Welcome to our literary city guides, the book tourist’s one-stop destination for the best of literature around the world! We’ve mapped out some of the notable literary landmarks, bookstores, writers, and books from (or set in) 10 of our favorite cities. More locations will be added over the next few months.
The idea of a specialized tourism, travel that caters to one’s interests, has been around as long as the travel industry. But it has never quite catered to literary interests in a major way. We’ve decided to take it upon ourselves to figure out what literary tourism might mean—whether it’s visiting writers’ houses or libraries or bookish museums; happening upon one-of-a-kind bookstores or pubs or former literary haunts on a long walk; familiarizing ourselves with the city’s writers and the works of fiction which use the city as their backdrop. By doing so, we hope to offer a kind of city experience that no longer requires a ton of research or an English degree.
As cities are nuanced so are our guides. Where one city may have no writer’s house, another may have a dozen. Where one may only provide the setting of a small number of contemporary novels available in translation, another may be inundated. To keep things as simple as we could (which wasn’t simple at all), we’ve kept our selections down to five per category, and, when possible, tried to highlight contemporary writers over ones long passed, because literature is and should remain a living, vibrant thing.
We hope you enjoy these guides on your travels this holiday season.
—The Culture Trip Literature Team