Both travel and literature possess a rare and remarkable power - the ability to transport us to distant lands, stirring within us a deep yearning for exploration. For book lovers and adventure seekers alike, travelling to destinations we've explored between the pages is a unique experience where imagination becomes reality. From beautiful bookstores to breathtaking libraries and fascinating museums, here are some remarkable literary-themed destinations you need to add to your list!
Step into the hallowed halls of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, a haven for bookworms and a source of inspiration for countless authors. As you explore this magnificent library, you'll feel as if you've entered the pages of Jonathan Swift's ‘Gulliver's Travels’ or one of Oscar Wilde's witty tales. Lose yourself amidst the ancient tomes, bask in the grandeur of the Long Room and let the profound literary history of Ireland's capital city envelop you.
Cartagena, the vibrant coastal city of Colombia, is a perfect destination for literature enthusiasts. Each January, the Hay Festival of Literature brings together renowned authors and book lovers from around the world. Wander through the streets that inspired Gabriel García Márquez's magical realism in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. Let the colourful colonial architecture and the lively atmosphere of Cartagena's plazas transport you to the fictional town of Macondo. Engage in literary discussions, attend book readings and appreciate the rich literary heritage of this captivating city.
Tokyo and Osaka, Japan
If you've ever had a childhood dream about living in a large bookstore where you can read, eat, sleep and play while surrounded by your favourite books, then 'Book and Bed' in Tokyo and Osaka are a dream come true! These unique 'accommodation bookshops' are designed for book lovers, offering cosy sleeping nooks tucked within the shelves. Curl up with your favourite novel as you drift off to sleep, surrounded by a sea of stories. From contemporary Japanese authors like Haruki Murakami to classic works by Yasunari Kawabata, let the pages of these novels transport you to the vibrant and bustling streets of Japan’s unique cities.
Karen Blixen's Home, Kenya
In the vast landscapes of Kenya, immerse yourself in the world of Karen Blixen, as depicted in her memoir ‘Out of Africa’. Visit her former home - now a museum - and explore the beautiful surroundings that inspired her words. Witness the spectacle of the Great Migration as wildebeest and zebras traverse golden plains. Marvel at majestic elephants, lions and giraffes that paint a vivid portrait of African wilderness and engage with the warm-hearted Maasai people, custodians of ancient wisdom and vibrant customs.
In the heart of Edinburgh, lies 'The Elephant House', a café that holds a special place in the literary world. This cosy establishment is known as the birthplace of J.K. Rowling's beloved ‘Harry Potter’ series. Sit in the very spot where the wizarding world was brought to life as you enjoy a hot drink and sweet treat. Just a short walk away, make sure to visit Armchair Books, a charming independent bookstore that offers a treasure trove of literary delights. Lose yourself in the floor-to-ceiling rows of books and the narrow, windy corridors that are sure to ignite your inner bookworm!
Inspired to turn the page and book your next travel chapter? Get in touch with your local Travellers Choice agent