7 Beautiful Books for Armchair Travellers

Take in some of the world’s greatest destinations from the comfort of your living room.

There are a slew of travel guides and apps that are great to take with you on your trip — but these books bring the world to you. Dream and scheme and be inspired by these fabulous classic travel reads.

Food Lover’s Guide To The World: Experience The Great Global Cuisines
By: Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet is known for its stunning photography and exotic locales, and the travel company’s latest release doesn’t disappoint. In Food Lover’s Guide to the World you’ll embark on a culinary voyage through the world’s tastiest and most celebrated foods, and experience global eating from such far-flung places as China, Morocco, South Korea and, of course, France. The gorgeous 319-page hardcover book provides a historical and cultural context to the cuisine, as well as recipes and recommendations of where to eat should you be lucky enough to go. One warning, however: you may not want to browse this book on an empty stomach!

Around the World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums
By: Barbara Levine and Kirsten Jensen

This beautiful memoir harks back to an era of Brownie cameras and black and white snapshots when travel discoveries were chronicled not in smartphones, but in lovingly crafted scrapbooks filled with souvenir postcards, travel itineraries, ticket stubs and diary entries. The book recounts the experiences of travellers in the dawn of world travel, including San Francisco flapper Vera Talbot’s Far East adventure and Chicagoan Clara E. Whitcomb’s travel diary narrating her experiences in Egypt.

World’s Best Travel Experiences: 400 Extraordinary Places
By: National Geographic

With a foreword by award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy, this lavish book features 400 awe-inspiring destinations selected by National Geographic’s team of globe-trotting contributors. Be inspired by dazzling photos of dreamy destinations from mountaintop villages to pristine lakes and ancient wonders. And that’s not all. “Best of the World” lists are accompanied by sidebars by well-known travel and literary authors including Anna Quindlen, Bill Bryson, Gore Vidal, and Pico Iyer. The book follows the popular Journeys of a Lifetime release of several years ago.

By: Daryl Benson

Oh Canada. This beautifully bound collection contains 144 photographs that celebrate the breathtaking scenery of the country, from the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia to the easternmost edge of Cape Spear Newfoundland and Labrador, and from the northern tip of Baffin Island, Nunavut to southern Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula. The images are accompanied by short stories recounting the author’s experiences of travelling and photographing Canada.

World’s Most Spectacular Railway Journeys
By: Brian Solomon and contributors

All aboard for your next rail adventure! This book presents 50 of the world’s remarkable railway journeys, including Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer, South Africa’s Blue Train and Germany’s historically preserved Harz Mountain line. Expert railway author Brian Solomon and his team of contributors share their personal experiences and point out the not-to-be-missed highlights of each journey.

Great Adventures: Experience The World At Its Breathtaking Best
By: Lonely Planet

As a follow up to Great Journeys, Lonely Planet’s Great Adventures presents over 70 travel adventures in hiking, biking, diving, driving, braving the ice and snow, and much more — all from the comfort of your armchair. A few examples: cycling through Vietnam, hiking New Zealand’s Milford Sound, walking with wolves in Yellowstone, rafting the source of the Nile and ballooning over Namibia.

Feeling dare-devilish? If you’re keen to undertake an adventure vacation yourself, the book provides tips and resources to help you plan your trip.

Paris: Portrait of a City
By: Jean-Claude Gautrand

Take a trip to Paris, past and present, with this huge 600-page panorama of images captured by such illustrious photographers as Daguerre, Marville, Atget, Lartigue, Brassaï, Kertész, Ronis, Doisneau, and Cartier-Bresson, as well as other photographers who have captured the spirit and particular poetry of the City of Light over the ages. Paris, Portrait of a City presents a unique photographic study of the capital that has been described as “the true family album of all Parisians.”