The 10 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

By: ELIZABETH PRESKE | Pulished on 2023-12-27

A bookstore can say a lot about the destination it's in. Featuring architecture that sometimes reveals a piece of history, carrying titles that cover the surrounding region, and hosting events that bring the local community together, bookshops hold a whole lot of culture in more ways than one. And, books notwithstanding, the design of a bookstore can offer an additional stopping point on any aesthete's quest to discover ultra-gorgeous architecture everywhere they go. Read on to uncover the most beautiful bookstores across the globe—maybe you'll pick up the perfect souvenir to remember your trip by.

Livraria Lello

The 10 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World-Trip AdviseCourtesy of Livraria Lello

R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
PHONE +351 22 200 2037


Widely regarded as the most beautiful bookstore in the world, the neo-Gothic Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal, more than deserves its reputation. Designed by engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves and opened by brothers José and António Lello in 1906, Livraria Lello’s intricate wood carvings, red spiral staircase, and stained-glass ceiling inscribed with the brothers’ motto “Decus in Labore” (“honor in labor”) look straight out of Harry Potter—and rightfully so. Author J.K. Rowling lived and worked in Porto in the early ‘90s, and her frequent trips to the bookshop are thought to be the aesthetic inspiration for Hogwarts and Diagon Alley’s Flourish and Botts. 

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