Looking for the best travel coffee table books?! Welcome wanderluster, you’re in the right place! I’m highlighting all my favorites, plus a whole bunch I can’t wait to flip through!
Since I’m a part-time traveler, and therefore, am not always adventuring, I use travel coffee table books to get me through daily life. [And cruffins, burritos, and nutella too, but that’s besides the point…]
Travel coffee table books are great for not only wanderlust, but for inspiration for your next trip. More often than not I find myself planning entire trips based on a single photograph I see in one of my coffee table books or on Instagram.
Also- they’re just pretty to look at (over and over again), and are great to have on display when you have dinner parties. Because having a home base means you CAN have dinner parties! [And memory foam pillows, a fridge stocked with necessities for avocado toast, and an actual coffee table for travel coffee table books…]
Virtual high five to all those other part time 9-5 travelers out there!
In addition, these travel coffee table books are perfect as gifts for those friends who have everything! Who doesn’t have at least a little wanderlust in them?
My Favorite Travel Coffee Table Books:
Here are a few of my favorite travel coffee table books, some that I currently own and a few that are on my coffee table wishlist. I’m always adding more to my collection, so if you have any other favorites, let me know down below in the comments!
1. 100 Countries, 5,000 Ideas: If you really have no where to go, this beautiful book (full of colorful photographs) will certainly give you loads of ideas. And besides all the pretty pictures, it’s actually chock full of information, with when to go, what to see, and what to do in a hundred countries.
The beginning has charts to help you figure out the best places to visit according to your visit (length of trip, with you like to do, with children, for history/adventure seekers, etc). It’s published by National Geographic, so you know it’s a good one.
There’s since been plenty of others in this series (which I’m loathing over), including:
- 50 States, 5,000 Ideas
- 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas
- 100 Drives, 5,000 Ideas
2. One Planet (by Lonely Planet): This is the ultimate travel coffee table book for those looking to appreciate some great travel photography. The photos were specifically chosen to show the diversity and similarities of our world, and encourages connection between people (even continents apart!).
Because of this, most of the photographs are of people around the world, and not so much on natural wonders — just something to know before purchasing!
3. Places to Go, People to See: While not a standard travel book, it does give inspiration on the how, where, and why of travel. There’s vibrant photography, old-world glamour, a dash of charm and inspirational quotes, and more.
Places to Go, People to See gives info on chic destinations, like Paris, New York City, Marrakech, Tokyo, and the Amalfi Coast. It’s funny and witty; perfect for the kate spade girl!
4. The Rainbow Atlas: This book is exactly what it says it is — a guide to the most colorful places in the world! There’s large-format vibrant photos showing spots from around the different continents, inspiring lots of wanderlust. Think ancient Mayan red in the Yucatan (Mexico), magical orange in Kyoto (Japan), vibrant yellow in Cuba, luscious green in the Ukraine, and so on and so forth.
The book spans natural phenomena, architectural wonders, art installations, and so much more. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this travel coffee table book (sooner than later). It’s also pretty lengthy, so you’ll always come across some new spots!
5. Paris in Color: More color, but this time, all about Paris — the world’s most romantic city! Full of the small details which make Paris alive, like cafe chairs, blue bicycles, white doors, etc. You won’t just find the iconic landmarks, but so much more. Beyond the typical Paris postcards.
The book is all arranged by color, and is actually super soothing to the eyes. It’s evident a lot of work went into creating this collection of photographs. A must for any Paris lover, and will surely brighten up any coffee table!
6. Humans of New York: Ever since I heard of this book, I knew I needed it. And it 100% does not disappoint. With almost 4,000 5-star reviews, you know it’s a good one for just about anyone! The book is based off the popular blog “Humans of New York”, and is full of beautiful, heartfelt, funny, and inspiring photographs and stories capturing the spirit of the city. Just read a few captions and stories — you’re bound to shed a tear or two (or three, I just did!).
7. 36 Hours USA & Canada: What do you do when you’ve only got a limited amount of time to jet off and explore the world? You fill up a weekend with as much as you possibly can! While not your typical travel coffee table book, this book is filled to the brim with practical information on over 150 North American destinations. From Banff and El Paso to Niagara Falls and Detroit, you’re bound to get some great ideas for your next weekend trip.
8. World’s Best Travel Experiences: 400 Extraordinary Places: If you’re looking for oversized, full-color images, check out this book. It’s great for future travel inspiration, as well beautiful daydreams! The book highlights entire countries and mountaintop villages to pristine lakes and ancient wonders. Like one reviewer said, the book takes you around the world like never before!
9. Follow Me To…: I’m sure you’ve seen those stunning images of Nataly Zakharova leading her boyfriend Murad Osmann to new locations around the world. And if you haven’t, well, get on IG — they’re a true internet sensation! The book is a compilation of the project’s best photos, reminding us to stop and appreciate the things that surround us. If you’re a fan of their work, go and support the artists by getting their hardcover travel coffee table book.
10. Ultimate Travel: The Lonely Planet experts ranked their top 500 best places to visit on Earth. And they’ve included them all inside, making it one of the best travel coffee table books in my opinion! Find well-known popular mega-spots like the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, and Lake Bled, to more hidden, lesser-known places like the Potala Palace in Tibet and the Chateau de Chenonceau in France. There’s also a Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel Coloring Book if anyone’s a fan of those!
11. World’s Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations: Have a thing for big cities? Love the intricate details of them and that lux cosmopolitan life? Come discover the greatest cities on Earth in this travel coffee table book! The book features tons of established well-known cities (like NYC, Paris, London, Rome, etc), as well as showcasing some newer up-and-comers (like Oslo, Asheville, and Abu Dhabi). And it’s not only a feast for the eyes — the book gives fun facts as well as some practical to help plan your best trip yet.
12. The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World: Have a goal to visit every single country in the entire world? This book is for you! Like the title states, The Travel Book introduces the reader to all the countries in the world. This is one of my favorite travel coffee table books – it’s currently sitting on my coffee table! 🙂 I spent a few days browsing through it with a stack of post-it notes and tabbed all the places that intrigued me the most! PS – it’s huge and heavy, so you’ll wanna keep it at home.
13. Complete National Parks of the United States: Not only does this stunning book showcase the 61 national parks in the USA, but also monuments, state parks, battlefields, historic sites, scenic trails, and more! There’s also a whole section on campgrounds if you’re looking to head out camping. It’s a massive book — at a whopping 544 pages, filled with full-color photos, detailed maps, practical facts, and even historical background. Perfect for any national park lover in your life!
14. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Every wanderluster has heard of Patricia Schultz’s book, and for good reason! It goes goes through the world’s wonders, continent by continent. Think a sunrise balloon safari over the Masai Mara. Canyon de Chelly. Sailing the Mekong River. There’s sacred ruins, hilltop villages, wildlife preserves, castles, museums, and more. It’s the world’s best-selling travel book, and became the first wish list combined with practical guide.
15. Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary: Looking for striking images to flip through? You need this book. It’s got dazzling photography shot by some of the most talented photographers in the world. Inside you’ll find images seldom seen by others — including volcanic lightning, giant crystals, 30,000 year old cave art, and so much more. An absolute feast for the eyes! You won’t wanna put it down!
16. Food Lovers Guide to the World: Any food lovers in the house? Food Lovers presents tons of eating experiences around the world to shock any culinary lover. There’s also practical information like cultural tips and eating etiquette, as well as more than 50 recipes to try at home!
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Which travel coffee table books are on your wishlist?
*Prices are accurate at time of publication. Please note that the above are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small percentage to help offset the costs of running this site. Thanks for all of your support!