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A Book Lover's Paradise: 7 Literary Places You Must Visit

October 19 2018

Portugal houses the world’s oldest bookstore, a book lover’s paradise

If you’re walking around the streets of London, you are sure to find many buildings which remind you of the magical world in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Shantaram was inspired by the busy roads of Mumbai and The Great Gatsby was brought to life with its description of New York City. These incredible pieces of literature were inspired by places around the world which are considered a book lover’s paradise.

Listed below are seven places book lovers have on their travel bucket list. So, book your flight tickets, pack your bags and purchase travel insurance before you head off on an adventure.

Lello Bookstore or Livraria Lello



Close-up of the ceiling at Livraria Lello

Located in Portugal, the architecture of the 117-year old building is inspired by Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau and Art Deco elements. The unique staircases and archways served as an inspiration to J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter Series, who would frequent this bookshop during her stay in Porto. The building still retains the original rails as well as the wooden cart, which was used to shift books within its walls.

The Royal Portuguese Reading Room


Gothic-influence is evident in the architecture of this building

Located in Rio de Janeiro, the Royal Portuguese Reading Room was created back in 1822 by Portuguese immigrants who wanted to introduce their home country’s literary tradition in Brazil. What they made instead is a book lover’s paradise which houses the largest collection of Portuguese text outside of Portugal. It is designed with walls spanning three stories above the central study area.

Historical Strahov Library


Part of Strahov Monastery which features over 1500 first prints

With Romanesque and Gothic decoration and halls decorated by ceiling frescoes by Siard Nosecky and Anton Maulbertsch, the Historical Strahov Library truly is a book lover’s paradise. Built back in 1671, the origin of the library dates back to the 12th century. Its well-preserved halls are divided into a Baroque Theological Hall and Philosophical Hall with over 200,000 books.

Library of Parliament, Canada


Library holds over 600,000 items within its walls

Overlooking the stunning Ottawa river and the province of Quebec, this book lover’s paradise was built back in 1876. The grand design features white pine panelling and is carved with mythical beasts, masks and flowers. Its original architects followed the High Victorian style for a Gothic Revival building. In the centre of the room stands a white marble statue of Queen Victoria while the sides are adorned with flying buttresses and detailed handwork.

The Old Library at Trinity College


Old Library holds rights to receive material published in the Republic of Ireland, free of charge

The picturesque Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin was built back in the 18th century. The seemingly endless hallway, wooden interiors, vaulted domed ceilings and rows upon rows of books is a book lover’s paradise. Home to the Book of Kells, a 9th century gospel manuscript and thousands of rare texts, the library features a 65-metre-long chamber known as the Long Room, which is lined with marble busts.



Anne Hathaway’s famous thatched cottage

Well-known around the world as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, one of literature’s finest, Stratford-Upon-Avon is a medieval market town located in England. A walk around this town is a book lover’s paradise as the buildings are reminiscent of the famous playwright’s work with many named after his plays and characters. It also celebrates an annual Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival, a thrilling mixture of workshops and literary events.

The City of Paris


Bibliothque Nationale de France was established back in 1461!

While the world is obsessed with their smart phones, the streets of Paris are home to hundreds of independent and second-hand bookstores along with some of the oldest libraries around the world. Home to the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore, the meeting place of some of the literary best, including James Joyce and Ezra Pound has been a book lover’s paradise for a long time now.

These literary wonders are sure to feed your wanderlust and set you packing. However, be sure to get your travel insurance online before you start booking tickets. International travel insurance not only covers emergency medical expenses but also covers unforeseen travel costs. It can provide much-needed relief in unfortunate situations such as trip cancellation, catastrophe evacuation and loss of passport.

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