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Livraria Lello, Porto: Tips For Visiting The Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World

Livraria Lello, a beautiful and historic bookstore in Porto

Imagine stepping into Livraria Lello in Porto, where every nook and cranny tells a story with its Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau vibes. Straight ahead is an incredible staircase that winds like the neck of a dragon and a stained-glass ceiling that could rival the beauty of a Gothic church. We just returned from Porto, fresh off a visit to the Livraria Lello, and we want to share our tips on getting in, purchasing tickets, and having the best experience at this beautiful bookstore.

And hey, have you heard about JK Rowling and the Harry Potter connection? Despite her saying she’s never been, whispers about Livraria Lello being a muse for Hogwarts keep attracting Potterheads from all corners of the globe. In this article, you will learn about the celebrated history, cultural impact, and unique architecture that amplify its global allure, and plan your visit with our practical tips.

We did want to highlight that there are only 2 ways to get tickets to Livraria Lello. First, you can book a walking city tour that includes a skip-the-line entrance like this one, or you can purchase tickets from the library website online and reserve your desired time slot. The Libray website can be a little confusing, but we will cover how to navigate that below.

Exploring the Enchantment of Livraria Lello: A Porto Gem

Livraria Lello, a beautiful and historic bookstore in Porto

Livraria Lello, also known as the Lello Bookshop, is celebrated for its enchanting design features that transport visitors to a different era. In this era, books and newspapers were primary modes of cultural exchange and public debate. Considered one of the world’s most famous bookstores, the Livraria Lello bookstore captivates everyone with its flowing staircase, dark wood bookshelves, stained glass ceilings, and ornate carvings. Weaving together an ambiance one would be hard-pressed to forget.

The Architectural Marvel of Livraria Lello

stained-glass skylight and majestic staircase at Livraria Lellostained-glass skylight and majestic staircase at Livraria Lello

Setting foot in Livraria Lello, you’ll be entranced by this visual masterpiece. Envisioned by the Lello brothers and architect Francisco Xavier Esteves, it was a pioneer of its time. It was one of the first buildings in Porto to utilize reinforced concrete in its construction.

One of the bookstore’s most distinguished features is the large stained-glass skylight adorned with the Lello motto, ‘Honour in Work.’ It is hard to miss as you head up the staircase; it dominates the room at the top of the stairs.

How to Visit Livraria Lello Bookstore

How to Visit Livraria Lello BookstoreHow to Visit Livraria Lello Bookstore

The experience of stepping into Livraria Lello is really special, even…

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