Sometimes literature can reveal a lot more about a certain city than a guide book or film, especially if you're determined to experience the destination like a local as opposed to a tourist.
From the best areas to enjoy a spot of brunch, to the top green spaces to laze around in, not only can novels inspire you to explore a new part of the world, but there are plenty of travel tips to pick up from them too.
We've rounded up a list of some of our favourite reads that make us want to visit these different European locations.
Charlotte Street in London by Ewan_M
London - Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace
Set in London's trendy East End, Danny Wallace's light hearted novel tells the romantic tale of a freelance journalist, Jason Priestley, who tries to track down a girl he briefly encounters one evening in an effort to return her disposable camera that she left behind. From the game shop his flatmate works at in Angel, to the art gallery he visits in Whitechapel, the casual references capture a distinct aspect of the capital's character that residents of the area can relate to. It also makes us want to visit Jason's everyday haunts ourselves - whether it be drinking in his grubby local pub or grabbing a cheeky, late night kebab from his nearest corner shop. Why not book a hotel in London and visit Charlotte Street for yourself?
Image by aigle_dore
Rome - Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
One of our favourite travel reads is of course Elizabeth Gilbert's inspiring journey around the world, which dedicates its entire first section to Italy's fresh cuisine in the Eat chapter of the book. Maybe it's the incredible detail that goes into describing every ingredient of the meal, but whatever it is we can practically taste the freshness of the flavours. So what better break than to go to Rome and experience the gastronomy for yourself? For great deals on places to stay in the Italian capital, check out the Hotels4U website.
Image by John Mueller
Edinburgh - One Day by David Nicholls
Set between Edinburgh, London and Paris, this story begins in the Scottish capital where the two main characters meet for the first time at their graduation from the prestigious Edinburgh University. Between the city's gothic steeples and the Greco-Roman style architecture, there's no denying that the Athens of the North is the ideal setting for a romantic weekend away just like in this novel. If you're looking for Edinburgh hotels in the heart of this historic city, click here.
Image by alcaide
Stockholm - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This Scandinavian-based novel gives the reader a glimpse into the real Sweden, and it's far from our initial stereotyped impressions of the country with no vikings, Abba or Ikeas in sight. From the gloomy cobblestoned-streets in the harsh winter months to the eerie wooden cafes, this crime-fiction thriller shows us the city's dark side through its artistic storyline, which makes us want to see even more of this Swedish capital.
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What are your favourite travel stories?