20 Best Travel Coffee Table Books To Explore!

The world may have moved on to the gram for travel inspirations, but if you give avid travelers, a book filled with images of picturesque locales and hidden gems, you’ll find them cooped up in a corner flipping through pages for hours! That’s the power of a travel coffee table book. They simply transfix you with their mesmeric visuals and let your imagination travel instantly. Call us old-school if you like, but nothing beats going through travel coffee table books and travel guidebooks when you need some inspiration, or want to explore the know-how about your favorite destinations. Also, they look great on the bookshelf!

So, if you are looking for the best travel coffee table book, read on as we’ve rounded up 20 best travel coffee table books for you to choose from!

20 Best Travel Coffee Table Books To Explore

1. Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places

Destinations of a Lifetime

A feast for the eyes and soul, National Geographic’s Destinations of A Lifetime brings you the most breathtaking locales (man-made and natural) in the world through stunning photography. Captured by Nat Geo’s best photographers, the mesmeric visuals will magically teleport you to the uncharted destinations, to the scenic islands, mystic mountains, timeless cobbled streets, and the architectural wonders instantly. All recounted with insightful tales and details of the places to make the experience all the more fascinating, the book is a unique guide that will tickle a traveler’s curiosity to set out and explore.

2. Overview: A New Perspective of Earth

A New Perspective of Earth

Look at the Earth, our beautiful planet like the astronauts would see it from space. Curious how the landscape, the ocean beds and grasslands look from beyond the atmospheric layer? Overview: A New Perspective of Earth unveils the wonders of our planet and the impact of humans in more than 200 high-definition satellite photographs of agriculture, industries, nature, etc. Witness Earth like you’ve never seen before through these aerial vantage point images and stories, in this extraordinary photographic journey.

3. The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World

A Journey Through Every Country in the World

Take a trip around the world without leaving the comforts of your home with one of the best travel guidebooks ever. A page-turner if you are an avid traveler, learn the nitty-gritty and know-hows of every UN-recognized country in the world. Hop through 230 countries and 850 incredible visuals— all in one book! Promoted as an essential travel reference book for every household by the Lonely Planet, the book is nothing but a holy grail for travel enthusiasts. Featuring everything from details like when to visit, to beguiling streets and landscapes, the book is all-in-all a perfect guide to plan your next trip.

4. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders (2nd Edition)

An Explorers Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders

If you fancy the mysterious, the bizarre, the unfamiliar, and the unexpected, then Atlas Obscura is the travel coffee table book for you. With every page uncovering unusual destinations, unknown facts, and amaze-inducing marvels around the world; don’t blame us if you can’t stop yourself from adding these places to your ultimate travel bucket list. Also, this one-of-a-kind book features a special guide for 12 major cities across the globe. Go explore!

5. Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See… Ranked

Lonely Planets Ultimate Travel Our List of the 500 Best Places to See... Ranked

So, you think you have the best travel bucket list? Wait till you see this remarkable compilation made by top travel experts in the world. Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel has the hallmark destinations across the globe battle it out with the hidden gems for the top-10 positions. From interesting write-ups to picturesquely photography giving you an insightful scoop on each destination, take a trip around the world with this global-trotting travel coffee table book, and be prepared to re-do that travel bucket list.

6. 100 Dives of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Underwater Destinations

The Worlds Ultimate Underwater Destinations

We look towards the sky and marvel at its mystery, but equally enigmatic and unexplored are the high seas! With 100 Dives of a Lifetime plunge into the underwater world and explore marine life through “deep-sea” stunning photography. Whether you are interested in scuba diving or simply fascinated with what lies beneath, get exclusive travel tips, diving guidance, and learn more about marine creatures with National Geographic’s experienced divers and explorers. From discovering caves to swimming below the ice floes of Antarctica, this book truly captures the magic of the underwater world.

7. Beaches by Gray Malin

Beaches by Gray Malin

Beaches are so much more than tides, sand shores, and palm trees. Don’t believe us? Take a tour with Gray Malin in his book Beaches as he journeys through 20 cities across 6 continents, to capture the coastlines like never before. Using the shore as his muse, the artist has used lights, shapes, and altered perspectives to add a new outlook. Also, some of the stunning visuals are shot from doorless helicopters! So, whether you are a beach person or not, if the coastline is your ultimate getaway, this book will be a great addition to your travel coffee table book collection.

8. Italy by Gray Malin

Italy by Gray Malin

Tread past the timeless boulevards, scenic landscapes, and dramatic coastlines of Italy, through Gray Malin’s camera lens. Capturing the true essence of the city’s incomparable sceneries, beaches, and lifestyles, his stunning highlights of Italian Riviera is truly a chef’s kiss. Giving you a page-to-page tour from the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre to the spread of retro beach umbrellas on the Italian coastlines, the book is an awe-inspiring and a first-hand guide for those who dream of visiting or are in love with this beautiful European country.

9. She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild

Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild

Breaking stereotypes, making memories, and taking over the world — one adventure at a time are 40 women who decided to tell their stories through their travel memoirs. From living out of backpacks, hiking through treacherous valleys, sleeping under the stars to cooking meals over the make-shift fire, She Explores is a perfect guide or rather a travel inspiration for women who are looking for tips and guidance to make their solo trips a triumph. It also features compelling tales and incredible snapshots of their adventures. The book is indeed a concoction of various emotions that a woman braves through as she sets on her solo adventures.

10. Steve McCurry: A Life in Pictures

A Life in Pictures-1

Steve McCurry, an award-winning photographer, known for his bravery while capturing the raw, the unfiltered, and the unseen side of society, now has his photographic journey logged in the book— A Life In Pictures. With a career spanning over 40 years, the book encapsulates his journalistic expeditions of 1977 Johnstown floods, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, his coverage of the Gulf War, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The book also features over 100 images that were never released to the public! Compiled by his sister Bonnie McCurry, the book includes his notes, telegrams, and insights from his friends and colleagues too.

11. LeRoy Grannis – Surf Photography

Surf Photography

Surfing is undeniably one of the most loved sports in the world today, but how did it all begin? LeRoy Grannis’s Surf Photography is spilling history and his love for the sport through breathtaking visuals and capturing surfing like never before, all the way since 1960! So, whether you are a part of the wave tribe or planning to take up the sport, the book takes you to a time before shortboards were a thing, and how the sport has evolved through changing times and tides to become the most popular sport today.

12. Living in Mexico by Barbara & René Stoeltie

Living in Mexico by Barbara

From local Aztec to Mayan cultures, take a peek at authentic Mexican style with Living In Mexico. A compiled photographic journey of the dynamic duo Barbara and Rene Stoeltie, tread along as they travel to different parts of the country to capture the true essence of Mexican abodes. The book explores the vivid diversities and contrasting styles that the Mexican architecture reflects, be it through the restored 16th-century hacienda or traditional Mayan thatched-roof dwelling. A great book for those who are fascinated by Mexico’s rich architecture and history, the beautiful photographs will keep you glued throughout!

13. Gypset Travel by Julia Chaplin

Gypset Travel by Julia Chaplin

Would you dare to travel like the gypsy jet setters? One of the best travel coffee table books to have in your collection, Gypset Travel by Julia Chaplin, collates exclusive tales of the bohemian travelers and their glam to casual lifestyles as they global-trot through the many, many amazing places around the world. From the Aeolian Islands in Italy, North Goa in India to Lamu in Kenya, this visual chronicle of their voyages will make you want to add a jet-setting trip to your ultimate travel bucket list.

14. An American Odyssey by Marc Walter

An American Odyssey by Marc Walter

Travel back in time with this 600-page, awe-inspiring book that celebrates America’s past from the late 1880s to the early 1920s. A throwback in time so far that you’ll find yourself hooked to the panoramic shots of Native American settlements, New York’s Chinatown, the last cowboy to Coney Island’s heyday. Capturing the classic history of America before it stepped into the era that made it the United States today, An American Odyssey features the rediscovered postcard images from the personal collection of esteemed photographer Marc Walter.

15. The Bucket List: Places to Find Peace and Quiet by Victoria Ward

Places to Find Peace and Quiet by Victoria Ward

Your ultimate travel guide to escape! You cannot find peace in a place where you have lost yourself, hence escape is the only option sometimes. This book by Victoria Ward lists the world’s best and ultimate hideouts, centers, and retreat destinations for you. Whether you are a student, retiree, or simply looking to escape for some mindful peace, this book is the perfect guide featuring endless options to explore from parks, museums, library, mountain tops, recreational centers to Buddhist temples. So, if peace is what you are looking for, let The Bucket List be your guide.

16. Massimo Listri: The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries XXL by Georg Ruppelt

The World's Most Beautiful Libraries XXL by Georg Ruppelt

Have you ever wondered what it looks like inside those old, capacious, and time-honored libraries? Massimo Listri walks us through some of the oldest and the finest libraries in the world, one breathtaking image at a time capturing their historic and architectural marvels. Spiraling staircases, huge wooden doors, bookshelf-lined corridors, this photographic journey has it all. Exploring some of the oldest human records in manuscripts and papyrus scrolls, this book also takes us inside the library where lies the papal collection of the Vatican Apostolic Library and the private library of the house of Medici which was designed by Michelangelo! An out-and-out page-turner that’ll transfix you with the most beautiful libraries in the world, this book is a great option for gifting too.

17. LANY: Aerial Photographs of Los Angeles and New York by Jeffrey Milstein

Aerial Photographs of Los Angeles and New York by Jeffrey Milstein

Explore two beautiful cities— Los Angeles and New York through the bird-eye point of view! Photographer Jeffrey Milstein takes a unique route to give us a new perspective of the cities through aerial photography. Capturing the parks, neighborhoods, landmarks, airports, and more in grids or patterns that emphasize the urban and local topography, you’ll surefire be bowled over by how different the cities look. Don’t believe us? Grab this edition, and experience it yourself.

18. Vanlife Diaries: Finding Freedom on the Open Road by Kathleen Morton

Finding Freedom on the Open Road by Kathleen Morton

There are avid travelers, and then there are nomads who live on-the-go. Having given up the conventional style of living in homes, nomads prefer rolling homes like caravans or cars with unique interiors that suit their lifestyles. Vanlife Diaries is one such book that captures their stories through pictures and anecdotes while also offering van-life tips and tricks for those who are planning to pursue the nomadic lifestyle. Whether you are planning to experience the nomad life or not, this book has a great take on living on-the-go, especially for people who prefer living out of the backpack.

19. World’s Greatest Places: The Most Amazing Travel Destinations on Earth

The Most Amazing Travel Destinations on Earth

Missing all your memorable trips or are unable to decide where to go next? This travel coffee table book with over 2000 breathtaking and mesmeric pictures will make your imagination hop through cities and countries at the turn of a page! From the capitals of Europe, Amazon rainforest, volcanic mountains of Iceland to the monuments of the Middle East, the book is a visual treat for the eyes. The book also has fun facts and knowledge about the destinations to give you proper know-how about the places.

20. Gail Albert Halaban: Italian Views

Gail Albert Halaban

And lastly, this delightful collection of portraits that glimpses into the everyday lives of the Italians! Uncovering a side of Italy very different from its otherwise illustrious persona, the author in this thoughtful blend of anecdotes and portraits delves into the daily lives, urban lifestyles, conventions, and intimacies of the local dwellers. Giving you an insightful perspective of the beautiful country, its people, culture, food, and more, Gail Albert Halaban’s Italian Views is not an ordinary travel guide but an extraordinary travel memoir.

Itching to travel soon? So are we! Those are some of the best travel coffee table books that will not only pretty up your bookshelf but are a go-to when you need some travel inspiration. Also, they are great options for gifting, especially for the wanderlusts in your group. We hope this list of 20 best travel coffee table books makes your shopping experience quicker. If we missed out on your favorite or if you’d like to recommend a book, write to us in the comment below.

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