Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello, Porto: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Livraria Lello Reviews: 4/5

Livraria Lello
4
Speciality & Gift Shops • Points of Interest & Landmarks
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
About
Livraria Lello is a bookshop with an extraordinary historical and architectural value, located at the number 144 of Rua das Carmelitas, in downtown Porto, in Portugal. Its origins date back to 1881, when the brothers José and António Lello opened an establishment at the nearby Rua do Almada, Porto, dedicated to publish and selling books. In 1894 they purchased the Chardron Bookstore, founded in 1869 by the French publisher Ernest Chardron, responsible for publishing much of the work of the famous Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco. The expansion of business encouraged the Lello brothers to build a new house for their shop. They choose the neighbourhood of Carmelitas, a prestigious shopping area that was being developed in the city of Porto. The project of the building was entrusted to the engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves – considered the introducer of reinforced concrete in civil constructions in Portugal – which ended up presenting a true work of art. Opened in 1906, the bookshop boasts a façade in Gothic style, distinct from the surrounding urban landscape. Inside, shelves and ceilings are copiously. The staircase is particularly remarkable, as well as the large stained glass window bearing the bookshop monogram with the motto "Decus in labore" (dignity at work, in Latin). In 2016, a careful restoration gave back the original look and brightness to the façade and the stained glass. Travel + Leisure magazine considered Livraria Lello as the coolest bookshop in the world; the television station CNN consider it to be the most beautiful on the planet; Time magazine, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, all recognized that Livraria Lello is one of the most beautiful in the world for its unique historical and artistic value.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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4.0
16,771 reviews
Excellent
6,770
Very good
4,794
Average
2,997
Poor
1,222
Terrible
989

Tony M
Cornwall, England296 contributions
Only place we queued in Porto
Sep 2021
The only place we had to queue during our Porto visit but was worth the wait. The cost to go in is 5 euros and must be paid via their website to obtain a voucher. If you get to the front of the queue and no voucher, you cannot enter as you cannot pay in cash at the door. I felt 5 euros was a bit much compared to the cost to enter all the other historic buildings in Porto but it is very impressive inside. If you buy a book you get the 5 euros deducted from the cost of the book. Not sure what it is like without covid restrictions, as there was just the right number of people during our visit to move around and take our photos. The queue was very long in the morning but when we visited in late afternoon still needed to wait around 30 minutes but not as bad as the morning.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alexander W
Bishops Stortford, UK558 contributions
Beautiful bookshop
Sep 2021 • Friends
Be prepared to queue to get in, and accept that there will also be plenty of people around you taking photos. When you’re inside there’s no rush, so it’s great to be able to take your time to admire the surroundings & possibly pick up a book to take home.
They have their own editions of some of the classics.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marg S
Portugal209 contributions
Beautiful
Sep 2021 • Solo
Four things you need to know:
1) it’s a beautiful bookstore and worth a visit for sure
2) it’s better if you buy your ticket online for the day/time you want and the online ticket is 5euros
3) expect some waiting time (30/40 min) depending on the day/time of the year it may be more or less…
4) if you like a book or you find a beautiful editon that you love, buy that book because they will make you a 5 euros discount (the price of your ticket)
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AlwaysOnTheGo53
San Francisco, CA170 contributions
Too Long of A Wait
Sep 2021
As someone who grew up reading and then watching Harry Potter, this was fun to see, but the wait to get into the book shop is not really worth it.
Written September 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen W
Charlottesville, VA112 contributions
Stepping into the world of Harry Potter
Sep 2021 • Couples
The stunning Art Nouveau 1906 bookstore is definitely worth a visit. There will be a line to get in. They have a website where you can buy a ticket for 5€ in advance or you can pay 6€ at the door . The fee becomes a discount on a purchase. The graceful carved ‘wood’ staircase is actually plaster. The exterior has recently been restored thanks to the funds raised with the entrance fee.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

S B
2 contributions
Tourist Trap
Sep 2021 • Couples
@livraria.lello worst experience in Porto, beautifull store but the worst selection of books for being a historical bookstore.

I saw books on the shelves that were handled with no care at all!

You have a museum going on about famous writers of Portugal well, if they saw the way you handle books in this monument they would turn around in their graves.

One big tourist trap and you know it!

2,5/10
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

The_eb1
Breda, The Netherlands225 contributions
Nice, but not worth it...
Sep 2021 • Couples
The bookstore is nice and I can imagine that people like it, but it's not worth 5 euros and waiting in the long line. To me it seems overrated and too crowded
Written September 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Milly G
6 contributions
Ripped Off
Sep 2021 • Solo
This should have been a wonderful experience - the shop was beautiful and the staff inside eager to share their passion to help you find the perfect book. Instead, the experience left me feeling angry and misled.

The shop is in high demand with a queuing system for entry. For a €5 ticket voucher (€6 if you haven’t booked) you can queue for ~45mins and have your ticket price discounted against any purchase made. There’s also a €15.90 book ticket voucher which offers priority entrance and a free book. The latter sounded like a good idea, especially as I was keen to get a book there so I opted for that one.

What wasn’t made clear until I was in the shop was that the more expensive ticket voucher was redeemable against a much smaller selection of books - all ex-copyright that I would normally see selling around €5-10. These were outrageously overpriced with a handful at the €15.90 ticket price and many priced higher, so I learned I’d have to pay an extra €5-10 above what I’d already paid for eg Oliver Twist or Anna Karenina and would have to pay full (inflated) price for anything more recent. I saw one book in the shop with a £5 RRP that had been marked up to €15.

I’d come into the shop hoping to use my ticket to buy something by Jose Saramego, and had a lovely conversation with a lady at the back helping me choose. It was so disappointing to learn that I wasn’t allowed to use my ticket for that purchase and I couldn’t justify what would have been over €30 to go into a shop and buy a paperback. The whole system felt set up to squeeze as much money out of you as possible.

Unfortunately the shop has become a victim of its own popularity. Rather than having a system that supports the regular use of the book shop by controlling numbers in the store, the system is instead clearly set up purely to as much money from each visitor as possible, in a way that completely undermines the original intention of spreading the joy of reading to the general public. Unfortunately most visitors won’t realise this until too late and with a constant queue of people coming they’re going to keep getting away with it :(
Written September 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

peter12
Herent, Belgium2 contributions
Online payment fails
Sep 2021 • Couples
A very long waiting time. Also the website makes is difficult to buy a ticket. Not a lot payment options and those that are available did nog work for us.
Written September 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SebastianDB
Dublin, Ireland824 contributions
The book store with the long Q
Sep 2021 • Friends
I cannot sah that the place is wow, in fact is not even worth go in and to pay 5 euro for that or 15 euro if you want to skip the Q.
Seen better book stores!
Overall, long Q and not worth it!
Written September 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Tue - Fri 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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