Paris is a literature lover’s dream vacation come true. The city of lights brings to life the melodramatic stories of the great writers that played out their lives, and careers within its limits. Tourists visiting Paris like to see all the historical monuments and locations plastered on every map of Paris. On the contrary, the bookworms are usually looking for the less known homes, cafes, bookstores, and hotels where the great literary minds were inspired. In the heart of Paris, you can find many interesting lit-locations, which we have gathered into a comprehensive list for you.
A great place to start your book wandering adventure is at the Ritz Hemingway Bar. Yes, it was Hemingway’s favorite drinking hole, but before that it was a ladies waiting room. In 1936, it became acceptable for women to enter drinking establishments, the Ritz transformed the waiting room into Le Petit Bar. Hemingway once drank 51 Dry Martinis with his friend Colonel David Bruce in Le Petit Bar.
Not far from the Ritz is Le Pavilion des Lettres, which has 26 rooms dedicated to writers such as Voltaire. The rooms display quotations from many famous writers written on the walls. Within a short distance, you will find the famous Moulin Rouge and just up the street Musee de la vie Romantique. This amazing museum displays the private life of French writer Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, known by her pen name George Sand.
Across the river from the Louvre, is the Chateau de Monte Cristo. Tour Alenxandre Dumas’ chateau, where you will see engravings and paintings that give a glimpse into this writer’s world. Just a couple blocks away is the Literary Salon of Natalie Clifford Barney. Conversations and poetry readings included guests such as Paul Claudel and Pierre Louys.
Just a short distance from Barney’s Salon is The Village Voice, an English-speaking bookshop. Since 1982, many modern authors have held readings at the bookshop. After this, you can stop in at the Cafe de la Mairie where Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway were both inspired to write books that still enthrall readers today.
Start your day early when you visit Richard Wright’s house, because don’t want to miss breakfast or brunch at Les Editeurs, which houses more than 5,000 books. From there a nice stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg where Hemingway himself walked regularly.
To the East of the Seine River is the Père Lachaise cemetery, the location of Richard Wright’s grave, marked with plaque #848 and tucked under some stairs. The cemetery is not far from the Maison de Victor Hugo, where he wrote Les Miserables. Your next stop will be The Red Wheelbarrow, named from one of Carlos William’s poems. The Wheelbarrow claims to be “THE” English bookstore, which is filled with a huge collection of English books. Next, you can grab a drink at the quaint Le Cafe Livre bookshop. Then relax and enjoy a meal in Le Fumoir restaurant’s candlelit reading room that houses 3,000 books.
Round out your Paris meanderings by visiting American writer Gertrude Stein’s house. Then it’s tea, scones, and book browsing at the Tea and Tattered Pages second-hand bookshop. Your last stop will be at the Apostrophe Hotel near the Jardin du Luxembourg. This amazing hotel is called a Poem Hotel and is designed to resemble a large book, created from a selection of literary themes. We hope you enjoy visiting this list as you explore the city of lights and continue looking for other lost literature locations.