Resembling a magical, whimsical ancient library, the Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore) is arguably one of the most gorgeous bookstores in the world.
A 5-minute walk from downtown Porto in Portugal, the bookstore’s rich interior is a start contrast to its light Art Nouveau-styled façade. Upon entering, you’ll be overwhelmed by stained glass, pressed copper, carved wood and an amazing stairway leading to the second level.
Opened in 1906, the Lello Bookstore was designed by architect Xavier Esteves, who was inspired by the Parisian Galleries Lafayette when he designed the store’s striking stairway.
If you happen to visit, take time to notice the ornately decorated walls and ceilings, with its stunning stained-glass skylight, and the pillars ornamented with bronze bas-reliefs, all taken from Portuguese literature. Apart from a vast collection of Portuguese fiction and non-fiction titles, Lello Bookstore also carries a sizeable selection of English and French titles. Well, even if you’re not a bookworm, this unusual bookstore is definitely still worth a visit.
Where: Rua das Carmelitas 144, Porto, Portugal