Traveler's Test

Travel to buy a book from a legendary bookstore

Travel to buy a book from a legendary bookstore

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The challenge: make choosing your next book a very special experience by organizing a trip to one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world

Not every bookstore is just a bookstore. Some are legendary and deserve your very special attention. Here are a couple of ideas. In the meantime – find your own bookstore that goes with a special story.

Lello Bookstore, Porto, Portugal

Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal | Michał Huniewicz/Flickr

Situated in downtown Porto, this is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. Lello’s two levels are connected with a huge red winding stairway. The pillars are ornamented with bronze bas-reliefs of famous figures from Portuguese literature. It’s probably the most inspiring place to grab a book in Portugal.

Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore in Maastricht, the Netherlands

Selexyz Bookstore in Maastricht, Netherlands | Jorge Franganillo/Flickr

In 2007, the first bookstore in a church emerged in Maastricht, the Netherlands – Selexyz Dominicanen. The Gothic church, recently turned into a temple of books, was built in 1294. In 1794, Napoleons army took over the church as they decided it would be more godly to use it for military purposes. Since then it has been used as an archive, warehouse and parking lot for bikes before finally becoming a bookstore.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ateneo Bookstore, Argentina | Deensel/Flickr

It is situated in the building of the former Gran Splendid Theater holding 1050 seats. Its original architecture is completely preserved – the scenery, offices, the red curtain, the balconies and the boxes. Except that there are now bookshelves where there used to be audience seats.

Moscow House of Books, Moscow, Russia

Novy Arbat street and the immediate vicinity is an area famous for its bookstores. Located here is the Moscow House of Books (Dom Knigi) – the biggest bookstore in Russia with a history dating back half a century. Today they sell books, organize holidays, festivals and charity events.