Okay, nerd patrol. Hold on to your wands! I mentioned in my first post on Porto that our trip was super last minute and, for me, a bit daunting with all the things I’m juggling at the moment. The thing that really tipped me over the line from, “ehhhhhhh,” to “YES WE MUST MAKE THIS HAPPEN!” was when my sister told me about Livraria Lello & Irmão (aka “The Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World”).
I mean. You had me at “beautiful book store” – or just “book store” if I’m being honest – but throw in that Porto was Ms. Joanne Rowling’s old stomping grounds and that she very likely drew inspiration from this very book store?
SIGN ME UP!
I’m happy to report that the old restrictions against taking photos have been relaxed (although this makes for a lot of people refusing to follow basic photo taking etiquette almost ruining the experience for the group as a whole) so I was able to snap a few photos to share the magic with you. There is now a €3 entry fee where there wasn’t before, but you can use that amount towards the purchase of a book* in the store.
I had a hard time wrapping my head around just how beautiful the shop itself is. The photos do not do it justice by any means. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. I think people would actually riot if anyone thought about closing it down.
I’d recommend going early if you’d like to avoid the crowds and lines. The store itself isn’t huge and while they do try to control the number of people inside at any given time, it can feel like a tight squeeze if it’s busy. There’s a cafe on the second floor, so if you’ve got the time and want to relax and pretend that you’re holed up in the Hogwart’s library, you can do so!
Uff. Take me back! 🙂
*This only applies to books. So, no, you can’t use your €3 towards a bookmark or any of the reasonably priced things in the store. This is fair, though, as most people are coming for the Instagrams and not much more.