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book lover travel

Journal Travel Planning

A Book Lover’s Guide To The World

A book lover’s outlook is a special one. There are thousands of books set in locations around the world. All inspire a sense of wanderlust and wonder to those who read about their fascinating landscapes through their pages. It’s a very special thing when a place exactly inspires an author with a narrative. These places almost serve as a soul to these stories.

Today, we’re spotlighting some destinations that directly inspired some incredible literature. There are so many to cover, we’re sure to miss some of your favorites… so please be sure to comment with your favorite book and the destination that inspired it!

Edinburgh – “The Harry Potter Series”

It’s hard to imagine J.K. Rowling not creating the beloved Harry Potter series when you explore old Edinburgh. The city’s many castles atop steep hills, the eery and old graveyards, the cobble stoned streets! Be sure to explore Greyfrier’s Kirkyard to find some familiar names from the book series… more Edinburgh recs right here too)!

Paris – “Les Miserables”

The French Revolution’s relics are scattered throughout the City Of Light. “Les Miserables” author Victor Hugo lived in Paris for many years. In fact, visitors can see his home and the many places within the city where he wrote the worldwide read novel.

St. Petersburg – “Crime & Punishment”

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s psychological novels is one of the best ever written. However, not many people know that its inspiration stemmed from crimes he learned about while living in St. Petersburg. “Crime & Punishment” fans will find snippets and slivers of the story’s inspiration through the city’s alleys and details.

Missouri – “The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer”

Mark Twain’s classic American novel takes direct inspiration from the surrounding areas of Missouri and the Mississippi River. The adventures of the young boys can be clearly imagined when exploring the area’s wildlife, caverns and caves.

Pamplona, Spain – “The Sun Also Rises”

Hemingway, an avid traveler, was extremely inspired by his time in Pamplona, Spain when writing his best selling novel. The city’s bull festivals are still celebrated to this day.

Stockholm – “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

Steig Larsson’s “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” highlighted a hidden, darker side to Stockholm. Larsson’s lived in Söder, where he lived for many, many years living locally and working as a journalist. His experiences in the city gave him great inspiration for the series settings and darker underbelly.

New York – “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”

The American Novelist, Truman Capote was once the most well-known author of NYC. His lavish time in Brooklyn Heights inspired Holly Golighty’s storyline.

Birmingham, England – “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy”

Tolkien was a man who drew direct inspiration from nature, most of which he recalls fondly from his childhood. His notoriously detailed writings about flora and fauna has a direct correlation to where he grew up – Birmingham’s fields and mills.

Big Sur – “Big Sur”

Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur” was written during his meaningful time along the California coastline. The area’s inspiration is so present in his descriptive writing about the rugged beaches and stunning landscapes.

London – Shakespeare’s Work

No trip (for a Shakespeare fan) to London would be fulfilled with a trip to the Globe Theater.

The Swiss Alps – “Heidi”

The dramatic and lush Swiss Alps inspired Johanna Spyri’s picturesque setting of “Heidi.” It’s said that the book also inspired many travelers to experience its beauty for themselves too, boosting the area’s tourism by leaps and bounds after its release.

Tokyo – “Norwegian Wood”

Murakami’s masterpiece was directly inspired from his collegiate experience in Tokyo’s Waseda University. His time and love for the bustling city is evident through the pages of his many books, especially Norwegian Wood.

Be sure to check out our other book-inspired destination guides here on the blog!

Journal Travel Planning

18 Of The Most Beautiful Libraries From Around The World

Like all bookworms, we’re obsessed with a beautiful setting to read. Today we’re sharing a collection of what we believe to be the world’s most beautiful libraries from around the world. Cozy up and get ready to wish teleportation were a real thing!

Admont Abbey Library – Austria

The Admont Abbey Library is nestled along the Enns River in southern Austria, the perfect setting to check out a new book. Don’t you think? Constructed in 1776, this library exemplifies the ornate Baroque style of the time and is filled with endless decorated details.

Old Library, Trinity College – Ireland 

The dark, wooden arches of Trinity College’s Old Library loom over students as they read periodicals and books from thousands of years ago. Besides being the largest library in Ireland, The Old Library also houses the Book of Kells, a manuscript created by Celtic monks in the year 800.

Bodleian Library and Divinity Schools, Oxford – England

This medieval building is part of University Of Oxford’s campus, but it is most famously now used as the home of lectures, oral exams and discussions centered around theology.  The vaulted, arched stone ceiling is truly spectacular!


Melk Abbey Library – Austria

The ceiling of the Melk Abbey Library is opulent and incredible to behold. The fresco, painted by Austrian painter Paul Troger is another Baroque beauty gracing our list. About 90,000 books are housed here, including many medieval manuscripts!


Handelingenkamer – The Netherlands

This library owned by the Dutch Parliament was actually influenced by the detailed architecture of China! Notice the dragons, red, green and gold color schemes and its beautifully swirled spiral staircase.


Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Egypt

The original Royal Library Of Alexandria may no longer exist – but the Bibliotheca Alexandrina stands as an amazing place holder. This 11 story building is home to over 8 million books, 4 museums, 4 art galleries and a planetarium! Truly a place for learning.


Codrington Library – England 

Completed in 1751, the Codrington Library is the home to many students en route to attaining their educational desires. We love the natural light and the marbled statues scattered throughout the library.


Biblioteca do Convento de Mafra – Portugal

Find yourself lost in a wonderful book in the Biblioteca do Convento and you might never want to leave. I mean, why would you? The library’s stained glass and delicately designed staircases and woodwork is so beautiful.


Wiblinglen Abbey Library – Germany

Another Baroque style beauty that has us speechless! Something out of a fairytale isn’t it?


Rampur Raza Library – India

The Rampur Raza doesn’t grace many “must see” lists in India… but certainly think it should. Any bibliophile would love this opulently designed and beautifully constructed library.


Klementinum Library – Czech Republic

Find yourself lost in a book here and you might look up and sense that you’ve been transported to another time. The Klementinum Library’s ceilings are truly the diamond of this Czech Republic mine of books. Each fresco is a masterpiece.


Real Gabinete Português de Leitura – Brazil

Should you be dreaming of escaping into a dream world while in Brazil – we present to you the Real Gabinete Portugês de Leitura. Swoon!


Bibliotheque Nationale De France – France

The arches of Bibliotheque Nationale De France stagger over its collection of books and visitors from around the world. Besides its beauty, the national library of France is the country’s repository of all French published books. A must see location for any bibliophile visiting Paris!


Tama Art University Library – Japan

This is the most modern library in our round up! Built in 2007, the Tama Art Unversity library was designed by local architects who built the famous concrete and steel arches of the library to support the structure and empty into the garden area. If we were students here, we’re fairly sure we would never leave this modern haven!


The Library of El Escorial – Spain

Located in the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (the residence of the king of Spain), this library’s vaulted ceilings is really the star. Filled with frescos of the seven liberal arts, this library is a World Heritage Site and holds over 40,000 volumes in its domain.


Seattle Central Library – Washington

Seattle’s Central Library is an 11 storied geometric and transparent beauty. Visitors love the incorporation of glass and metal throughout the building (while reading one of the estimated 1.45 million books inside). Architect Rem Koolhaas has a lot to be proud of… this library was named as one of the 150 structures in America.


Stuttgart City Library – Germany

Minimalism is king at the Stuttgart City Library. If this library’s clean lines and cube-like shape isn’t enough to pull you inside, perhaps the five story reading room is! We love that it also has an after-hours area called the “Library for Insomniacs.” Perfect for any book loving traveler dealing with some jet lag!


Boston Public Library

And finally! A national treasure we love – the Boston Public Library. This library houses 1.7 million rare books and manuscripts and has a unique collection of musical items (including the archives of the Handel and Haydn Society).

Photo by @nastasiaspassport

We hope you enjoyed this round up of the most beautiful libraries around the world! Be sure to find more of our favorites on our Pinterest page dedicated to all lovely and inspiring libraries scattered around the globe.