Visit the Lello bookshop in Porto

Livraria Lello e Irmão Porto

The Lello bookshop or « Livraria Lello & Irmão » in Porto is considered one of the most beautiful in the world!

Lonely Planet named it the 3rd best bookshop in the world, and it features in a similar ranking by the Guardian, an English daily. If you’re visiting Porto in Portugal, here’s a place you can’t miss: Livraria Lello is one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world.

Livraria Lello e Irmão Porto

Flickr – Mi Mitrika

Even if you’re not interested in books, check out this magnificent neo-Gothic bookshop, opened in 1906, in which old, second-hand and new books are stacked to the ceiling, including foreign-language guides and literature in a variety of languages. A pleasant café is located at the top of the curved staircase.

Livraria Lello e Irmão Porto

Flickr – David Martín Clavo

To stay in this « cosy » atmosphere and be surrounded by beautiful walls and architecture, I suggest you go for a coffee (or a beer) in the historic Café Majestic, a 10-minute walk away at 112 Rua Santa Catarina.

Café Majestic Porto

The Café Majestic – Wikimedia – António Amen

Legend has it that the Lello bookshop was the inspiration for Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. The only certainty is that the author once lived in the town. As for her bestseller, we don’t really know if it has anything to do with this library. The mystery remains.

Where is Livraria Lello & Irmão in Porto?

It is located right in the center of Porto at Rua das Carmelitas 144, not far from the Estação de S. Bento train station. The bookshop is very close to the Torre dos Clérigos, another Porto landmark worth visiting.

Livraria Lello & Irmão in Porto: prices & opening hours

Prices

Admission is now €5. Only children up to 3 years of age benefit from free admission. The entrance fee entitles you to a voucher that can be deducted when you buy a book.

On the verge of bankruptcy a few years ago, this paid admission model is a success, since it has enabled the Lello bookshop to reach 1 million visitors in 2018, grow from 9 employees in 2015 to 60 in early 2019, and sell an average of 1,200 books a day.

Lello e Irmão bookshop opening times

Due to the popularity of the place, hordes of tourists visit the bookshop, and it’s sometimes difficult to get inside because of the long queues. According to the bookshop’s official website, here are the times when you can visit Livraria Lello & Irmão:

Monday 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Tuesday 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Wednesday 9.30 am – 7.00 pm

Thursday 9.30 am – 7 pm

Friday 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Saturday 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Sunday 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Have you been to this very special bookshop in Porto?