The magical staircase and ornate woodwork of Livreria Lello bookstore in Porto
Photo by Ivo Rainha  –  Link

Livraria Lello

Portugal > Porto

Often cited as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, the whimsical Livraria Lello bookshop is a Porto institution. This wonderfully enchanting bookstore has bright red swirling staircases and ornate interior decor that apparently inspired J.K. Rowling to create some of the settings in her Harry Potter series.

Livraria Lello's Gothic facade and large stained glass window immediately set it apart from the more modern buildings surrounding it. Inside, plastered ceilings and sculpted wooden fixtures add to its elaborate charm. Look out for the incredible carved ceiling and stained-glass skylight letting in lots of light and colour. In recent years, Livraria Lello has become one of the most popular destinations in Porto for locals and tourists alike, earning the title of "coolest bookshop in the world" according to Travel + Leisure.

History

The store was built back in 1906 and opened by the Lello brothers Jose and Antonio, two "men of culture" who were a part of Porto's intellectual bourgeoisie The pair opened their first book shop and publishing house in 1881 just a few blocks away from the shop that stands today. Much like Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Livraria Lello quickly became a prominent hangout for intellectuals and artists of the time.

Note: Entrance to the bookshop costs 5 euros, which is redeemable against a book or other item if you choose to purchase one.

Top tips

  • Buy a ticket in advance online or from the shop around the corner from the bookstore
  • Go early in the day at least 20 minutes before opening time avoid long queues
Opening Times

Throughout the Year

  • Open Daily: 09:30 AM to 07:30 PM
Price Information

Entrance to Livraria Lello

  • General : 5.00 EUR
Address

144,

Rua das Carmelitas

Porto

Porto

Portugal 4050-161