Love books almost as much as you do travelling? These literary-themed destinations are ideal for professional wordsmiths looking for their next writers’ retreats, bibliophiles eager to learn more about the creative process, and die-hard fans willing to take their obsession to the next level.
1. Jaipur Literature Festival (Rajasthan, India)
Touting itself as the “greatest literary show on Earth,” the Jaipur Literature Festival is held annually in the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India. This year’s iteration will be held from 5 to 14 March 2022 at the luxurious Clarks Amer Hotel.
Attendees are treated to an exciting lineup of symposiums from authors, intellectuals, and historians — including BBC art historian James Fox, Dalit activist and writer Meena Kandasamy, and travel writer William Dalrymple. Once you’ve had your fill of literary discourses, you could always tour Jaipur’s historical edifices or attend a musical performance within the festival grounds.
2. Brooklyn Book Festival (New York City, United States)
Known as Brooklyn’s largest free literary festival, the Brooklyn Book Festival connects bibliophiles with international authors. The 2022 festival will run from 25 September to 3 October 2022, with registrations opening in April.
Attendees will be treated to an array of in-person and virtual events — including a literary marketplace and children’s lit events. Each year, more than 100 authors from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexual orientations are featured, ensuring an eclectic mix of viewpoints. After the events, do make sure you hit the downtown area and explore New York City’s vibrant melting pot.
3. Cheltenham Literature Festival (Gloucestershire, United Kingdom)
Held annually in the spa town of Cheltenham, this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival promises to bring together the world’s “greatest writers and thinkers.” Running from 7 to 16 October 2022, this year’s in-person and virtual lineups include literary workshops for school children, poetry workshops, and author symposiums. Consider getting a membership to enjoy advanced bookings and ticket discounts.
4. Paris Contemporary Writers’ Retreat (Paris, France)
Want to join a writers’ retreat so you can finish your next biography or novel? Or perhaps you want to immerse yourself in a rich culture while gathering knowledge about the digital publishing industry? At the 2022 Paris Contemporary Writers’ Retreat, you can meet these and other objectives.
Running from 3 to 9 June 2022 in Paris, France, participants will enjoy daily workshops, themed field trips, and write-ins at quintessential Parisian cafés or in-residence. Throw in organic continental breakfasts and trips to the farmer’s market, and you have a writers’ retreat that satisfies the senses as much as it does the intellect. Good luck with finishing your novel!
5. Iceland Writers’ Retreat (Reykjavik, Iceland)
While perhaps best known for its active volcanoes, turbulent geysers, and eccentric musicians, Iceland is also an excellent destination for professional writers. The Iceland Writers’ Retreat will be held in Reykjavik from 27 April to 1 May 2022.
Aside from writers’ workshops, participants will enjoy cultural and nature trips around Reykjavik — including soaks at geothermal springs, trips to local cafés, and performances from contemporary Icelandic musicians. You’ll also have the chance to connect with Nordic writers and learn more about Iceland’s rich literary tradition, which stretches all the way back to the age of the Vikings.
6. Women’s Writing Retreat in Rome and Tuscany (Italy)
Want to be surrounded by strong feminine energy while working on your latest literary endeavour? The Women’s Writing Retreat in Rome and Tuscany might provide you with the creative inspiration you need to shape your magnum opus.
Scheduled for 14 to 20 May 2022, participants will be led by best-selling author and professor Jess Lourey on a guided tour of Rome and the Tuscan countryside. The majority of the writing workshops will take place in a hotel in Tuscany, and attendees will be given practical advice on setting writing goals, overcoming writer’s block, and managing their work schedules. Throw in some excellent cuisine and Renaissance art, and you’re bound to experience a creative rebirth of your own.
7. The Sherlock Holmes Museum (London, United Kingdom)
Whether you’re a fan of the novels and short stories or love the new Hollywood blockbusters, Sherlock Holmes is an enduring literary creation. Those who want to experience Holmes on a whole new level should consider visiting The Sherlock Holmes Museum at — where else? — 221B Baker Street in London.
The museum recreates the gas-lit Victorian home co-habited by Holmes and Dr Watson. Fans can immerse themselves in a treasure trove of items related to Holmes and his most beloved cases; they can also purchase a fragment of Holme’s exploits in the gift shop.
8. The Comédie-Française (Paris, France)
To the French-speaking world, the Comédie-Française is the equivalent of The Globe Theatre to the English-speaking world. Popularly known as “La Maison de Molière” (The House of Molière), the theatre has witnessed dramatic performances from some of France’s most respected playwrights and thespians. Go online to review this season’s programme lineup and purchase tickets.
9. Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France)
One of the most famous bookstores in the world and a favourite haunt of 20th-century writers, Shakespeare and Company is located in Paris’ posh left bank (37 rue de la Bûcherie in the 5th arrondissement, if you want the exact address).
Opened in 1951, it was, and remains, an English-language bookstore. It attracted some of Europe’s most forward-thinking intellectuals in its heyday, including Anaïs Nin, Bertolt Brecht, and Allen Ginsberg. Several publications were also headquartered at the bookstore — hence the bookstore’s pre-eminent position in the world of literature.
Consider dropping by if you want to purchase rare books or your favourite title from a beloved author. Who knows, you might run into a literary ghost or two.
10. The Wizard & Enchanted Chambers at the Georgian House (London, United Kingdom)
Have you exhausted your enjoyment of the Harry Potter books and movies? Fret not, as you can always spend the night in a Potter-inspired room! The upscale Georgian House Hotel at 35-39 St George’s Drive offers patrons The Wizard and Enchanted Chambers. These rooms recreate the mood and aesthetic of the Harry Potter series. Other attractions include wizard-themed high tea and potion-making classes. Don’t forget to pack your magic wand!