If you were to ask most book lovers what they enjoy most about reading, their answer may be the ability for a story to transport you to another place. Similar to travel, a good book is a great way to escape your daily life or learn something new. If you consider yourself a bibliophile, why not incorporate a visit to a famous bookstore in your future travel plans? Here are just a few suggestions of popular bookshops around the world that you can consider dropping into. No promises that it will be easy to refrain from picking up more than one book!
Shakespeare and Company – Paris, France
Located in Paris, France, the Shakespeare and Company bookshop is considered one of the world’s most famous independent bookstores. On the bank of the Seine River, this is a great place to stop after a walk through the city. Open since 1951, it first served as a meeting place for anglophone writers and eventually became a bookstore. A cozy atmosphere of narrow aisles, stacks of books and wooden shelves makes this a unique shopping experience. The historic shop also holds many events, so be sure to check out their calendar if you are planning a visit.
Powell Books – Portland, USA
If you are ever staying in Portland, Oregon, a stop at Powell Books is a must. The world’s largest independent bookstore, the immensity of the shop is an incredible sight. The bookstore occupies an entire block, has multiple floors and offers 3,500 sections. With a great collection of both used and new books, there is guaranteed to be something for all interests. They will also buy your used books, this a great opportunity to make a swap for some new reading material or reduce your packing for the trip home!
El Ateneo Grand Splendid – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Considered to be one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires is an amazing spot to visit even if you are not interested in the books. Originally used as a theatre, the building’s exquisite architecture and design have been maintained and converted into a bookshop. As you walk along the elegant balconies, it may be hard to focus your attention on the books with such a jaw-dropping setting. However, once you have taken it all in, you will soon realize that there is also a great selection. It is an excellent cultural spot if you are looking for Spanish literature, but also offers books in multiple other languages.
Livraria Lello – Porto, Portugal
Another bookstore known for its incredible interior is Livraria Lello in Portugal. Believed to have been the site of inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the bookstore has a magical charm that could be compared to an enchanted castle. Famous for its neo-gothic architecture, the stunning details on the ceilings and staircases are worth a visit. Please note that if you are planning to go, a ticket requirement was recently implemented to control the number of visitors, you can refer to their website for details on admission.
Even if you aren’t the biggest bookworm, we highly recommend a stop at these unique shops. Wandering the shelves, appreciating the buildings and being exposed to new cultures is a great experience when abroad. For those who do love a good book, we bet it’ll be hard to not spend all your time looking for your next read!
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