Strolling down the boulevard, sipping coffee at a quaint cafe, or posing in front of the Eiffel Tower, there’s so much beauty to enjoy on the streets of Paris. So, it’s little wonder the city features in so many novels and literary works, sparking images of romance and grandeur. For bookworms, this makes Paris the perfect place to be transported within the very pages of their favourite works of literary art.
Here are the top three spots that book-lovers should visit during a holiday in Paris:
1) Le Bon Marche (The Ladies’ Delight, Emile Zola)
The oldest book on our list, written in 1883, Emile Zola’s story may be better known due to the BBC adaptation, The Paradise. Set in a department store – then an innovative 19th-century concept – The Ladies’ Delight is based on the real-life Le Bon Marche. Tourists still visit this today. The store itself was founded in 1838 as one of the first modern department stores. You can find it on Rue de Sevres.
2) Paris Museum of Natural History (All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr)
The worldwide bestseller from 2015 tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy during World War II. The girl, Marie-Laure, and her father eventually flee Paris, with an intriguing subplot involving an invaluable diamond which her father guards as part of his role at the Museum of Natural History. We won’t say more for fear of spoilers, but the book spent more than two years on the New York Times Bestseller List for a reason. The Museum of Natural History is located within the Jardin des Plantes.
3) Notre Dame Cathedral (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo)
Following the 2019 fire, Notre Dame Cathedral is not open for visitors. But one can see the remaining part of the beautiful, historic building from a distance. Set in Medieval Paris, Victor Hugo’s classic novel has also been modernised by a Disney animation, which is possibly how the tragic tale of Quasimodo, Esmerelda and Claude is best known. Notre Dame Cathedral is located on a natural island in the River Seine.