Powell's City of Books
Powell's City of Books
5
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
The world's largest book store.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Pearl
How to get there
  • Union Station • 10 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Bekah D
    Saint Peters, Missouri57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must for book lovers
    A giant locally owned bookstore, what’s not to love! I could have spent hours looking at all the books. For sake of time I limited myself to the children’s section and the souvenir section. I only wish we had something like this closer to home.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 15, 2023
  • Sandy M
    Pennsylvania262 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow
    Book lovers dream! Four floors of books and miscellaneous items all displayed in a very organized fashion. Rooms are color coded as to genre and each isle has a sign displaying it's contents. You could spend hours here if you are a book lover. New books, used books, cafe, games and puzzles.....they have it all. Street parking only and you pay by phone app.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 22, 2023
  • valsetz
    Sparks, Georgia262 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Powell Books A Definite Must See While In Portland, Oregon
    This exciting place has numerous rooms chock full of books from floor to high ceilings of every kind imaginable! There is a coffee room where you can get coffee and sit and read for as long as you want to, and just relax and enjoy the day. There are Powell Books shirts to buy, sweatshirts or bags with cool sayings on them to purchase (I paid $20 for a book bag that said Portland with a map of the city on it , cloth) and there isn't any sales tax in Oregon either,, so the price listed is what you pay. As we were in Oregon on vacation from Nevada, my granddaughter and I bought souvenirs there such as stickers, patches, bags, shirts, we also got some really cool books to read while flying back to Nevada the next day. The great thing about this store is that it isn't like a book store at all. It is like nothing you have ever experienced, very diversified. The best room of all for myself was the travel room with every conceivable book on travel, maps, books on National Parks of the U.S. and spots to camp in at those parks, and everything else about travel one could want or need. Powell Books is a MUST SEE when in Portland if on vacation or just visiting this lovely city for the day.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Lfhhi
    27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Was dubious
    I was dubious. Go to the book store, they say. It’s a must-do while in Portland, they say. So I go. Man, I was blown away!! We actually started on the 3rd floor and worked our way down. So much to see and admire at each and every turn. I recommend you go see the Rare Books on the 3rd. They only allow 14 people at a time. Some noteworthy: signed books by Jane Goodall, Mickey Mantle, Amelia Earhart, Robert Frost and more! I loved the arts and crafts section on 3rd floor. The card and board games on 2 (?)… the novelty items … just so fun! Great place to browse, educate yourself, get gifts. We ended up staying 1.5 hours, but could have stayed more. It's a must-do when you’re in Portland.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 10, 2023
  • marbenPa
    136 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the great brick and mortar book stores still in existence
    We stopped by Powell books while walking around downtown. Given its size and scale, plan on spending at least 30 minutes walking around as it has a "maze-like" layout - they do provide maps. A must-see is the rare books room where you'll need a badge from the information desk to enter. There you'll see books as old as 500 years and famous volumes like Newton's Arithmetica
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 16, 2023
  • Scenic588295
    Austin, Texas9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great book store!
    If you love to be surrounded by books, this is the perfect spot. Rows and rows and rows of books!!! You could wonder around for hours. We went during a heat wave in Portland and the store was quite warm, but it was a Saturday afternoon and was crowded. They have a little cafe as well, which is fab!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 22, 2023
  • Daydream67646986455
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Powells
    We spent almost an entire day here. Very unlike me when I travel, but this was a leisurely trip. The child loves reading. And we lazed around here. We got coffee and cookies while there. Huge collection, huge store. Loved the cafe and ambience there.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 8, 2023
  • rspswrl
    51 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love Powells
    We visit Powell’s every time we are in Portland and usually leave with a bag full of books. Great variety, including some hard to find titles. Read a book, you won’t be sad that you did.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 10, 2023
  • Jamie S
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Magical Place of Books
    Powell's City of Books is truly a magical place and a must see for any book enthusiast and new comer to Portland. There are so many options and genres that you could easily get lost in the store for hours and come out with a bag full of books. The only disappointment was that we had to ultimately leave. If we are ever back in Portland, we will be sure to visit again.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 5, 2023
  • Laura H
    El Dorado Hills, California403 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Immense Bookstore
    Powell’s City of Books is an unbelievably huge bookstore. It’s in a multi story building that takes up a whole city block. It has every kind of book imaginable, including a rare book section. There is also a gift shop inside where you can buy art supplies and other interesting items besides books.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 26, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles5,423 reviews
Excellent
4,600
Very good
700
Average
103
Poor
11
Terrible
9

TravelingAmos
New Jersey699 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lela
Bloomington, MN39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wireless_in_CA
United States7,429 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
This was a quick stop while in Portland just to see how big this bookstore was. We cruised along the rows of bookcases from Couch to Burnside Streets which amazingly was the width of a city block. We could see why this was a popular attraction with quite a few people enjoying the atmosphere.

Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David N
Hawthorne, CA4,310 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C W
Manteca, CA122 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
AMAZING! I've wanted to visit here ever since I first heard of it. FINALLY made it, thanks in part to my son and daughter in law being in the hospital in Clackamas pre-grandson. (Born 2 days after our visit, early but safe and sound!) I spend most of my time in the children's section, purchasing books for my newest addition but I was amazed at how organized the store was and ever though it was a Sunday afternoon and slightly crowded, I didn't not feel claustrophobic. I could absolutely spend an entire day in this store. The authors' signatures on the support beam was a highlight.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FiftyFifty5050
Montgomery, UK862 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
We are visiting from the UK and, as a book lover, I couldn't leave Portland without going to Powell's City of Books.

Is it the World's largest bookstore? A Google search seems undecided but, whether it is or not, it is undisputedly huge and wonderful.

I came prepared, looking in my Amazon basket and making a list of books I would like to look for. To not do this may leave you wandering aimlessly and ending up with nothing because it is difficult to describe just how fast this place is.

You can pick up a map at any of the staffed desks, or from stands. A map. To find your way around a bookstore! Sounds crazy, but it is so necessary. Areas are colour coded and subjects listed alphabetically, match the two and follow the signs, it's a bit of a maze, that feeling exacerbated by the tall bookcases, but it is relatively simple and there are staffed desks dotted around, where the employees manning them are enthusiastic, friendly and happy to hep.

New and second-hand books are all stored together, so you search for an author and may find both categories, giving you a choice of prices; from what I saw, the quality of the second-hand books was good.

There is a cafe serving light meals, cookies, cakes etc (perhaps sandwiches, but we were there well after lunchtime), coffee, tea and soft drinks. Seating is relatively limited, but the cafe were serving coffee in takeaway cups and I did see some people drinking theirs whilst browsing the books, so not everyone at the counter is going to be taking a seat.

In the entrance hall, and dotted around the store, are areas selling jigsaws, games, Powell's merchandise, Portland souvenirs, postcards, greetings cards etc

With so many chains sprouting up and the tendency to buy books online, it it so good to have such a place to almost literally get lost in.

It really is an experience, but potentially an overwhelming one, so do go prepared.
Written April 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

smartymarty111
Alberta, Canada79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
I could spend a day here. The store takes up an entire city block, and sells new and used books, as well as stationary, board games and gift items.

There is something for everyone here.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aaron D
Vancouver, Canada9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Immerse yourself with a collection of information and stories in nine rooms, three floors and 3,500 sections. CNN calls it the coolest bookstore in the world and I have to concur. The staff is very helpful in giving directions to what you are seeking or suggesting books on sections your are interested in. I would highly recommed this place if you are visiting Portland.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WellTraveled3
Lexington, MA795 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Powell’s Bookstore is by far the best bookstore in the country, in my opinion, with the Strand Bookstore in New York City a close second.

Powell’s has thousands of used and new books in all categories, with new used book stock arriving and shelved daily.

Have found some real treasures here over the years in many categories. There is also a wonderful rare book room on the top floor.

The staff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. If they can’t find a title for you, it probably doesn’t exist!

Much more fun than shopping online on Amazon or AbeBooks if you like flipping through and checking out books before you buy them—a paradise for book lovers
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cedsmom
Norfolk, VA123 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Powell's City of Books - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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