I truly cannot believe it’s the 10th anniversary of City of Bones, the first book in Cassandra Clare’s phenomenal Shadowhunters universe! I still remember the first time I read City of Bones, and how quickly I fell in love with the characters and the world.
The Shadowhunters books take place, essentially, in our world — the three series are set in New York City, London, and Los Angeles primarily. Except, of course, in the Shadowhunters books there’s the Shadow World, which is the hidden, supernatural part of the world that only the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders (basically all supernatural beings, like werewolves, vampires, warlocks, and faeries) know about.
Because these books take place in versions of real cities, a lot of the locations in the Shadowhunters universe are either real places or based on real places, which makes them all that much cooler! In honor of the 10th Anniversary Edition of City of Bones, I’ve decided to round up my picks for the most iconic locations across all three Shadowhunter series — The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and The Dark Artifices. Check them out, and then let me know what your favorite Shadowhunter spots are in the comments below! And don’t forget to grab your own copy of the stunning City of Bones 10th Anniversary Edition!
The Institute, New York City
Okay, admittedly all of the Institutes are pretty cool — after all, they’re where the Conclave meets and where the Shadowhunters stay for protection. But my personal favorite is the New York Institute, located on the Upper East Side. Designed to look like an Old Gothic Cathedral (fun fact: the appearance is based off of the real St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in Midtown Manhattan!), this building sounds beautiful, with soaring arches, witchlight, and a massive library.
The Shadow Market, Los Angeles
I’m a big fan of magical markets in general — something about the hustle and bustle of a street fair, mixed in with the mystery of witchcraft and potions, is just really appealing to me. The Los Angeles Shadow Market, located in a large square hidden behind Kendall Alley, sounds like an awesome place to hang out and buy some jewelry — or weapons.
The Devil Tavern, London
The Devil Tavern is a pub in London frequented by Downworlders. Originally a human haunt, the Downworlders eventually barred mundane from entering by using a glamour to make it appear like the pub had been knocked down and replaced with a bank. Part of why I think The Devil Tavern is so cool is that it actually was a real place in London, that was demolished in 1787. That’s just the type of detail that makes Cassandra Clare one of my favorite authors.
Magnus Bane’s Apartment, Brooklyn
Maybe I’m biased because Magnus Bane is my favorite of any Shadowhunters character, but I love his apartment. Run-down and poorly maintained on the outside, beautiful and expansive on the inside, constantly undergoing changes — it’s all peak Magnus. Plus, it’s in the super-hip Greenpoint neighborhood. Of course Magnus Bane lives in Greenpoint.
Garroway Books, Brooklyn
As a bookworm, I love a good independent bookstore, so naturally Garroway Books made this list. Luke’s shop also served as his home, and is a place Clary often stayed. Perhaps my favorite part of Garroway Books is its location — a used bookstore in Williamsburg? Count me in.
Westminster Abbey, London
Westminster Abbey is a real, massive abbey in London. It’s a beautiful building, and is the burial place for members of the British monarchy and many famous Brits — including the poets in the South Transept, known as the Poets Corner, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, and Thomas Hardy. It’s also the location for all the royal weddings. In the Shadowhunters universe, it’s a portal to Council Hall — which makes sense, considering its old age and vast importance.
The Los Angeles Convergence, Los Angeles
Convergences are points where magical spells are amplified. In Los Angeles, there’s a convergence accessible through a cave by the ocean. Fun fact — while the location isn’t specifically described in the book, Oh The Book Feels discovered that Point Mugu Rock is a very similar and accessible location back on Riveted in 2016!
The Central Park Turtle Pond, New York City
There are several ways to get into Faerie if one wishes to. My favorite is the entrance to the Seelie Court in Central Park. All you have to do to get in is step backwards into the moons reflection on the pond. Sounds beautiful, mystical, and magical — but maybe one of those things you shouldn’t try in real life.
The Hotel Dumort, New York City
This derelict, run-down hotel in East Harlem is home to the New York vampire clan, which makes it pretty interesting on its own. It also translates to Hotel Death in French, which the vampires named it on purpose — classic vampire humor. But more than that, it’s the location of one of my all-time favorite fights in the Shadowhunter books, between the vampires and Clary and Jace.
The Pandemonium Club, New York City
New York’s hottest all-ages night club has to be on this list — after all, it’s the first place where Clary meets the Shadowhunters (particularly beautiful, blonde-haired Jace). Granted, when she first meets them she thinks they’re weird, tattooed teens committing a cold-blooded murder. But she soon learns the truth, taking us along with her on her wild ride.