15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the World

15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the World

Written by: Pavita Singh

St. Augustine is attributed with the quote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page.” While it is true that reading books is a great way to transport yourself to different worlds across space and time, how cool would it be to actually walk the same paths that your favorite authors have and experience their inspirations as they once did? Or to visit the spots featured in your favorite literary works? Or to simply surround yourself with layers and layers of books in all languages and of all genres in some of the world’s most famous bookstores and libraries? If you’re a bibliophile and any of this sounds magical to you, you’ll probably want to plan a visit to some of these literary travel destinations.

  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Dublin-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldDublin, Ireland: Probably the number-one spot for any bibliophile to visit in Dublin is The Old Library at Trinity College. The library’s Long Room, one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions, is a 65-meter-long chamber that houses more than 200,000 books and manuscripts, including the famous Book of Kells. Home to literary great James Joyce, Dublin hosts an annual celebration of his work on June 16. Fans of Ulysses deck out in period costumes and re-trace the steps of the story’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom. The James Joyce Center also offers a walking tour of the city’s literary landmarks. At night, you can take part in a literary pub crawl, where you can visit the city’s pubs and watch re-enactments of famous scenes from Irish literature. You’ll also probably want to check out the Dublin Writers’ Museum, Marsh’s Library, the Chester Beatty Library, and the National Library of Ireland. In addition to James Joyce, other famous authors who have roots in Dublin include WB Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Bram Stoker.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Porto-300x202 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldPorto, Portugal: Porto is home to Livraria Lello, considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Its Art Nouveau architecture design has made Lello an attraction and inspiration for famous authors, including JK Rowling, who taught English in Porto. Lello is also Porto’s center for literary gatherings and events.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Rome-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldRome, Italy: Some of the world’s most beautiful libraries, including the Biblioteca Casanatense, the National Institute of Archaeology Library, the Vatican Library, and the Angelica and Vallicelliana Libraries, are located in Rome. You can take guided tours of all of these libraries. Some of the top literary landmarks are the Fontana dei Libri (Fountain of Books), Goethe’s house on Via del Corso, the Keats-Shelley House, and the Caffé Greco, where Shelley, Dickens, and Byron got together to drink. You’ll also want to check out the Open Door Bookshop, which offers books in English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Concord-300x202 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldConcord, MA: In the charming and historic town of Concord, you can pay a visit to the Orchard House, which is where author Louisa May Alcott grew up and wrote and set her novel Little Women. At one point, the Alcotts lived next door to author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s family. Down the street, you’ll find the Thoreau-Alcott House, where Henry David Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott lived at different times and where Alcott wrote Jo’s Boys, the sequel to Little Women. In the same neighborhood you’ll also find Ralph Waldo Emerson’s house, where Thoreau and the Alcotts were frequent visitors. When you go to Concord, you’ll definitely want to spend some time at Walden Pond, where Emerson and Thoreau spent much of their time. Today, renowned historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin resides in Concord.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_NewYork-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldNew York, NY: On a visit to New York, you can spend hours and hours at Strand Bookstore or at the New York Public Library and still not have exhausted everything. Home to the prestigious Columbia University and New York University, many famous authors have studied and gotten their start in the city that never sleeps. Journalism fans will enjoy taking a tour of the New York Times building. Take a walk through Washington Square Park, the setting of Henry James’ famous novel; have a spot of tea at Alice’s Tea Cup or Bosie Tea Parlor (an Oscar Wilde-themed parlor); pay homage to Truman Capote at The Plaza and Tiffany’s; hang out at the San Remo, where Beats poets Allen Ginsburg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac once did; grab a drink at Minetta Tavern; where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were regulars; take a Renaissance walking tour in Harlem; or check out Louisa May Alcott’s other house on MacDougal Street or Edgar Allen Poe’s house in the Bronx. In Central Park alone, there are dozens of literary landmarks, including the Alice in Wonderland statue, the literary walking path, and Holden Caufield’s duck pond from Catcher in the Rye. In the summer, you can watch “Shakespeare in the Park” productions. If you need a place to stay in New York, check out the Library Hotel—a haven for book lovers. At the Library Hotel, you’ll find a reading room, a poetry garden, and not to mention an upscale bistro, lively bar, and free wine, cheese, and pastries every day.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_London-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldLondon, UK: Several literary greats hail from London and surrounding areas, including Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and JK Rowling. At the British Library, you can see Shakespeare’s first folio, among other great works. Other London literary landmarks include the Charles Dickens Museum (which is especially beautiful around the winter holidays), the Sherlock Holmes Museum, the Globe replica or the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (for Shakespeare fans), Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station (for Harry Potter fans), and Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey. Lovers of the water can also check out Word on the Water—a barge full of bookshelves and social events like readings and music shows. If you have some time to get out of London, you can visit Stratford and immerse yourself in everything Shakespearean; Bath for a trip to the Jane Austen Centre and the Jane Austen festival; Oxford for interactive Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland tours as well as tours of the Bodleian Library and the Oxford Story Museum; and Ashdown Forest to see the original Hundred Acre Wood, where AA Milne’s son used to play.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Mainz-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldMainz, Germany: There would not be any books without the printing press, which we owe all to Johannes Gutenberg. Mainz is home of the Gutenberg Museum, where you can see the two original Gutenberg Bibles of the 15th century, a reconstruction of Gutenberg’s workshop, and exhibits on the evolution of printing presses and the history of book art and typography. At Druckladen, the museum’s educational print shop, you can even try typesetting and printing for yourself.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_BuenosAires-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldBuenos Aires, Argentina: Buenos Aires is home to the majestic El Ateneo Grand Splendid, which the Guardian named the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. Once a grand theater and then a cinema, El Ateneo was turned into a bookstore in 2000. The historical architecture has been completely preserved, but the chairs have been replaced with bookshelves. In addition to El Ateneo, there are cozy cafes to snuggle up and read on every corner and a row of bookshops on Corrientes Avenue. What’s more, the high taxes on technology make Kindles, tablets, and other e-readers rare in Argentina, so those of you who still revel in physical books will feel right at home. Some Argentine literary greats include Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Leopoldo Lugones, and Ernesto Sabato. If you’re looking for modern-day authors whose works feature Buenos Aires and Argentina, look up Carolina de Robertis.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Paris-300x209 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldParis, France: Big names associated with Paris include Oscar Wilde, Molière, Marcel Proust, Alexander Dumas, Gertrude Stein, and Victor Hugo. You can visit many of their graves at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. You can also visit the homes of Dumas and Hugo and see Ernest Hemingway’s first apartment in Paris. There are several literary-themed cafes and museums in Paris. Shakespeare & Company is a popular bookshop where many readings and events are held in the evenings. Bibliophiles also enjoy paying a visit to Les Bouquinistes used bookstore and the National Library.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Venice-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldVenice, Italy: In Venice, you’ll want to visit Libreria Acqua Alta—a bookshop on the sea. Books are piled into gondolas, boats, canoes, and tanks. You can enjoy a good book while taking in the glistening water. Several influential authors have set their work in Venice, including DH Lawrence, Lord Byron, Daphne Du Maurier, Ian McEwan, and Shakespeare. Just a short train ride from Venice is Verona, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. In Verona, you can see Juliet’s house—the spot where Romeo declared his love for Juliet.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_KeyWest-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldKey West, FL: The must-see bibliophile spot in Key West is the Hemingway House, where you can tour the space in which Ernest Hemingway lived and worked. Every year, Key West hosts the Hemingway Days Festival. Popular events include a lookalike contest, readings, a literary competition, and a quirky reinterpretation of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. Other authors who called Key West home include Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and Shel Silverstein.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Edinburgh-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldEdinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh was named UNESCO’s first “City of Literature,” which makes sense given all the literary attractions you’ll find in the city. The main train station in Edinburgh is named for Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is said to have gotten his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes while he was in medical school in Edinburgh. A Sherlock Holmes statue stands across the street from where Doyle’s childhood home was. The view from The Elephant House is said to have inspired Hogwarts, and JK Rowling finished the Harry Potter series at the Balmoral Hotel (Room 652, to be exact). The Deacon Brodies pub honors the real-life inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Oxford Bar was a favorite hangout of Ian Rankin. You can go on a Literary Pub Crawl for a drunken adventure of some of the most famous literary works. Edinburgh hosts the International Book Festival—the world’s largest book festival, which features panel discussions, book signings, and author meet-and-greets. And don’t forget to check out the Writer’s Museum.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Matamata-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldMatamata, New Zealand: Take a tour through Lord of the Rings’ Hobbiton. A tour of the village includes the home of Biblo Biggins, the Mill, Hobbit Holes, and Green Dragon Inn. You can even feast Hobbit style in the Green Dragon dining room during an evening banquet tour. Special tours also take place for International Hobbit Day in September.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_SanFrancisco-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldSan Francisco, CA: Writers who have called San Francisco home include Jack London, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Dashell Hammett, David Eggers, Amy Tan, and Isabel Allende. You can visit these authors’ residences throughout the city San Francisco’s Chinatown is the setting for Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, and several other San Francisco neighborhoods make their appearances in the works of Steinbeck, Hammett, and Allende. The Beat movement was born in San Francisco and is still reflected in many of the city’s literary landmarks. Jack Kerouac used to hang out at the City Lights Pub & Bookstore, where next door you will find Jack Kerouac Alley. Across the Bay in Oakland, you can visit Jack London Square.
  1. Blog42_TravelDestinationsBookworms_Amherst-300x200 15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the WorldAmherst, MA: Amherst has been home to such writers as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Noah Webster, David Foster Wallace, and Dan Brown. In Amherst, you can visit the Emily Dickinson Museum, which consists of the Dickinson Homestead (where Emily Dickinson lived) and the Evergreens (where her brother Austin lived). Lovers of picture books and children’s literature can pay a visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, named for the author of the beloved The Very Hungry Caterpillar, among other children’s books.

Have you been to any of these places? Or hoping to plan a trip now that you’ve read a little more about them? If so, get on Konversai—the world’s newest global knowledge platform that allows you to connect with anyone, anywhere, about anything. You can use Konversai to connect with people who live or have been to where you’re planning on traveling so you can get the inside scoop on the destination’s hidden gems. If you’d like to talk about the places you’ve been or lived, you can do it on Konversai and even make money doing so. Konversai is a space to develop authentic connections and have meaningful, personalized conversations about the topics that are important to you. No matter who you are or where you come from, you have valuable knowledge, experiences, and skills that people elsewhere will pay to learn. Discuss your favorite books, your favorite foods, your favorite travel destinations, learn new languages and new instruments, and anything else your mind and heart desire—they all have a place on Konversai. Get in on the fun today!


  1. Al-Meten, Catherine. (2014). Experience the San Francisco Bay Area: Literary Landmarks. AXS.
  2. Fazzalaro, Kristina. (2015). The 12 Best Destinations for Bookworms. Oyster.
  3. Hallemann, Caroline. Eight Travel Itineraries for English-Lit Lovers. Travel + Leisure.
  4. Kowalczyk, Piotr. (2016). 12 literary places book lovers have to visit in a lifetime. Ebook Friendly.
  5. Schultz, Becky. (2015). 15 Book-Tourism Destinations For Literature-Lovers That You Have to Put on Your Bucket List. Bustle.
  6. Valente, Danielle. (2017). 7 Unique Destinations Every Book Lover Should Add to their Travel Wishlist. Elite Daily.
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3 Replies to “15 Literary Travel Destinations for the Bookworms of the World”

  1. So many book(store)s, so little time! I have been to all towns except Matamata. Yet, the only ones I saw with a book-lover’s lens are Dublin and Edinburgh. I will be on Rev. 2.0 of the rest, soon. But before that, a “trip” to Konversai. Excellent job, Pavita.

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