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Literary Portugal: 5 Bookstores and Libraries Worth Visiting

You’re in Lisbon, taking a leisurely stroll and enjoying the sunny weather.

Suddenly, you notice an inviting bookstore called Livraria Bertrand. You go inside and are immediately struck by the lovely smell of books.

You wander around, taking in all the titles until you find a section on Portuguese authors. You pick up a few books and start to read the back covers. Suddenly, you hear someone calling your name.

It’s your friend who you met online and have been wanting to meet in person for ages! You introduce them to your new discovery, and they’re impressed too. You both spend the rest of the afternoon browsing books and talking about your shared love of reading.

Before you know it, it’s time to go. You say goodbye to your new friend and promise to keep in touch. As you leave, you make a mental note to come back soon. This is definitely a place you could spend hours in.

Why is Portugal a top literary destination for bookworms?

Portugal is a top literary destination for book-lovers because of its picture-perfect bookstores and magnificent libraries. It is also a place of birth of many world-renowned writers.

Fernando Pessoa, Eça de Queirós, José Saramago, and António Lobo Antunes are some of the most famous authors to come from Portugal. These writers won numerous awards and sold millions of books around the world.

But Portugal’s literary culture doesn’t stop with its internationally acclaimed authors. The country also has a rich tradition of publishing magazines, newspapers, and books.

There are dozens of publishing houses in Portugal, and the country’s libraries are filled with classic and contemporary titles in all genres.

Finally, Portugal is an excellent place to read books because of its beautiful setting that often inspires writers and readers alike. With its stunning coastline, rolling hills, and medieval villages, it’s no wonder that Portugal has been called a “literary paradise.”

Five best bookstores and libraries in Portugal

#1. Livraria Bertrand

The Bertrand Bookstore in Lisbon was first opened to the Portuguese public in 1732.

The store is still in its original location, although it was destroyed in an earthquake and forced to relocate in 1755. The bookstore is still in business today and has been for almost 300 years.

Livraria Bertrand in Portugal, a top literary destination

The Bertrand Bookstore is a popular tourist destination, but the store keeps things distinctly Portuguese. 95% of the stock is centered around Portuguese language books, ranging from cooking to fiction to photography.

There is a small English section within the bookstore that features classic works and a few contemporary bestsellers.

#2. Lello & Irmão

The Livraria Lello e Irmão bookstore in Porto, Portugal, is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

It has become a tourist attraction in recent years, but originally it was all about books. The two brothers who founded the store, José and António Lello, were passionate about books and opened the store in 1906.

Lello & Irmão in Portugal, a top literary destination

The engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves designed the store, and it was beautiful from the beginning. However, it wasn’t until tourism took off that the bookstore started to become more of a tourist attraction.

J.K. Rowling apparently based the Hogwarts staircases on the one in Lello & Irmão. If you’re visiting Porto, make sure to check out this beautiful store.

Check out similar posts about Literary Destinations From Across The World For Booklovers

#3. Livraria Académica

The Livraria Académica is a bookstore located in Lisbon that specializes in Portuguese-language authors. It has a wide selection of books on various topics, including science, technology, and history.

The store has a variety of prices to meet the needs of all customers. It has been in business for over 100 years and is a landmark in the city.

The Livraria Académica is a great place to find a rare book or an inexpensive option. It is also a great place to browse and explore.

#4. Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

It’s not only the beautiful bookshops but also the magnificent libraries that make Portugal a top literary destination.

The Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa is the public library of Lisbon. It has a collection of over 1 million books, including rare and out-of-print titles.

The Library’s holdings encompass all subjects and genres and are constantly growing. It is not just a repository of content but also a platform for knowledge creation and sharing that engages the community it serves.

Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal a top literary destination

Conservation, access, and internationalization are the main lines of action in the Library’s management. Beyond making content available, the Library strives to increase its social value by promoting initiatives that are convergent with the world of research. In this way, the Library becomes a truly participatory institution.

#5. Biblioteca Pública do Porto

So the Biblioteca Pública do Porto is a public library in the city of Porto. It has a collection of over 500,000 books, including rare and out-of-print titles.

The library is housed in an 18th c. convent, and it’s beautiful – there’s a lovely small plaza surrounded by gorgeous azuelos. It’s a really peaceful place to relax.

Biblioteca Pública do Porto

I haven’t taken an official tour, but it’s on my list. The library is small, but it has plenty of seats for weary travelers and free wifi! They also have an online catalog that they’re actively working on to include all of their holdings. Many of these are not online, but the staff is very helpful.

In 1833, the Municipal Library of Porto was founded by decree of D. Pedro IV, and initially, it was located in Cordoaria. The Library was installed in this building only in 1842, after some adjustments. It’s much appreciated for its special funds, from Middle Ages to the present day.


There are many reasons why Portugal is a top literary destination for bookworms. The country has a rich history and culture, which is evident in its literature.

Portuguese authors are known for their lyrical prose, and their books often reflect the beauty of their homeland. Additionally, Portugal offers a wide variety of reading options, from traditional to contemporary authors.

And finally, the country’s relaxed lifestyle makes it the perfect place to curl up with a good book. Whether you’re looking for a new favorite author or just want to find a quiet spot to read, Portugal is sure to have what you’re looking for.

So pack your bags and head to Portugal – your next great literary adventure awaits!

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