4 mins

Quiz: How well do you know these famous literary destinations?

Can you remember these authors’ famous birthplaces, favourite writing spots and well-known novel settings? If you think you can, this quiz is for you…

Where Ernest Hemingway wrote From Whom The Bell Tolls (Shutterstock)

Let's test your knowledge of some of the world’s great writers – of classic fiction, modern novels, beloved travelogues and poetry – and their most iconic destinations of note.

This includes famous birthplaces, literary hot spots around the world, and well-known novel settings. We’ve thrown in a couple of tricky questions just to make it extra difficult, too. You’d have to be a true travel nut AND extremely well-read to get every single question right, so we’ll be impressed if you can score even half.

Whatever your score, we hope the quiz inspires you to read some classics, pick up a travelogue or two and get the creative juices flowing for your own travel writing. Enjoy!

1. Which author is well-known to have lived in Bath, using the city as a setting for her books Northanger Abbey and Persuasion?

Jane Austen

Emily Brontë

Mary Shelley

Charlotte Brontë

2. In the 1930s, Robert Byron published The Road to Oxiana, often considered one of the first great travelogues. But where is (or was) Oxiana?

Once, it was part of Pakistan

It’s a state in Mexico

On the border of Afghanistan

Nice try! Oxiana is a made-up destination

3. Ernest Hemingway lived in numerous countries throughout his life. Do you know where he wrote his Segovia-set classic, For Whom The Bell Tolls?





4. Elizabeth Gilbert’s travel memoir Eat Pray Love took her to three, life-changing destinations. Which of these is NOT one of them?





5. JK Rowling famously began writing the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh. The café known as its ‘birthplace’ is named after an animal. Can you name it?

The Tiger Café

The Elephant House

The Giraffe House

The Kangaroo Café

6. The USA is full of literary destinations, but which city is famous as the birthplace of poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou?

New Orleans, Louisiana

St Louis, Missouri

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Oxford, Mississippi

7. You’re in Europe, searching for the snowy town from Franz Kafka’s famously-unfinished novel, The Castle. Where would you find it?

Spindleruv Mlýn, Czech Republic

Eze, France

Neuschwanstein, Germany

Riegersburg, Austria

8. Hiromi Kawakami’s novel Nakano Thrift Shop is set in modern day Japan. But where is Nakano, exactly?

It’s a special ward of Tokyo

It’s a city in Hokkaido

It’s an island off coastal Kanto

Nice try! It’s not a real place

9. One of our favourite travel books is Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson. Which small island is he referring to?



New Zealand


10. This famous thriller series, originally written by Stieg Larsson as a trilogy, is set in the city of Stockholm. It’s even had two movie adaptations, one is Swedish and one in English. Can you remember it’s name?

Gone Girl

Keeper of Lost Causes

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Midnight Witness

11. Tangier, Morocco has featured in many excellent travel books and novels. Which of these is NOT one of them?

Interzone by William S. Burroughs

Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles

Leaving Tangier by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Lullaby by Leila Slimani

12. Kolkata, India is regarded as an unofficial cultural and literary capital, not least because it’s the home of the first non-European person to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Can you name the writer?

Rabindranath Tagore, poet

Salman Rushdie, novelist

Sarojini Naidu, poet and activist called ‘the Nightingale of India’

Arundhati Roy, novelist

13. One Chilean city seems to be the birthplace for many of the country’s best-known writers, including José Donoso and Roberto Bolaño. Which city is it?


La Serena



14. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is located on the bank of the River Thames in London, but where did the playwright grow up in England?

Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Wylam, Northumberland

Stratford-upon-Avon, West Midlands

Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire

15. James Joyce reportedly wrote his novel Ulysses in three different cities. Which of these WASN'T one of them?

Trieste, Italy

Zurich, Switzerland

Paris, France

Dublin, Ireland

16. George Orwell is widely known for his dystopian novel 1984, but his first book was set in a country that, today, many travellers would love to visit. Can you remember the book’s name?

Burmese Days

Arabian Sands

The Roads To Sata

Silk Road Nights

17. The Brontë sisters, Emily and Charlotte, were born in Thornton, Yorkshire – but which Yorkshire town is known best as their ‘home’?





18. Sir Michael Palin’s first travel tome was Around The World in 80 Days. But where did his most recent (2019) travel ‘journal’ take him?


North Korea



19. Alain Mabanckou’s Broken Glass focuses on a fictional bar called Credit Goes West. It’s set in the author’s country of birth. Which country is it?

Republic of the Congo




20. Finally, John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley (his dog) involves a road trip around which part of the world?



Central America


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