10 Places for the Book Lovers’ Must-See List
To see some of the world’s top literary attractions is an experience book-loving will not want to miss. From the inspiration behind the gateway to Dracula’s castle to a walking route in a literary city, here are some of the best places that should be on every bibliophile’s travel wish list.
1. Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Paris, France)
Why you should go: A cemetery may seem like an unusual destination for travelers. But Paris’ largest cemetery is one of the world’s best cemeteries to explore. Cimetière du Père Lachaise serves as the final resting place for hundreds of thousands of people and that includes some of the most iconic figures in art, music, literature, and politics. Not to be missed for literature lovers are the tombs of Oscar Wilde, Honoré de Balzac, Marcel Proust, and Moliere.
2. Hay Castle Bookshop (Hay-on-Wye, Wales)
Why you should go: The charming town of Hay-on-Wye is not just home to one of the world’s most popular literary festivals. It also boasts of more than twenty bookshops that make for delightful book-browsing and shopping experiences. The Hay Castle Bookshop is hands down one of the town’s best spots for bibliophiles. Bookcases line the castle wall luring locals and tourists in search of a good read.
3. Hobbiton Movie Set (Hinuera, Matamata, New Zealand)
Why you should go: The Hobbiton Movie Set depicts J. R. R. Tolkien’s Shire. Built in a farm to serve as one of the settings for the Lord of the Rings films, the movie set is home to over 30 hobbit holes not to mention the other details like gardens, a double arch bridge, and a mill among others. Visitors can explore the site’s many attractions including Bilbo Baggin’s Bag End hobbit hole, Bagshot Row, and the Party Tree.
4. Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France)
Why you should go: The City of Light has plenty of literary attractions with its legendary independent bookstore leading the list. Every bookworm in Paris needs to visit Shakespeare and Company — a bookstore that has drawn many famous literary giants and writers from different generations. At the ground floor, you can browse through the wide array of English-language books. Or take the winding staircase to explore the myriad of books or find a cozy spot for a bit of reading.
5. Shakespeare’s Globe (London, England)
Why you should go: Watch a play in the reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse. The original Globe Theatre, which dates back to 1599, was ravaged by fire in the early 1600s. The Shakespeare’s Globe is the reconstruction of the old building built on the original grounds. Visit not just for the traditional theatre experience, but also for the history, attractions, and fascinating stories you will find as you explore London’s iconic theatre.
6. Tihuța Pass (Bistrița Năsăud, Romania)
Why you should go: More famously known as the Borgo Pass — the gateway to Dracula’s realm, the Tihuța Pass sits at an altitude of roughly more than 1,100 meters in the Eastern Carpathians. It is home to Hotel Castel Dracula which was built in 1974 in the area where the fictitious castle of Dracula was said to be located as described in the book. But more than the literary significance, the “Borgo Pass” also offers breathtaking scenery including views of the spectacular Carpathian Mountains, picturesque villages, and nature’s beauty all around.
7. The Library of Congress (Washington DC, USA)
Why you should go: The Library of Congress is one of Washington DC’s top attractions. And you only have to walk into its halls to understand why it should be on every visitor’s must-see list. Take a guided or a self-guided tour of the impressive Italian Renaissance-inspired Thomas Jefferson Building. Inside, take the time to explore the Great Hall where you will find a wide array of artworks like murals, paintings, sculptures, the rose windows at the ceiling, and the staircases with their putti designs. See the copies of the Giant Bible of Mainz and the Gutenberg Bible. And don’t miss the view from the Main Reading Room Overlook.
8. The Old Library Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland)
Why you should go: The Library of Trinity College Dublin is one of the city’s most famous literary attractions, specifically the Old Library which is one of the many buildings that comprise the facility. The library serves both Trinity College and the University of Dublin and is home to the Book of Kells. The Long Room, which stretches to about 65 metres in length, boasts of an impressive collection of with its awe-inspiring collection of 200,000 books including some of the oldest you can find in the library as well as a wide array of old manuscripts.
9. The Royal Mile (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Why you should go: The Royal Mile is a historic thoroughfare located at the city’s Old Town that runs from the Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. The streets that make up the Royal Mile are Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. Take a walk to see some of the iconic spots best attractions including the wealth of literature and books to find in the area. Some of the many points of interests include the statue of Adam Smith, Anchor Close — the birthplace of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and Holyrood Park among others.
10. Yasnaya Polyana (Tula Oblast, Russia)
Why you should go: Yasnaya Polyana is the former estate of Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy best known as the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. It is where the iconic writer was born, wrote his greatest works like War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and buried. Not to be missed are the estate itself and its many buildings, the exhibits, Tolstoy’s grave and the surrounding beautiful natural scenery.