Traveling is a great way for writers to expand their horizons and enrich their worldviews. Getting away from your monotonous and repetitive lifestyle can drive your creative juices to overdrive, and inspiration sparks more in places you’ve never seen before. The experiences and insights that you can gain from a place that’s not your home are invaluable to writers, since you cannot get them anywhere else. That’s why we’re here to give you the best cities for writers to travel and add to your itinerary!
To speak about art and literature without a mention of Paris is blasphemous. The City of Lights has been recognized as a global center for the arts, and there’s a plethora of places you can explore and observe. One striking characteristic of Paris that might be extremely attractive to writers, aside from its attractions, is the fact that Paris has over 10,000 cafes. The city has inspired many writers — Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to name a few — and who’s to say it wouldn’t inspire you.
Los Angeles, California, USA
Los Angeles is the capital of the global film industry, and so the place is infused with the classic theatrical features that make up the scripts of many films. The atmosphere of busy cafes and bistros are where blockbusters are born from, and maybe where your next book idea would come from. Los Angeles bustles with the urban life that you can take inspiration from, but the array of museums, galleries, and theaters are also nothing to be scoffed at.
Japan’s culture is deeply ingrained in nature, and Kyoto exemplifies that fact. As the country’s imperial capital for over 1000 years before the capital changed to Tokyo, Kyoto beautifully preserves Japan’s rich historical culture in its temples and shrines. However, even if you’re not interested in Japanese culture (but we think you should be!), the breathtaking views of the architecture and nature blending together should light a spark for your pen and paper.
If you’re looking for a place to get inspired about wildlife, Nairobi sports beautiful safaris at the edge of its city borders. Lions, zebras, and giraffes roam the savannas, and you get to see these wild animals live and interact in their natural habitat. Although these can be great sights, the East African literary culture can also invigorate your writing spirits and get you to write on that next novel you’ve been working on.
London, United Kingdom
The walls and streets of London have heard and been spoken about in Shakespeare’s tales, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has lived in London for the most part of his life. Many great names in literature have been inspired by this city, leaving a strong literary presence. Hop into any of London’s literary attractions and bookshops, or stay in a pub and write to your heart’s content.
The Floating City has been called the most beautiful city made by man, and you’d be hard-pressed to say otherwise. Venice offers you a unique cityscape built on water, striking architecture, and romantic bridges. Setting your eyes on the city would immediately make you realize why and how the city has been a major source of inspiration for many writers. The city’s picturesque beauty will undoubtedly strike a romantic chord in your heart, and the view will definitely inspire many scenes for your book.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodia’s past filled with conflict and its strong progress toward the future make Phnom Penh, its capital, a fascinating juxtaposition of old and new. As the city moves on from its trauma during the 1970s, Phnom Penh exhibits a certain youthful charm that makes it exciting to stay around. Phnom Penh is also quieter than most capital cities, which can make for a peaceful environment for writing.
Colmar snugly sits in the border between France and Germany, and so the town exhibits both French and German influences. The result is a town that seemed to come straight from fairy tales, with cottages and houses built exactly how fairy tales depicted them to be. The beauty of the town is reminiscent of the stories that most of us grew up with, and should inspire any writer who stays there.
Step into the first UNESCO City of Literature and you’ll immediately see why Edinburgh hails such a title. The rich literary tradition of the city manifests itself into the myriad of libraries and the pubs and cafes known to have inspired authors before. If you can’t afford to go during the Edinburgh International Book Festival, any day is perfect for paying respect at the Writer’s Museum, which honors Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Robert Burns. Your writing spirit is sure to be invigorated by the atmosphere of such a well-read city.
New York City, New York, USA
New York City is the global center of the publishing industry, and so it makes perfect sense to visit this city. Despite the exceedingly high price for living, the city is rife with world-renowned publishing houses, supportive writing communities and clubs. If you’re especially looking to see your book in mass print worldwide, New York City can provide you with that opportunity more than anywhere else in the world.
Wherever you might travel, you will most definitely want to take notes on traditions, experiences, and other things that you would want to include in your manuscript. LivingWriter’s Story Elements was especially made for this. Keep exhaustive notes on specific settings and interesting character backgrounds in an organized place. LivingWriter allows you to keep and grab those notes whenever you need them, which is incredibly helpful when you’re in the height of your writing fever. Plus, you can keep images alongside each description, making your recollections as vivid as when you first saw them.
This list is definitely not complete, but the places listed are great for starting that writing journey that you’re going to embark on. Don’t forget about LivingWriter, the best writing companion app that can do all the heavy lifting on the notes, characters, and outlines, while you focus on the experience that’s sure to power your writing.