Livraria Lello, Porto

3.6
#6 of 509 in Things to do in Porto
You'll find Livraria Lello fascinating even if you're not into books. A bookstore with loads of character not found in malls, this building from the early 20th century features Neo-Gothic details that add a punch of magic to the usual shopping experience. "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling, who lived in Porto in the 1990s, allegedly used one of the shop's twisting stairways for inspiration. Stop by and you might be inspired to read--or write--something too. Use our Porto trip itinerary planning app to visit Livraria Lello on your trip to Porto, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Livraria Lello Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
12,532 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • A magical atmosphere with many titles in English and other languages. The Harry Potter inspired room adds to the ambiance. Long line ups usually, and get your tickets first before lining up to get in....  more »
  • The beginning of the year, but gave it up in a long line of this prepared matrix and arrive at opening and at the same time. No ticket or admission wait time. You could slowly take pictures in you can see well in the bookstore. Book voucher 5 euro you can buy but in the price Japan thing coz. Introduction to design in Porto, Portugal, books to buy, was very happy.
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  • This is a bookstore with an entrance fee, a a waiting line to get in and a souvenir shop next to the actual bookstore that is bigger than the bookstore. All of that sounds like a huge turn-off, but th...  more »
Google
  • Magical vibe - you do have to get in queue and get an entrance ticket for 5 euros, but that value is then deducted if you buy a book. The good thing is that it is only valid on books, which hopefully stimulates reading. At the same time, you are now allowed to take pictures - and provided you do not block the rather narrow staircase, it is worth taking a few shots of the magnificent interiors. The variety of books they have is amazing, and they have managed to keep a good ratio of Portuguese vs. other popular languages.
  • This is the most beautiful staircase I’ve ever seen. The bookshop is extremely busy all the times. The staff say there isn’t necessarily a best time to arrive as it’s always busy. The store does charge a €5 entrance fee. If you’ve a fan of bookstores and Harry Potter you’re going to appreciate its beauty. The entrance ticket fee can be applied to the cost of a book. It did seem like the book prices were higher than the price of books at other shops. If you’re looking to get a good photo without people in them, you have to be patient.
  • Interesting architecture and design. Not a very interesting bookstore yet it's a must see place for the cost of entry. Be sure to swap your tickets for their booklets about the store, it's a better souvenir than the ticket. Buy your tickets at the store on the corner. If you have a guide you will be able to skip the line.
  • I can kind of understand the appeal of its interior decoration, but it is honestly way too crowded of a place even with the entrance fee. I would only recommend this place for interior design or Harry Potter enthusiasts, because it doesn't have much appeal outside of that, and some drawbacks. First, there is a five euro entrance fee that you have to wait a minimum of 45 minutes in line for on the weekends. Bear in mind that I tried booking online but they had a VAT code entry that made that impossible without asking their employees anyway. This cost for many people will not be worth the small, crowded bookstore inside. If need be, just Google some photos online and then take a peek inside from the outside. Second, if you think that you can at least redeem the entrance fee by having it deducted from your purchase there, think again. This is because 95% of their inventory is Portuguese books, and maybe some English here and there. That's it. If that's not enough to make your 5 euros void, also remember that everything in that store is the original cost of the book plus the five euro entrance fee and then some. There is a reason why all of the books are labeled specially by the bookstore, because they are marking them up big time. If you do insist on going and somehow want to redeem the five euros without getting ripped off by marked-up prices, ask for one of the "The World's Most Beautiful Bookshop" pamphlets that cost exactly 5 euros so that you don't pay extra and get at least something out of it. Personally, this bookstore does not live up to its hype, and the least they could do is stop blatantly marking up the prices so much.
  • Beautiful place, stunning architecture, but extremely crowded. The management knows how to maximise the beauty and fame of this place. There is a €5 entry charge, which is then deducted if you buy a book. Yet, even the cheapest book is around €12 and stationary is not included. Be ready to queue and have no space to walk around the place. A pretty tourist trap
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