Europe is flooded with charming cafes, adorable boutiques and pretty bookstores. From refurbished abandoned churches to cosy spots right off the Seine, there’s are loads of beautiful bookstores across the continent. Whether you are planning a trip to Europe after the Coronavirus or just curious, here are the most beautiful bookstores in Europe.
The Most Beautiful Bookstores in Europe
Widely considered the world’s most famous bookshop, Shakespeare & Co. is a quaint antique bookshop nestled in Paris’ 6th arrondissement. Opened in the early 1900s and owned by none other than George Whitman, this bookstore is truly a tribute to the literary greats of the world. It’s hosted some of the world’s most-loved writers from Hemingway to F Scott Fitzgerald.
Porto’s Livraria Lello is so beautiful that it inspired JK Rowling for the library at Hogwarts. With just one look at the beautiful scarlet staircase and neogothic style including a stained glass ceiling, it’s not hard to see why. In addition to being one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores, it’s also been around for over 100 years.
There simply is just not a more charming or beautiful bookstore than Italy’s Libreria Acqua Alta. This seemingly hidden treasure is right off the banks of the river meaning you can mull over a good read while seeing the gondolas go by. They offer a huge selection of new and used books but the most interesting quirk of Libreria Acqua Alta is its furniture. Old encyclopaedias, dictionaries and old-world textbooks have been repurposed.
Polare Maastricht is really more of a book palace than it is a book store. This 11th-century Dominican church turned bookstore is stunning with it’s towering frescoed ceilings and restored architecture. It even comes complete with a chic cafe where you can skim the daily newspaper with a coffee before wandering the bookshelves.
Located off Scotland’s epic North Coast 500 driving route, you’ll find Leakey’s Bookstore. Headed by a large stove in the centre that heats the place, it gives it a perfect toasty and cosy feel. Combine that with endless piles of books scattered around, and you’re in for a real treat.
Right in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town, you’ll find one of Europe’s most beautiful book stores – Cărturești Carusel. Elaborate architecture with spiral staircases and bone white interior spread across six floors make it visually stunning. At any given time they have over 10,000 books available in Romanian and English meaning you’ll never run out of reads to purchase.
Tucked away in one of Paris’ most beautiful areas off 45 Gallerie Vivienne, it’s really a hidden gem. Its gorgeous glass sealing fills the place with natural light, and the interior sings a song of the Belle Epoque. Founded in 1826, Librairie Jousseaume is also a historical institution home to over 40,000 antique, rare, used and new books.