Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello, Porto: Hours, Address, Livraria Lello Reviews: 4/5

Livraria Lello
4
Speciality & Gift Shops • Points of Interest & Landmarks
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9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 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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3,039
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littlemissbutler
maynooth99 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
The shop is beautiful. But the queues, paying for tickets using a frustrating website and small selection of expensive English language books put me off.
Written 4 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

comax.l
Hong Kong, China16 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
When you first arrive the place, you’ll see a massive amount of people queuing to get in.

While you think you’ve booked in advance with a time slot blocked means they’ve controlled the amount of people get in, you’re wrong. There’s no crowd control at all and they’ll keep getting people in no matter you’ve booked your time slot in advance or just walk in.

I don’t understand why this is being rated as 4 stars. My experience is definitely less than one star and will only affect your overall experience in Porto.

There are many very nice places in Porto and don’t waste your time to come here as this is the worst place to visit.
Written 3 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jane L
Evanston, IL238 contributions
May 2022
Okay, I get the bad reviews--but I am glad I paid the fee and visited this utterly charming bookstore. While I have never paid to enter a shop before, in this day and age there is a first for everything. I bought the 15 euro ticket online and was admitted immediately. My fee allowed me to choose a book from a table with five or six selections of volumes from the store's imprint. Once you get away from the staircase, it's easier to browse and enjoy the store. There was no line to pay for a book bag upstairs. I can't blame everyone milling around taking photographs--it's really a unique and special place. So, I'd rather spend the 15 euro and get a book somewhere authentic and historic than spend a fortune on Disneyworld attractions. If you feel the same, be sure to visit.
Written 3 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steam Age Dude
Finland19 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
Those who have heard the reputation of the Lello, surely want to see for themselves what it is all about. The photos in the web give off an attmosphere of a store of a grand scale.
Sure, it may have been large in 19th century. Nowadays, it’s nothing but average.

It is still pretty though, don’t get me wrong, but with the overcrowded mass of selfie enthusiasts, which you continually need to dodge, you’ll likely mostly see backbags and smartphones.

The selection itself makes little sense for a tourist attraction, where 95% of the books are in portugese. Why would non-Portugese tourist buy a book they can’t read? There are prettier souvenirs available on just about every block downtown. We paid 31,80€ for two tickets which enabled us to skip the line and buy a pocket size literary classic, which we didn’t for we felt we had already overpaid when it comes to delivery. In less than 5 minutes we had seen all we could.

If not for the helpful and service-minded staff, I ’d have given a 1 star only.
Written 3 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John A
Chattanooga, TN10 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
What a absolute scam. They sell 100’s of more tickets a day than the facility can handle. Showed up for “our time slot” and found 2 massive lines with over 100 people in each. We were not the only ones that said this is BS and just walked off waiting our money.
Written 1 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christina M
Toronto, Canada19 contributions
May 2022 • Friends
It’s beautiful inside, and you can get some beautiful commemorative books to remember your visit. It’s worth it if you love bookstores! We had to wait maybe 30 mins to get in- but if you book your tickets online, they let us skip.
Written 29 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Viktoria K
Viana do Castelo, Portugal19 contributions
May 2022
Livraria Lello was a complete disappointment and I don't really recommend visiting it. It's so horribly overcrowded, the waiting time is huge even if you've bought tickets (we waited around 45 minutes though we had purchased tickets prior). And the store itself is tiny - there are SO many people there you can barely move around or even look at the books at all. It will feel pretty claustrophobic and there's no chance to actually admire the architecture. Plus, the book selection is small. Last but not least, Livraria Lello did NOT inspire J.K. Rowling - she said herself that she has never visited Livraria Lello and didn't even know this shop existed, so it has nothing to do with Harry Potter books. This store is just a waste of time and money, not worth it.
Written 29 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

john
Montreal, Canada16 contributions
May 2022
its a gorgeous place? yes!
its impossible to have a good experience in this place when they have that worst than sardines in a can, a waste of your money you can barely walk or breath.

the managers must change this...
Written 28 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

nicola-louise93
Harleston, UK264 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
Visited after seeing the beautiful pictures of Lello online and thought wow! Don’t bother, as it’s so crowded you can barely breathe let alone see anything to appreciate how beautiful the building actually is.

Lots of pushing and shoving and don’t even try to get a picture as there is no point unless you visit when the place is totally empty which I’m not sure ever happens! Not worth the entry price.

Maybe if they limited tickets or people allowed in at one time it would work, but sadly turning a profit has turned this beautiful bookstore into a sweaty crowded tourist trap.

None of the other places of interest in the city were this packed with so many people all at once - also not really ideal coming out of Covid 19.
Written 28 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Annabeljulie
Worcester, UK20 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
Waste of time. Bought ticket in advance & that queue is longer than if you hadn’t bought your ticket. Mass of people outside, poor organisation to access the bookshop. Look at the photos, don’t waste your time.
Written 27 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello is open:
  • Sun - Sat 09:00 - 19:00
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