhüter, Perchtoldsdorf (6 November)

A UNESCO cultural heritage, the procession of the Weinhüter takes place on the first Sunday after St. Leonhard’s Day in Perchtoldsdorf. It’s quite possibly Austria’s best-known wine-growers’ festival and celebrates the appointment of the vineyard keeper, which still follows an old ceremony dating back to the 16th century. A lovely event for everyone from wine connoisseur to those who would like to become one.

Buch Wien. Photo ©LCM, Richard Schuster

Buch Wien, Vienna (6 – 10 November)

The international book fair Buch Wien attracts over 40,000 book lovers and professionals from across the globe each year. Starting with the ‘Long Night of the Books’ on 6 November, it features over 300 events, making it one of Austria’s biggest book fairs. Bookworms: this one is most definitely for you.

Fairy Tale Days of Berlin (7 – 24 November)

The wonderful Berlin Fairy Tale Days are as magical as it gets. Bringing beloved childhood stories to life year after year, this edition celebrates the event’s 30th anniversary. Its motto is ‘Fairy Tales overcome Borders’ and it promises to be a wonderful time for both young and old.

Plaza Culinaria. Photo © Achim Käflein, Felix Groteloh, Sven Ketz

Plaza Culinaria, Freiburg (8 – 10 November)

Plaza Culinaria in Freiburg is the most important food fair in South Germany, with over 42,000 people attending each year. It offers a fabulous mix of traditional food fair, evening events, entertainment and info stalls. Make sure you book your tickets early for what is certainly the culinary highlight of the month

International A Cappella Festival Voice Mania, Vienna (8 November – 1 December)

Pop, rock, jazz, swing, world music and so much more await guests at the 22nd edition of Voice Mania. Vienna’s city centre turns into a massive stage where local and international vocal ensembles and soloists celebrate the genre of ‘a cappella’. Each year, new acts are presented, and it always promises to be a whole lot of fun.

Voice Mania, Robeat. Photo © Julia Marie Werner

Carnival Season Kick-Off, Cologne (11 November)

On 11/11 it’s time once again to officially kick off the new carnival season in Cologne. Around 70,000 carnival fans come together to celebrate and show their costumes on this special day. Traditionally, the city becomes a ‘carnivaltastic madhouse’ with a great programme, which features all the big stars the German carnival scene has to offer. Get your fancy dress ready.

Vinifera, Biel (13 – 17 November)

It’s all about the sweet grapes at the international wine fair Vinifera. The Biel-based event is an oasis for any wine connoisseur. With its friendly atmosphere and celebration of the true passion for wine making, this is an excellent mix of fair and festival. Fancy a cheeky glass?

Christmas Garden Berlin. Photo © Christmas Garden Deutschland

Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg (14 – 17 November)

The Affordable Art Fair brings local, national and international galleries to Hamburg in order to showcase a large range of contemporary art. All artworks are carefully selected by international experts and, as the fair’s name suggests, they are indeed quite affordable.

The Christmas Garden, Berlin (15 November – 5 January)

Enter into a glittering world of Christmas at the Botanic Garden in Berlin. So far, it has attracted over 400,000 visitors and wowed them all with its uniquely designed magical winter landscape. The beautiful illuminations are mesmerising and a perfect way to finally get into the Christmas mood. This year, the event also takes place in Dresden, Stuttgart and Münster.

European Theatre night, Next Liberty. Photo © Next Liberty

European Theatre Night, Austria (16 November)

The European Theatre Night is a very special event as it takes place in over 400 locations across Europe. In all participating cities, theatres put on a fabulous night of different shows and Austria is a big contributor with over 70 different venues. The night can be seen as the perfect representation of the Austrian theatre scene and it also includes quite a few interesting workshops. It’s generally a free event, but guests are encouraged to donate whatever amount they can spare.

Family and Home, Stuttgart (21 – 24 November)

If you are looking for a fair that’s fun for the entire family, you’ve come to the right place. This huge annual shopping fair held in Stuttgart is perfect for young and old alike. Go and explore the large variety of different stalls with products ranging from contemporary kitchen utensils all the way to the construction materials of the future.

Photo © Pixabay

Onion Market, Bern (25 November)

The Zwibelemärit, as Bern’s citizens call their annual onion market, is traditionally held on every fourth Sunday in November. As long as it’s related somehow to onions, anything goes: from fresh onions to beautiful onion wreaths and onion figurines, the vegetable is the true queen of this festival. A typical Swiss event throughout, it also sells jewellery, textiles, ceramics and toys.

City of the Stars, St. Gallen (28 November – 24 December)

November is coming to an end and the run up to Christmas is officially starting. St. Gallen is also known as the ‘City of the Stars’, because to kickstart the Christmas season, the atmospheric Swiss city switches on 700 twinkling lights above the Christmas market of the old town. Come and witness the glow of Christmas up-close.

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