Powell's City of Books

Powell's City of Books, Portland: Hours, Address, Powell's City of Books Reviews: 5/5

Powell's City of Books
5
Speciality & Gift Shops
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9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
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The world's largest book store.
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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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5.0
5,380 reviews
Excellent
4,565
Very good
693
Average
102
Poor
11
Terrible
9

travelbug20072012
Palo Alto, CA18 contributions
Back in the early 2000s, Powells was the Amazon alternative. One place you could find books your local bookseller simply wouldn't have.

Their paths diverged, Amazon became the behemoth it is today, and Powells is still just one bookstore, albeit an entire city block!

But what a place! I could get lost here for days. Their anime/manga section alone is bigger than most dedicated anime bookshops, so that gives you a sense of scale.

Only wish they could discount prices a bit, this is unfortunately the reality that drove other booksellers out of business in the face of Amazon's ruthless price wars.

I think Powell's should build a hotel on top and allow guests to take books up to their room, pay for what they like when they check out...
Written October 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelingAmos
New Jersey462 contributions
While the outside signage looks a little old and run down, the store is much more attractive on the inside than I guessed. They conveniently break it up into different colored rooms so that you do not get lost so easily. It is also helpful if you visit more than once so that you can remember where you've been. I went twice during a five-day stay and could probably have come every day. I came with family the first time and on my own the second time so that I could take as long as I wanted. No matter what kind of reader you are, the store is so large and extensive that you are bound to find a book or two that you must have.
Written September 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

coffeeplease2017
San Diego, CA75 contributions
I love this place and will make a point to go every time I am in Portland. It has the biggest selection of books of every kind. You will find what you want and many things you did not even know existed. They also have a great selection of gifts and greeting cards. You can pay a small fee to have what you buy shipped home to allow you to buy as much as you want. Get a year's worth of gifting done all in one stop. Visit the cafe to get the energy to be able to see more of the store. It will take several trips to see the whole store.
Written May 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cedsmom
Norfolk, VA129 contributions
Couples
We visited here on our last trip to Portland and loved it. This time we only stayed about 30 minutes because shockingly they no longer offer a public restroom for customers. We were directed to the Whole foods two blocks away. Once we got to whole foods they required a code on your whole foods purchase receipt to gain access to the restroom, so we had to wait in line there. If you really need to go you will be in trouble. Staff person came across rude and not helpful. It seems a store of this size would give you access to a restroom and encourage you to stay around and shop some more. Very disappointed.
Written May 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sue B
Pittsburgh, PA24 contributions
I was there for 3 hours and only explored 2 rooms; could have spent an entire weekend browsing the shelves and displays of this 3 floor bulding that takes up an entire city block; the store has a map, and it's very helpful.

I'd ordered out-of-print books from Powell's in the past, and I love that gently used books are shelved right alongside shiny new copies of the same title. Some antique and otherwise valuable tomes are in locked cases, but the very friendly sales staff will pull those out for you. Most aisles have chairs or benches where you sit and flip through a book or decide which of the many basket items you're going to take to the long check-out counter. Each section of the store is staffed by knowledgable, passionate readers who are more than willing to answer questions or search for particular titles.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

651MichelleJA
Southaven, MS121 contributions
The outside is unassuming, and inside is a wonderland of books arranged in numerous different rooms by categories. It was quite overwhelming, and I could have spent all day browsing. There's a rare books section too, that we entered with a special pass and enjoyed a quiet, climate controlled look at some unique historical pieces. It's worth visiting!
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Trav_LN_now
Crystal Lake, IL545 contributions
Wow. Only have seen this many books in a library. This store takes up an older building on an entire city block. The fifth floor was closed while we were there, but al other sections were open. Sections are color coded, which is somewhat helpful, but overall this place is overwhelming. I was tempted to indulge my inner reader, but had to remember that I had to fly home and had limited suitcase space, LOL!
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ben F
Bloomington, IN1,257 contributions
Solo
A fantasy—but a very real one! Upon entering Powell’s for my first time when visiting PDX, I was taken aback at its sheer size. Shelves of books occupy something like 4 floors in the building, separated by either genre or format (some items included small toys, souvenirs, etc.). It was exhausting browsing all their collections, but it was insanely satisfying. This is undoubtedly a real fantasy for all people, bookworms or not.

Wheelchair accessibility is great, staff are always eager to help find a certain title, and the vibe is just amazing. I didn’t buy anything that time, but next time...chances are pretty high! For tourists and locals alike, Powell’s Books is a non-negotiable destination to experience in Portland.
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David N
Hawthorne, CA420 contributions
I read quite a few books and buy even more than I read, so it was fun to visit a large bookstore of this size. Two of my focus areas are Cold War History and German Language Learning and Powell's had a good, but not great, selection of new and used books in these areas. Since I am fairly familiar with these areas, it was easy to recognize the books that were missing. We are spoiled having access to so many booksellers online.

Nevertheless, it was nostalgic to be able to walk down an aisle and browse through the available books. If you enjoy reading, it is well worth a visit to this "city of books" while you are in Portland. The staff is quite helpful and the checkout is very efficient.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lela
Bloomington, MN40 contributions
Friends
This is the biggest bookstore I've ever been to. Highly organized and clean. Check out the rare books room. You need a pass to get in but it really is just something to limit how many people are in there. I asked to see their highest priced books and asked why they were that valuable. Very friendly and didn't think I was weird for asking. I mean, it is what you are thinking so why not just ask about it, right?
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Powell's City of Books

Powell's City of Books is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
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