Breathtaking Bookstores for Literature Lovers Around the World

Cărturești Carusel, Romania
Cărturești Carusel, Romania. Photo by Ondrej Bocek on Unsplash

Whether you live in a particular country or are just passing through, there are certain experiences that are universally enjoyable, and one of our favorites is discovering a great bookstore. There are some bookstores that are so much more than just vendors of literature; they’re architectural marvels comparable to some of the world’s most magnificent churches and skyscrapers. If you consider yourself a bibliophile, read on to learn more about three beautiful bookstores that will ignite your imagination.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Argentina

This enchanting store in the heart of Buenos Aires is housed in a former theater still decorated with the ornate frescoes, velvet curtains, and golden balconies of its past life. Readers can immerse themselves in a novel or nonfiction work while sitting in the theater’s plush red seats to feel like they’re part of a literary performance.

Livraria Lello, Portugal

The Livrario Lello bookstore Porto, Portugal, is one of the oldest in the world and widely considered to be a neo-gothic masterpiece. The shop boasts a striking spiral staircase that ascends to meet an stained glass ceiling and intricately carved wooden shelves carrying books of all genres. Author J.K. Rowling has even shared that drew inspiration for the Harry Potter series from Livraria Lello while living in Porto.

Cărturești Carusel, Romania

Cărturești Carusel is a cozy, yet whimsical bookstore in the center of Bucharest, Romania. The shop is a treasure trove of books, gifts, and art set in a historic 19th-century building. On the top level, visitors can dive into their favorite books while enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea in a small cafe.