Captivating books often convey a strong sense of place. Whether they’re set in a real or imaginary world, books help your mind travel to far-flung locations. Every year devoted bookworms make pilgrimages across the globe to indulge in literary culture.
From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Spanish bars Hemingway haunted, there are plenty of places to choose from. However, with such a vast selection, we’ve narrowed it down to an even number. Here are ten trending destinations every book lover should visit in their lifetime.
List of 10 Destinations that every book lover should once visit
- London, England
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Porto, Portugal
- Dublin, Ireland
- St.Petersburg, Russia
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Matamata, New Zealand
- Paris, France
- Fairy Tale Route, Germany
- New York, USA
1. London, England
As one of the biggest publishing hubs in the world, London seems a logical place to start. This city is riddled with bookstores and literary coffee shops. Not to mention, there’s literary history at almost every corner.
You can discover Charles Dickens’ house. See Sherlock Holmes’ famous doorway on 221B Baker Street. Drink a beer at The George Inn which famously served English writers like Shakespeare and Chaucer. Along your travels around London, you can also count the blue plaques on homes from the Bloomsbury group.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Known as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires is home to a unique brand of culture and liveliness. The Argentinian capital is famous for having more bookstores per person than anywhere else in the world. El Ateneo, an old reformed theatre, is one of its more beautiful and well-known bookstores.
Karen Washington, who’s a senior writer at Studicus.com, told us about a lot about this place and how popular it was with famous authors. Writers like Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Florencio Cortázar were regular sights in Buenos Aires. Cortázar’s Rayuela (Hopscotch) takes place in Buenos Aires and sheds light on the bohemian Argentina of the 1970s. You can still visit some of their favourite spots like Café Tortoni and Florida Garden Café.
3. Porto, Portugal
Custard cakes and beautiful buildings aren’t Porto’s only claim to fame. This city has inspired writers like J.K. Rowling and Rosa Alice Branco alike. The Art Nouveau bookstore The Livraria Lello has also captivated book lovers since 1906.
Plenty of Portuguese writer’s homes are now museums in Porto, as well. You can visit Casa José Régio and Casa Museu Guerra Junqueiro to see how these writers lived. At Casa José Régio, you are even greeted by actors who impersonate the famous 20th-century writer.
4. Dublin, Ireland
Yeats, Wilde, Mangan, and Joyce; this Irish city has the most Nobel laureates per capita. The Fair City is so proud of Joyce, in particular, that every June 16th they celebrate Bloomsday. This holiday rejoices in all the stories, locations and characters that appear in Joyce’s Ulysses.
Around the city, there are plenty of literary locations to visit. The Dublin’s Writer Museum, the National Library, and Trinity College are all tourist hot spots. Book lovers can rejoice will perusing the stunning collection of books kept in these excellent institutions.
5. St. Petersburg, Russia
The streets of St. Petersburg pay homage to Russian writers throughout the centuries. From statues to street signs to buildings, this city wears its literary accomplishments like a badge of honour. It’s no surprise as it housed some of the best writers the world over.
Museums have exhibits dedicated to the likes of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vladimir Nabokov, and Alexander Pushkin. There is even a special section in the Volkovskoe Cemetery for famous writers called Literatorskie Mostki. Café Brodyachaya Sobaka (Stray Dog Café) is a must-see for those looking to trace the steps of famous Russian writers.
6. Edinburgh, Scotland
While J.K. Rowling was inspired by other cities, Edinburgh is where she wrote Harry Potter. You can still visit The Elephant House café where she would sit for hours to scribble away. From the Edinburgh Castle to the Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery, there’s plenty for book lovers to visit.
As the first UNESCO city of literature, Edinburgh holds a long list of writers in its repertoire. Robert Burns, Muriel Spark, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson all inhabited it at one time or another. Also, every August, this city comes alive with the most significant literature festival in the world.
7. Matamata, New Zealand
New Zealand is filled with sites for Lord of the Rings fans to visit. However, just outside of Matamata, Tolkien fans can get a real taste of Middle Earth. Director Peter Jackson picked a sheep farm in the countryside as the set for Hobbiton and Bag End.
The set gives life to the imaginary world of Bilbo and Frodo. It’s also open to the public. Book worms can stroll through the Shire visiting hobbit holes and having a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.
8. Paris, France
Writers from every corner of the earth flock to the City of Lights. Père Lachaise alone houses the likes of Molière and Oscar Wilde. That makes this city a book lover’s paradise.
Paris was also the backdrop for the Lost Generation. Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, and Sylvia Beach all fled the U.S. for France in 1920s. Paris will forever be alive and well in their work.
9. Fairy Tale Route, Germany
Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin and Cinderella all came from the minds of the Brothers Grimm. While these original tales are much darker than their modern incarnations, their longevity is undeniable. This tour compiles the locations and making of their fairy tales into one jam-packed experience.
Visit Snow White’s cottage in Bergfreiheit. Dance with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Climb Rapunzel’s tower in Trendelburg. Talk about a real-life fantasy!
10. New York, USA
We can’t forget the Big Apple’s importance in literature. Writers like Sylvia Plath and J.D. Salinger depicted New York in their most famous works. Literature fans can visit the Minetta and White Horse Taverns to feel closer to famous writers.
Morgan Library, the New York Public Library and the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House are ideal stops for book lovers. The city abounds with literary highlights. All five boroughs have something to offer for book lovers from around the world.
Whether you’re headed to the southern hemisphere or the Baltic of Scotland, literature destinations are everywhere. Plan a trip to see your favourite literary monuments today. Be sure to bring a good book to read along your way.
About the Author: Lori Jones is a blogger and regular contributor at Wowgrade.net. She has been writing about travelling and digital entrepreneurship for quite a while now.