Most of our favourite books are inspired by real-life locations all around the world. In fact, many authors spend months studying locations to find the perfect destination to base their books on.

Interested in finding out which book-inspired destination is the most popular, OnBuy analysed Instagram activity and the number of hashtags for each destination. Which one comes out on top? Could it be Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, or even Dracula? Read on to find out!

The most popular book locations that you can visit

The Most Popular Locations That Inspired Famous Books!
Piazza Navona

Adobe Stock/Freesurf

Taking the top spot is Piazza Navona (Fountain of the Four Rivers) in Rome, Italy, which features in Dan Brown’s bestselling mystery-thriller Angels and Demons. Although this is a huge tourist attraction in itself, many visitors attend to follow the footsteps of Robert Langdon and contribute to the fountain’s huge 395,507 Instagram hashtags and posts on Instagram. In 2008, the book was later adapted into a movie on the southern section of the Piazza, further increasing its popularity with tourists.

OnBuy found that the second most popular real-life book inspired location is Glencoe in Scotland, with 384,369 Instagram hashtags. Author J.K. Rowling convinced thousands of Harry Potter fans to make the trip to see Hagrid’s Hut in Glencoe, making it one of the most visited novel spots!

George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones book series – the seventh most popular book in the UK – was inspired by elements of the Giant’s Causeway in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, placing it in third. The world-famous stones have amassed a huge 288,839 hashtags on Instagram, and they’re certainly a beautiful sight.

Thanks to J.K. Rowling, Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station has a total of 203,977 Instagram hashtags, making it the fourth most popular book location. The famous train platform entices Harry Potter fans from across the globe as they begin their Hogwarts fantasy of becoming a witch or wizard at the London train station.

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire (191,275 hashtags) and Top Whitens in Yorkshire (100,905 hashtags) place in fifth and sixth place, respectively, due to their features that inspired both the authors of Lord of the Rings and Wuthering Heights.

Mourne Mountains

Adobe Stock/Stephen Jones

7. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis was inspired by Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland, and has a total of 90,067 Instagram hashtags.

8. Jaws by Peter Benchley was inspired by Beach Haven in New Jersey, U.S.A, and has a total of 88,110 Instagram hashtags.

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired by Great Neck in New York, U.S.A, and has a total of 80,143 Instagram hashtags.

10. Dracula by Bram Stoker was inspired by Whitby Abbey in England, and has a total of 70,803 Instagram hashtags.

Durham Cathedral

Adobe Stock/Srmin Sepp

Unsurprisingly, the Harry Potter series makes the most appearances, with seven of the book’s locations making the top 20, amassing a staggering 715,754 Instagram hashtags altogether. The locations include Glencoe, Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station, Durham Cathedral, Glenfinnan Viaducts and Gloucester Cathedral.

In second place is Angels and Demons, with a total of 416,660 Instagram hashtags. Two of the book’s inspired locations feature in the top 20 most popular destinations: Piazza Navona and Pantheon, both of which are in Italy.

Joining Angels and Demons in second place is Bram Stoker's gothic horror novel, Dracula, where two of the book’s locations appear in the top 20. Dracula was inspired by the views at Whitby Abbey in England and Bran Castle in Romania – amassing 137,857 Instagram hashtags between them.


OnBuy researched different locations around the world that inspired 50 popular and bestselling books. Once the list was complete, OnBuy used Instagram to analyse the locations popularity based on hashtags, using the most popular hashtag of each location. For example, #piazzanavona, #glencoe, #gaintscauseway etc.

The locations were then ranked based on the number of hashtags they had on the photo sharing app, to determine which is the most popular. All data was collected on 14/08/2020.