10 incredible bookstores around the world to put on your bucket list
Even though the web may be the fastest way to transfer information these days, the internet can’t replace a good bookshop. We don’t think we’ll ever get sick of hiding away in a shop lined with new books, passing the afternoon looking for our next great read.
That said, why not put a bookstore at the center of your next vacation plans?
Below, we’ve rounded up 10 shops that are worth booking a flight for.
1Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
J.K. Rowling herself may have been inspired by this bookstore to write the Harry Potter series. What more incentive do you need to see the dramatic red staircases and stained-glass windows?
2The Strand, New York, New York
You’re guaranteed to find something you love among the shop’s catalog of 2.5 million. The shop has plenty of new and used books, but the Rare Book Room attracts collectors seeking one-of-a-kind texts.
3Shakespeare and Co., Paris, France
Thanks to famous patrons Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, this modest Left Bank bookshop is a destination for bibliophiles the world over.
4Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Love animals as much as you love books? This kid-focused indie bookstore in Minnesota basically doubles as a ZOO, with chinchillas, rats, cats, doves, and a tarantula named Thomas Jefferson to visit with.
5El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
If it’s wow factor you’re looking for, the former theater and cinema retains all the opulent trimmings of its glamorous past lives.
6Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy
In this quaint shop, which calls itself “the most beautiful bookshop in the world,” you’ll find Italian and American classics stacked in old gondolas. Adorable.
7The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, California
Insta-worthy moments abound at California’s largest indie bookstore, housed in a former bank. The vinyl collection is also worth perusing during your visit.
8Librairie Avant-Garde, Nanjing, China
This unique 43,000-square-foot bookstore is built in an underground parking lot, which has also served as a bomb shelter.
9Cafebrería El Péndulo, Mexico City, Mexico
Enjoy a tasty breakfast and a live musical performance while you tuck into a novel at this café-meets-bookstore in Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood.
10Barter’s Books, Alnwick, England
This cozy British bookshop boasts cushy armchairs, crackling fires, and a model railroad — where else in the world would you rather curl up with a good book?