Follow The Adventures Of Tintin By Visiting These Locations

Immerse yourself in the world of Tintin and discover the real-life destinations that inspired these timeless stories
Tintin with Snowy
Tintin with Snowytintin_comics on Instagram

If I ask you to guess a fictional character who is an intrepid reporter with a tuft of red hair, what comes to mind? If your guess wasn't Tintin then you're missing out on the one of the giants of the literary and comics universe. Created by Belgian Georges Prosper Remi, better known by his pen name Hergé, in 1929, Tintin is a classic for all ages and his adventures and escapades continues to resonate in the 21st century. There are museums, exhibitions and merchandise of the series and it even attracts literary critique to this day.

While all of the volumes in the series are worth revisiting, we recommend slotting the following destinations onto your travel itinerary if you wish to follow the exploits of this teenage star (and remember to bring along your comics when you go).

Cigars Of The Pharaoh

The French cover of Cigars of the Pharaoh
The French cover of Cigars of the PharaohCopyright: Tintinimaginatio 2024

Serialised from 1932-34, Cigars of the Pharaoh was the fourth volume in The Adventures of Tintin and begins with our heroes enjoying a calm Mediterranean cruise before being jolted into searching for a mummified tomb in Egypt. After being rescued from a kidnapping, they make their way to Saudi Arabia and India as they seek to break the links of an international drug trade. Tintin's arch-nemesis Roberto Rastapopoulos made his debut in these pages.

Tintin and Snowy visited Port Said and Cairo in Egypt, the fictional city of Abudin in Saudi Arabia, Mumbai, and the fictional Gaipajama principality of India in this volume. The latter kingdom is supposedly located 100-200km south of Delhi so spend a weekend exploring the palaces of Alwar in Rajasthan or eating aloo puri in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

King Ottokar's Sceptre

French cover of King Ottokar's Sceptre
French cover of King Ottokar's SceptreCopyright: Tintinimaginatio 2024

The eighth story in the series takes place in the fictional Slavic country of Syldavia. Tintin and Snowy travel from Brussels to the Balkan nation where they uncover a plot to steal a sceptre from the present king and force him to abdicate. Borduria is a neighbouring state and run by fascists and Hergé's observations of the political landscape in Europe on the cusp of the Second World War is rendered authentically on the page. This volume was serialised in 1938 and 1939.

The locations mentioned in King Ottokar's Sceptre include Brussels, fictional Eastern European nations like Syldavia and Borduria, Frankfurt in Germany, and Prague in the Czech Republic. According to the illustrator, Syldavia was inspired by Montenegro. Head to Budva to explore its beautiful beaches and old city.

Flight 714 To Sydney

French cover of Flight 714 to Sydney
French cover of Flight 714 to SydneyCopyright: Tintinimaginatio 2024

The 22nd volume in The Adventures of Tintin was serialised from 1966-67 and follows Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock and Professor Cuthbert Calculus as they give chase to Rastapopoulos, who is attempting to kidnap a millionaire on Sondonesia. Starting from London in the United Kingdom and ending in Sydney, Australia, the events of this comic follow our squad from the northern to the southern hemisphere, West to East.

Since the main focus of the comic remains on a Sondonesian island (which rhymes with Indonesia), visitors have a packed itinerary as they hop across Southeast Asia and Australia. Travellers visiting this region should try the chilli crabs of Singapore, visit the bustling Menteng market of Jakarta and ride a ferry on the waters of Sydney Harbour.

Tintin In Tibet

French cover of Tintin in Tibet
French cover of Tintin in TibetCopyright: Tintinimaginatio 2024

When Tintin has a dream of his friend Chang being injured in a plane crash and calling for help, he immediately sets off to the Himalayas with Snowy and Captain Haddock in tow. All of Hergé's works are beautifully illustrated so the charm of the snowy Himalayan landscapes and towns are a feast for the eyes as they pass from one panel to the next. Tintin in Tibet was the 20th volume and was brought out over the months of 1958-59.

If you decide to visit the locations mentioned in Tintin in Tibet then strap in for a travel itinerary spanning New Delhi to Kathmandu. The fictional Khor-Biyong monastery may not be welcoming visitors in real life but travellers can choose between Ladakh's spiritual heartland and the monasteries of Northeast India when embarking on a divine tour. The comic begins in the French Alps which are renowned for the plethora of snow sports one can take part in.

Tintin And The Picaros

French cover of Tintin and the Picaros
French cover of Tintin and the PicarosCopyright: Tintinimaginatio 2024

The final installment in The Adventures of Tintin, Tintin and the Picaros is the 23rd volume and was serialised from 1975-76. Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus head to San Theodoros to rescue their friend and famed opera singer, Bianca Castafiore. The founder of San Theodoros is General José Olivaro, who is purportedly based on the real-life hero South American freedom fighter, Simón Bolívar.

While San Theodoros is a fictional South American country, the cast of characters pass through Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, too. Check out ancient rock art in the Colombian Amazon, sharpen your eyes to spot adorable frogs with some wicked 'haircuts' and work remotely from Ecuador, which has introduced digital nomad visas.

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