TTT – Favorite Books in Real Places

Happy Top Ten Tuesday everyone! This post comes a little later than I’d like, but that’s because the AC broke in the apartment I’m staying at… I think it’s me, honestly. The AC broke in our house last week as well! Anyway, Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I thought I’d talk about my favorite books that take place in cool existing places!


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can find all prompts, past and future, on her blog!

Like I said, I’ll list my ten favorite books that take place in cool real life places. I’ve read many books with fictional worlds that I’d love to visit. I even made a post about it! But there’s also something awesome about recognizing a real place in a work of complete fiction. Especially because being mostly a fantasy reader, I most often read about fictional places instead!

1 – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone book cover

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Laini Taylor

I love this series because it takes place in so many cool places, even one fictional. Daughter of Smoke and Bone starts off in Prague. I’ve always wanted to visit Prague because I have an immense fascination with old cities. It always looks so beautiful on pictures, too. The second book takes place in an abandoned Kasbah in Morocco. Morocco is also one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit. I’m fairly certain that some day I actually will! Lastly, we very briefly visit the Vatican in the final book of this trilogy. I’d honestly like to go there too; the art alone must already be amazing to see.

2 – The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

The Alchemyst book cover

The Alchemyst

By Michael Scott

This series takes place in so many awesome places. The first book briefly starts off in San Fransisco. A place I’ve actually been to. I think when we were there, it was during the only weekend it wasn’t foggy or rainy. Anyway, this series will take you to many awesome places around the world. It’s been so long since I’ve read these books that I don’t quite remember all the places, but I do remember Paris. I remember visiting Paris after finishing the series, and it was quite fun to realize all the places I saw and visited were also described in the book!

3 – The Infernal Devices

Clockwork Angel book cover

Clockwork Angel

By Cassandra Clare

Okay, just because this series takes place in the late 1800s, doesn’t mean the world never existed, so therefore I’m allowing myself to put it on this list. Weirdly enough, I have never been to London, even though it’s so easy to get to from the Netherlands. It’s definitely a city I want to see, though. I think it would be lots of fun because many of the places mentioned in the Infernal Devices still exist. I think I would love to travel back in time to see London in the Victorian Era, but on the other hand, it was probably super gross, too, so maybe not.

4 – Invictus

Invictus book cover


By Ryan Graudin

Time travel books have a special place in my heart, because not only do these stories take place in all kinds of cool places, they do so while traveling back and forth in time. It gives the opportunity to travel via pages to destinations you’d otherwise never experience! I loved this book and I feel like it’s criminally underrated. It’s a stand-alone, too, so you won’t have to invest a lot of money in a whole new series. This book starts with an attempted heist on the sinking Titanic, and will take you from there to 2354 A.D., and back again to Rome, 95 A.D!

5 – The Raven Cycle

The Raven Boys book cover

The Raven Boys

By Maggie Stiefvater

Listing this one almost feels like cheating, because it takes place in Virginia, and guess where I’ve lived for the pat five years! But with that said, I lived in Northern Virginia, and this takes place in Western Virginia (I think?) which is honestly just a completely different world. The entire state is truly beautiful, and I can definitely recommend a trip to the mountains. One of my favorite Virginia memories is tubing in the Potomac at Harpers Ferry! I’d love to accidentally stumble upon Cabeswater, but alas, I don’t think that will ever happen.

6 – The Mortal Instruments

City of Bones book cover

City of Bones

By Cassandra Clare

Ah, another Shadowhunters book. And the first one I’ve ever read. So this series takes place mostly in New York City. I feel like NY is one of those cities you either love or hate, no in-betweens. Well I’ve been there five times, so I obviously fall in the former group. Every time I was there, I went with a different set of people making the experience unique each time! I had already read the first three Mortal Instruments books when I first visited NY, so it was really cool to see all the places that were described.

7 – The Vicky Bliss series

Borrower of the Night book cover

Borrower of the Night

By Elizabeth Peters

I’ve so far only read 2.5 books of this series, but they are so enjoyable. The first one, Borrower of the Night, takes place in Rothenburg, Germany. For some reason I’ve never been to Germany either… The second book, Street of the Five Moons takes place in Rome, Italy. Where I’ve also not yet been. My to-travel-to list is very long, indeed. I started reading the third book, but got distracted by other books, but it takes place in Sweden! Sweden also seems like such an awesome country to visit. Anyway, it’s clear the Peters’s books will take you around the world!

8 – The City of Brass/Daevabad Trilogy

The City of Brass book cover

The City of Brass

By S.A. Chakraborty

Okay, now I’m definitely cheating because Daevabad does not exist. Though on the other hand, I’m just a mortal, so how can I really know for sure?? Anyway, I’m listing this book/series because there’s also plenty of plot outside of Daevabad. Egypt is the first home that Nahri has ever known, and throughout the series that Egyptian identity is very important to her. I’d love to visit Egypt one day, as well. One of my friends made a Nile cruise a while ago, and it looked amazing!

9 – City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts book cover

City of Ghosts

By Victoria Schwab

I just realized a lot of titles on this list have the word “city” in them… The Cassidy Blake books are perfectly spooky books for younger teens. I love how each book in the series takes place in a different city. City of Ghosts takes place in Edinburgh, which I think is reported to be the most haunted city on earth? That statistic is in my brain, I don’t know how true it is. Anyway, book two, Tunnel of Bones, takes place in Paris. And in the Catacombs on top of that. We really wanted to go to the Catacbombs when we were in Paris, but unfortunately, they were closed! The third book, Bridge of Souls, is set to come out next March and will take place in Near Orleands!

10 – Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper book cover

Stalking Jack the Ripper

By Kerri Maniscalco

Lastly, another series that takes place in all kinds of different places! The first book takes place in late 1800s London. About ten years after the events of the Infernal Devices take place. In my head all stories that take place in the real world are connected, so I can’t help but assume that Audrey Rose and Thomas, plus Tessa, Will, and Jem, lived in the same city at the same time. Anyhoo, this series takes us from London to Romania of all places. Another country I have not yet been, but want to visit. The third book takes place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. How many books have you read that take place at sea?? And lastly, the final book in the series takes place in Chicago. Chicago surely looks most different now compared to the late 1800s.

That’s it for today! I rambled on a little longer than I planned… But talking books is just so fun! What are some of your favorite books that feature real life places?

You can find more of my past Top Ten Tuesday posts here!


  1. July 28, 2020 / 2:35 pm

    I’d love to visit Prague, too.

    My TTT .

    • simonevanheijst
      July 29, 2020 / 10:13 am

      Your TTT is so unique!

    • simonevanheijst
      July 29, 2020 / 10:14 am

      I love history, so Prague is high on my to-visit list! 😊

  2. July 30, 2020 / 7:32 pm

    I love books that explore the spooky side of real places. That’s probably why I enjoyed City of Ghosts and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    • simonevanheijst
      July 31, 2020 / 11:02 am

      Me too! And I immediately want to visit those places and experience the spookiness for myself 😂

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