Livraria Lello
Livraria Lello
4
Speciality & Gift Shops • Points of Interest & Landmarks
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9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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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.
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< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
17,349 reviews
Excellent
6,907
Very good
4,886
Average
3,102
Poor
1,306
Terrible
1,148

Nicole S
Boston, MA36 contributions
Sep 2022
If you know what you're getting into, this place is fantastic and beautiful. Buying tickets ahead of time is a must and I recommend buying tickets for as early as possible. As stated in other reviews, even though you buy a ticket for a specific time, you could actually end up spending a good amount of that time in line. Our ticket was for 9 AM and we arrived at 8:45 AM. We were in the store by 9:10 AM. They pack as many people into this store as humanly possible (definitely a fire violation is this was states), so browsing can be difficult but not impossible. People stop and take pictures everywhere, so also be prepared to just stand still multiple times. There are plenty of books in English and we spent about 30 minutes in the store.
Written November 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Witold
Jelenia Gora, Poland21 contributions
Jan 2023
It was rainy evening and it was a good advice we took to book online in advance on the set time, otherwise waiting in the rain in a long line would not suit us. The interior was crowded anyway and taking selfie with the famous staircase of Lello was rather a complex task. Selection of books in several languages enabled us to purchase 3 titles and by the way redeem our tickets at Euro 5 each against the price of books purchased. Unforgetable experience despite the crowd..
Written January 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for your visit and comment.
Written January 17, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

WanderingOttersons
Denver, CO964 contributions
Sep 2021
A piece of history and amazing architecture that is truly a gem. Just the experience of wandering around a bit was great but also experiencing the history of a place as well. Don't expect to get any cool photos with nobody in them - this place is packed from the moment it opens. And if you did not know, you have to buy tickets to get in and wait in line as well. Tickets are easy to purchase on-line and became a necessity with the huge popularity of this place as is the entry control to limit the number of people inside. We showed up with our pre-purchased tickets about 45 minutes before opening and were about 100th in line and the line quickly grew well beyond that. Once inside, it is wonderful but if you aren't that much into reading or architecture then this may not be the way you want to spend a couple of hours in Porto.
Written December 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rachael C
2 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
We are Harry Pottor fans and even though we understood that JK Rowling has never been to this book shop and was not inspired here, we still decided to go. We booked our tickets online and headed down. I paid €10 for two adults and just purchased the free tickets for the children.
There was a long line when we arrived, so I decided to check what we had to do with a member of staff. It was 11.30 and our tickets were for 12.30. I was told to line up, we did this. Another member of staff checked our tickets while we were waiting and then told us to leave as we were far to early, he said return at 12.20.
We returned at 12.20 and the line was so much longer, it contained alot of confused visitors, not knowing where they should be, especially as the staff member had now created two lines (different time slots). There was one member as staff controlling the line, as the line was so
confusing visitors were asking for help, the staff member seemed very rude with his responds each time.
I understand it must of been difficult for this staff member, but maybe a better system could be used making it clearer, after all you have now made your book shop a tourist attraction, so please have a sectioned of queue line in operation with proper signage telling visitors what to do.
While waiting in the queue, I find out that my free child tickets are only valid for children under 3, so now have to spend another €10 to get my 10 and 8 year old in. This seems quite epensive for the children, but at this point, I'm thinking atleast we get the money off a book.
The line is long, but generally moved quite quick, we got in at 1pm.
Inside is very beautiful to look at, but also very crowded.
Over two floors they had a very small section of English books. These books were very limited in variety and very over priced.
We had a look around and took the classic photos and then decided we were all ready to go after about 10 minutes.
As the books were so expensive and lacking in choice, we decided to get a photographic book of Portugal for the family, rather than each picking a book - (this is what we thought we were going to do before seeing the lack of book).
I queued up with my €20 ticket voucher ready for the refund. Slightly confused at this point as I had read somewhere that it's better to book separate tickets, as they only refund when purchased separately.
So I had to purchased the children separately, so I'm thinking I'm either going to get €10 off my book or the full €20 - also read that the €5 ticket price would be refended on the purchase of a book.
I get to the till and the lady says they only remove one €5 ticket.
I leave the book, as I have already spent €20 to see a beautiful, over priced, let's con tourist out of there money, lack of choice bookshop. I was not willing to spend the extra €15 on an overpriced book, just so I could get €5 back.
Overall this was a massive con, fair play to the marketing team, to sell this bookshop as a Harry Pottor inspiration and charge visitors to come and see it, they must be making a massive profit each day with the expensive entry fee and overpriced books.
Written August 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zhanna A
Hod Hasharon, Israel68 contributions
Oct 2022
It is completely legitimate to sell the internal design but if you charge people for just entering the shop , you must preserve the decent conditions. The administration does tot activate the air conditioning ( although it is installed ). We were advised to buy tickets in advance for the specific time slot but those who were in the line entered at the same time and the place was extremely crowded.
It is impossible to enjoy the interior design and the books.
Greediness is a sin.
Do not support it.
Written October 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SnappleSpice
New York City, NY494 contributions
Aug 2022
Is it beautiful? Yes. Will you be able to enjoy it among the crowds? Probably not.

This place was not high on my list of things to see in Porto, so I did not come prepared. When I showed up in the morning the line was already massive and tickets were sold out until the afternoon (and you have to buy them online). I spent the day out and then realized I might still be able to get in before closing, so I went online and paid the 5 euros to get in at 6pm (they close at 7). I still had to wait on the line and when I got inside (about 20 minutes later, about 10 minutes past 6) the crowd was overwhelming. I had to step to the side to even process what I was seeing, and trying to walk up the stairs was nerve wracking because they are narrow and people swarm all over them. There aren't specific sides for people to walk up/down, so everyone is just squeezed in wherever there is space.

I did end up purchasing a book published for this location, as you get 5 euros off the price of your book (the price you pay for a ticket), but of course I had to wait on a massive line for that as well. In the end, I was glad to escape out the front doors and away from the heat of being packed in with tons of people.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

C J
London, UK5 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
A disorganised mess, with no coordination between staff members who all give contradictory instructions. We purchased tickets for the 10:30 timeslot and were told we could go wander around until then, and that we would not have to stand in the long queue for people who bought their tickets online. Upon returning at 10:30, we were told by a different staff member to go stand in the long queue. By 10:45 we were no closer to entering at all, and would not have been close for another 10 minutes. Given that we also have other commitments, we had to leave. Upon requesting a change in timeslots, we were obviously told it was not possible. A rjp-off. This is extremely deceitful and exploitative behaviour, as we were obviously misguided. If they cannot abide by the given timselots, we should be entitled to a refund or at least be given the possibily to change timeslots. A money grab, do not waste your time - there are enough photos online that you do not really need to bother.
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The Hoglet
Durham, UK89 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
An awful experience that shows how greed can destroy what could be a nice place to go.

Having booked online for the first slot of the day we expected that the queue would not be huge and numbers inside would be controlled so that customers could enjoy the old bookshop. Nope, the greed of the owners for money means that they cram as many as they can to get the most money possible and create an awful claustrophobic hole of a place. A true shame.

With all the money they are taking off people to get in you would expect some robust queue management but again no, there were lots of people trying to push in causing confrontation and stress to those that had queued early.

Seriously not worth it.
Written September 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peter R
Bexleyheath, UK288 contributions
Aug 2022
If you are an avid Harry Potter follower, I fully understand the need to visit this place. If you are not, do not bother.

Having booked online paying five euros each for a 11am visit, I was puzzled when I arrived 10 minutes early to see a queue about 50 meters long. It would appear that each booking is for probably a few hundred persons. We eventually entered the shop at 11.20. This isn't a tour. Its a small shop selling a small amount of books. It was packed with people all taking pictures and aside from the quirky staircase and the wooden panelling shelves, this is a shop, not an attraction. The owners are making a bundle of money charging an entry cost. If I wanted to actually buy a book, I would go elsewhere.
Written August 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

I ❤️Europe
United Kingdom117 contributions
Apr 2022
I was debating whether or not to visit Livraria Lello after seeing mixed reviews online and didn’t fancy queuing for hours. I was walking past at 8:50am on a Sunday and saw the queue was not too long so decide to queue. Whist in the queue I noticed if you purchase a ticket online you can move to a fast track queue. I purchased my ticket online however after inserting my payment details the website timed out. So I tried a second time and purchased my ticket. Then I noticed I had been charged for when the website was timed out!

The doors opened at 9:30am it was very slow to get in and there was no orderly queue so people were pushing. Once in I was not impressed, it’s nothing special inside. The bookshop quickly filled up and it’s very small inside so difficult to move around the crowds.

I informed a staff member about being charged twice and told to email for a refund.

Spent about 15mins looking around.

Having been to a lot of famous tourist attractions around Europe, this is the worst place I have visited!

Not worth the admission price. Plus the ticket says you can get €5 off any purchase within the store but everything is overpriced to start with.
Written April 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Livraria Lello (Porto) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Livraria Lello is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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