If you want to combine your love for travel with your love for literature, there are tons of amazing places you can visit that have substantial literary significance. Whether it’s a bookstore, house museum, or cemetery, this list presents ten of the best literary locations to visit — some of them are even in the country!
1. Père Lachaise Cemetery
This cemetery is located in Paris, France. It’s the largest cemetery in the city and the most visited cemetery in the world. Here, you’ll find the graves of important literary figures such as Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust, as well as non-literary figures like Jim Morrison and Frédéric Chopin. The cemetery is situated in a gorgeous part of the city that’s heavily wooded. If you ever have the chance to visit Paris, you’ll definitely want to consider visiting the Père Lachaise Cemetery to pay homage to some of the most inspirational literary figures.
2. Charles Dickens Museum
The Charles Dickens Museum was also the house of Charles Dickens up until his death in 1870. As you probably assumed, the museum is located in London, England. It’s a gorgeous Victorian-era that’s been well-preserved over the years. At the museum, you can take a look at over 100,000 rare items like manuscripts, first editions, personal items of Charles Dickens, and more. You’ll also feel quite immersed in Dickens’ home, since it remains very well-maintained. You’ll even have the opportunity to spend time in Dickens’ personal study!
3. Hay Castle Trust and Bookshop
The Hay Castle, located in Wales, is both a 17th-century mansion and a medieval fortification. The castle was designed to overlook the town of Hay-on-Wye sometime in the 11th of 12th century. Clearly, this is a location with a lot of history. Although this may not seem necessarily literary, one of the cool things about Hay Castle is that there’s a unique and charming bookshop available to visit. The bookshop is located outdoors and is actually called the “Honesty Bookshop.” The constant circulation of available books can be purchased at a ridiculously low cost, and the money will go toward the continued restoration of the Hay Castle. If you’re ever in Wales, this is definitely a good place to check out — you’ll have the chance to express your appreciation for history and literature all at once, and you’ll be supporting an awesome cause!
4. Mark Twain House & Museum
The house and museum of the influential Mark Twain can be found in Hartford, Connecticut. The house was build in what’s called a “High Gothic” style, so if you’re interested in architecture at all, this location will appeal to you even more. The museum offers an immersive and in-depth of the historic house, which will enable you to feel more connected than ever to this highly esteemed author.
5. Shakespeare & Company Bookstore
One of the coolest independent bookstores in the world can be found in Paris, France. This store sells new and used books alike, and you’ll definitely be able to find a wide variety of all your favorite authors and genres within this charming shop. If you’re interested in book collecting, you’ll also be able to find several antique collectors’ items and first editions. Interestingly enough, there are actually beds in this bookstore — the owners allow aspiring writers to sleep in the building in exchange for their help around the store. The shop’s motto is “Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise”; you can find it written above the reading library inside.
6. Emily Dickinson Museum
If you’re interested in visiting the home of one of the most prolific Modernist poets, you can visit the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. This location consists of two buildings: the Homestead, where Dickinson lived, and the Evergreens next door, which housed Dickinson’s brother and his family. The museum offers guided tours as well as a studio session, where you can spend an hour or two in Emily Dickinson’s creative space — her bedroom. This will be the perfect opportunity for any aspiring writers or artists!
7. Musée Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud was one of the most influential literary figures for modern literature, poetry, and surrealism. You can visit the Musée Rimbaud in Charleville-Mézières, France, which was his hometown. In this historical location, you can find old manuscripts, photographs, and artwork that all correspond to Rimbaud’s life. You can also visit Rimbaud’s cemetery, which is in the same area of France.
8. The Old Library at Trinity College
I think it’s safe to say that every book lover dreams of visiting Trinity College’s Old Library. Despite the relatively lackluster name, this is an absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking location. You can find this library in Dublin, Ireland. It was built sometime in the 1700s, hence the name. The library’s “Long Room” contains over 200,000 old books, making this quite a substantial collection.
9. Livraria Lello & Irmão Bookstore
If you ever have the chance to visit Portugal, you’ll definitely want to check out the Livraria Lello & Irmão Bookstore, located in the city of Porto. This bookstore is an architectural masterpiece, and should definitely appeal to people who love literature. A lot of people consider this to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world, which is a pretty valid assessment.
10. Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
This historic site is a museum of a preserved home that was once rented by Edgar Allan Poe. He didn’t live at this location for a long period of time, but this is the only one of his houses that’s still standing. You can find this historic site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Poe lived in Philadelphia for approximately six years, and during this time, he wrote some of his most famous works. At this site, you can immerse yourself in the dark and wonderful world of Poe.