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The Ultimate List Of Travel Books

Escape from the reality of being stuck at home within the pages of fiction (and a few astonishing true stories too). Here's our guide to the best travel and adventure books.


We might not be travelling far, or at all, at the moment. So as we eagerly await the right time to pack our bags and set off again, what could be better than a good travel book to fuel our appetite for adventure?

Take a break from reading the global headlines by reading one of these much-loved tales of travel and journeys worldwide instead:

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

This (actually) fascinating memoir follows a century-long journey of porcelain netsuke as they’re passed down from one generation to the next. De Waal becomes the fifth in line to inherit the collection of miniatures, and in doing so, he inherits an almighty family history. From Odessa to Paris, from Vienna to Tokyo, we follow the netsuke through moments of wonder and tragedy and back again with the turn of every page.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Originally published in Portuguese in 1988, The Alchemist is considered a classic within modern literature. As we follow the journey of a young shepherd from Andalusia to Egypt, we learn of what it means to follow our dreams… as well as a few other life lessons along the way.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

At first glance, Renée is a very stereotypical concierge of a fancy apartment block in Paris. But, thanks to the keen eye of young, precocious Paloma who lives in the same building, Renée's facade soon slips and what we soon discover is her love of arts, culture and philosophy. Translated from French, this is a heartwarming tale of friendship, loyalty and humanity – a lesson to never judge a book by its cover if ever there was one.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

‘Gripping’ is a rather overused term when describing a book, but trust us when we say this one is. Based on a true story, Gregory Roberts is a convicted felon who escapes from an Australian prison and flees to India, landing up in Bombay. There, the reader is taken on his eight-year journey through the vibrant city, where he joins the mafia, learns Hindi and Marathi, sets up a charitable health clinic and somehow still finds the time to fall in love.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

In the aftermath of the Second World War, a group of free-spirited friends set off on a road trip across the United States – San Francisco, Denver, New York and beyond. Based on Kerouac’s personal experiences, On The Road has become a literary representation of American counterculture, perfectly summed up by the book’s free form style.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

Through this compilation of autobiographical essays, Rebecca Solnit takes us on a journey through life’s ups and downs, as well as everything in between. This is a voyage across the world as much as it’s a voyage through the time we spend in it – one to pick up when you’re feeling philosophical.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain 

Set against the backdrop of Jazz Age Paris, this fictional account of Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley Richardson’s life together is a dazzling but devastating portrayal of love and aspiration. It captures Paris at the height of its glamour during the roaring twenties, or the Années Folées should we say?

📷 : @coffeeandbookcircle

Alone Time by Stephanie Rosenbloom

If you’re teetering on the edge of taking a solo trip, Alone Time will push you over it in one fell swoop. Exploring four seasons within four of the world’s most diverse cities – Istanbul, Paris, New York and Florence – Rosenbloom embraces our rich mix of cultures and philosophies. This is armchair travel at its best.

Despite being stuck at home, we're sure this list of the best travel books to read will take you on a journey to someplace else. And, who knows, they might even inspire you to start dreaming of your next trip? If they do, explore our global collection of homes here. 

If you're thinking of changing your travel plans, find out about Plum Guide's cancellation policy.

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