Inspiration can take many forms and a good book can be the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing holiday.
However, sometimes it is the book that can lead to some serious travel inspiration. From Dan Brown’s novels ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Angels and Demons’ to Stockholm’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and everything in between, get ready for the best travel destinations that have inspired writers all over the world.
Are you ready for a travel page-turner? Sit back, relax and take a deep dive into the best travel destinations made famous by books.
Italy is synonymous with its beautiful architecture, its unique la vita è bella and its incredible culinary scene.
It’s easy to see why this sun-soaked country is so popular with travelers, but it has also been the inspiration for artists, sculptors, composers and writers both from Italy and elsewhere for centuries.
Of course, Italy’s history is rich and varied, but it also has strong literary vibes too and if you are looking to add some literature highlights into your Italian schedule.
Author Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon book series effortlessly uses real locations in Italy to elevate his stories.
With landmark sites like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Saint Peter’s Square, and of course the Castel Sant’Angelo makes Rome a must-visit for any Dan Brown fan.
Ahh Paris! The French capital is one of the most romantic cities in Europe and is also one of the world’s most visited cities.
From its famous landmarks and relaxed café culture to the incredible art and architecture and exquisite food, there’s always a reason to visit Paris.
This beautiful and cultural city which is chock-full of amazing sights has been a source of inspiration for many artists and writers for centuries.
From the Notre Dame in Victor Hugo’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ to the intriguing Latin Quarter in A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway, there’s literary references around every quarter.
Fans of Stieg Larsson’s immensely popular series of books ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ which have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide are heading to the Swedish capital to experience the fantastic culture, landscapes and food on offer.
One of the highlights is the hipster district of Södermalm, a bohemian neighbourhood which is chock full of super cool galleries, quirky shops as well as having a plethora of bars and restaurants, each with their own unique vibe.
The Södermalm Kaffebar is one of Larsson’s lead character fictional journalist Mikael Blomkvist’s favourite haunts, whilst the Kvarnen bar is the other lead character, the protagonist Lisbeth Salande’s favourite place to drink with her friends.
From Thomas Hardy to Enid Blyton and everyone in-between, there’s been so many literary greats that have been inspired by the beautiful Dorset countryside.
Victorian poet and novelist Thomas Hardy is inextricably linked with the county of Dorset, his novels ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’, amongst others.
Literary points of interest include the Acorn Inn, Evershot which was the inspiration for The Sow and Acorn in ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, Hardy’s Cottage, the magnificent Corfe Castle which was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle in Enid Blyton’s children’s book ‘Five on Treasure Island’.
Can you really say that you have been to Dorset if you haven’t been on a pub walk?! We don’t think so.
There’s countless amazing walks where you can enjoy the glorious countryside in all its glory. There’s also adventure parks, tank museums and boat trips to be enjoyed and of course, the beautiful beaches!
How do you fancy sinking your teeth into Romania’s Bran Castle? Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel has become something of an iconic landmark for people traveling to Romania, thanks to the story of ‘Dracula’.
Of course, Transylvania is a historical and cultural region renowned for its medieval towns and array of castles, but Bran Castle is probably the most famous, having inspired the legend for the protagonist and the myth and intrigue that surrounds him.
Tokyo is like a city like no other and it’s the epicentre of several of the works of esteemed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami with novels like ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ and ‘After Dark’, all being set in the city.
It’s also been the setting for historical pieces of work like Sōseki Natsume’s coming of age book ‘Sanshiro’ and many other novels..
Whether you favour visiting the Shinjuku or the hipster neighbourhood of Shibuya in Murakami’s shorter novel ‘After Dark’, you won’t be short of literary landmarks to explore.
The Japanese capital is a great destination all year round, but why not tie in your trip to cherry blossom season which takes place between March and April to witness one of Japan’s most famous events in all their glory.
Along with New York, London has to be one of the most recognisable cities on the planet. It’s been the location for literature, music and art for centuries as well as one of the most popular places for film and TV shows.
From snapping the sights of the typical and not so typical sights of the city, there’s always something to see and do in London. From a literary perspective, there’s a treasure trove of landmarks to meander around.
Harry Potter fans have to take a trip to Platform 9¾ in King’s Cross station. The area between platforms 9 and 10 has been turned into a spot where tourists can take the perfect shot for the ‘gram!
Potterheads aside there’s plenty of amazing locations to visit; from contemporary pieces of work like Sebastian Faulks ‘A Week in December’ and ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ to more historic novels like ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’
Of course Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ which is perhaps London’s most well-known literary character. Head over to 221b Baker Street aka The Sherlock Holmes Museum to really enjoy a deep dive into the world of Holmes.
The Queen of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia has beautiful scenery and historical treasures in abundance.
The stunning Greek islands have been the inspiration for many books and films throughout the years, but British author Louis de Berniere fell in love with the charms of this picturesque island and set his novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin there.
You can’t visit Kefalonia without a visit to the quaint fishing village of Agia Eﬁmia or why not check out some of the Kefalonia beaches that feature in his book which includes Antisamos, Argostoli and Fiscardo.