After months of sitting at home. Working from home. And reading books about various cities and countries at home. I miss traveling. Book lovers know that traveling to far away or imaginary places are only the turn of a page away, but that doesn’t mean that traveling outside of a book is not fun also. Traveling is a great way to give you some references for the places you read about, content to put up on your book blog, or a way to spark creativity for your own writing.
Photo by Annelies Geneyn on Unsplash
While there are many places in the world that can be a great travel destination for anyone, there are some that are extremely well suited for people who spend a great deal of time reading. From exotic libraries, quirky bookstores, or beautiful landmarks, there is a wide variety of destinations that book lovers will especially find enriching.
The El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires was once a theater but has since been transformed into a bookstore as you have never seen before. Still sporting frescoed ceilings and red curtains around the stage area, this bookstore will leave you breathless with its beauty. Books fill the areas that were once mezzanines and the orchestra section while you can enjoy the products of the cafe on tables situated on the former stage.
While the Book and Bed bookstore was originally only located in Tokyo, there are now locations open in Kyoto and Fukuoka as well. This unique bookstore is open all day and night and has Japanese-style bed compartments built into the shelves that are stocked with more than 1,700 books in English and Japanese. Guests can stay all night reading selections from the shelves in comfort.
The bookstore in Zhongshuge Yangzhou, China, is a unique and beautiful experience. The arched shelves to house the books and the black, mirrored floors give the illusion of walking through a tunnel that reflects the local rivers and bridges. You will feel like you are walking through an endless tunnel of books. And with a Singapore condo price that is totally affordable, you may even want to stay longer.
Visiting Bath in England is an obvious choice for Jane Austen lovers to visit. Scenes from Persuasion and Northanger Abbey take place in Bath, and if you time your visit right, you can participate in the Jane Austen Festival held there every year. Attractions include calligraphy workshops, dramatic readings, and country dances. If you don’t visit during the festival, you can still visit the Jane Austen Centre, which contains a museum with tours and tea services.
Rio de Janeiro
The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro is a three-story library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. The open layout topped with a domed, stained glass skylight will take your breath away as you browse the over 350,000 books.
The Fable Bar in London is a popular destination for book lovers. This bar has transformed into a fantasy land based on fairy tales and Aesop’s fables right in the middle of the Holborn district in central London. There are booths entirely encased in books, literary decor lining the walls, and cocktails with literary or fantasy-themed names.
You can also visit Georgian House Wizard Chambers while you are in London. This hotel has ordinary rooms, but it also contains rooms styled after the dormitories at Hogwarts. Complete with four-poster beds, potions on the bedside tables, and stained-glass windows, you will feel transported to a magical world.
A tiny village in Wales called Hay-on-Wye is almost entirely one big library. It is famous for the many used bookshops. Some bookstores are genre-specific, including one called “Murder and Mayhem” dedicated entirely to murder mystery novels. They also have many antiquarian bookstores to browse and the Honesty Bookshop, which is an outdoor store near Hay Castle, where books cost around $1 or less.
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, is the perfect destination for Dr. Seuss fans. Opened in June of 2017, this museum highlights the accomplishments of this famous children’s book author. You can see rare artwork, photographs and visit the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, where there are statues of your favorite characters.
In 1999, Cafe Pushkin opened in Moscow. This cafe is a remodeled mansion that has been around since the nineteenth century. The restaurant has four separate dining halls where you can enjoy Russian and French cuisine. If you are a book lover, you will want to dine in the library room with ceiling-high bookshelves and antique telescopes.
The Library Hotel in Koh Samui, Thailand, is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind with a good book. The entire hotel is decorated in a minimalist style to help clear your mind and has a fully stocked library to help you find the perfect getaway between sightseeing. With villa names like The Writer and The Editor, you will feel right at home in this literary world.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice has the unique venue of being a bookstore in a city where the streets are made of water. With decor that mirrors the unique location, you can find books stacked in gondolas and bathtubs all throughout the store. Discarded and damaged books are used as furniture and staircases for a truly unique experience.
The Trinity College in Dublin is home to the Book of Kells, which was penned by monks in the ninth century. Each page is a work of art that has intricate handwriting and illustrations. You can also visit the library’s Long Room while you are there and see the 200-foot long hallway that is lined with 200,000 old books that seem to go on forever.
Hidden away in Paris, you can find Shakespeare and Company. Frequented by Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920s and 1930s, this bookstore still serves as a popular hangout for English speakers in Paris to find books and enjoy the cluttered and homey aesthetic.
The Strahov Monastery was founded in 1143, which makes it the second-oldest monastery in Prague. It is well known for the religious buildings, but also for the large library with frescoed ceilings, gilded decor, and tens of thousands of ancient books.