There are few greater pleasures for bibliophiles than wandering through the aisles of a well-curated bookshop, inhaling the intoxicating scent of ink and paper, and discovering literary treasures. From historic bookstores with centuries of tradition to quirky independent shops with unique charm, the world has many bookish havens waiting to be explored.
Here’s a list of must-visit bookshops worldwide that will delight any book lover.
Shakespeare and Company – Paris, France:
Nestled on the Left Bank of the Seine, Shakespeare and Company is an iconic English-language bookstore that has been a haven for writers and readers for nearly a century.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid – Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Once a grand theater, El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires has been transformed into one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Visitors can peruse books on ornate balconies, sit in plush theater seats, and enjoy the breathtaking architecture.
Daunt Books – London, UK:
Daunt Books in London is a destination for travelers and book enthusiasts seeking a curated selection of travel literature and guides. Its oak galleries and skylights create a serene atmosphere perfect for exploring books about far-flung destinations.
Strand Bookstore – New York City, USA:
The Strand is a New York City institution that boasts “18 miles of books.” This iconic bookshop offers new and used books and has been a haven for book lovers, celebrities, and writers for generations.
Libreria Acqua Alta – Venice, Italy:
Venice’s Libreria Acqua Alta, meaning “bookstore of high water,” has a unique approach to dealing with the city’s frequent flooding. Books are stored in bathtubs, gondolas, and waterproof containers, creating a whimsical and slightly surreal atmosphere that’s a must-see for visitors.
Atlantis Books – Santorini, Greece:
Perched on the cliffs of the stunning Greek island of Santorini, Atlantis Books is a paradise for readers with a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea.
Powell’s Books – Portland, USA:
Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world and a beloved institution. It’s easy to get lost among its color-coded rooms, each dedicated to a different genre.
Hatchards – London, UK:
Founded in 1797, Hatchards is one of the oldest bookshops in the world and holds the prestigious title of London’s oldest bookshop. It boasts a rich history, a royal warrant, and a selection of books that cater to diverse tastes.
Ler Devagar – Lisbon, Portugal:
Located in a former printing press factory in Lisbon’s LX Factory, Ler Devagar is a mecca for book lovers. The shop features a massive hanging book sculpture, vintage printing presses, and a peaceful reading area.
Livraria Lello – Porto, Portugal:
Often called one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello in Porto is renowned for its ornate neo-Gothic architecture, intricately carved wooden staircases, and stained glass windows.
These bookshops are not just places to buy books; they are destinations in themselves, offering unique atmospheres, historical significance, and a sense of wonder that makes them a joy to visit for any bookworm.