Lonely Planet and The Guardian considered Lello bookshop the third most beautiful bookshop in the world and it sure deserves to be on that list!
I don't mind visiting bookshops when I am out, not only traveling but in my own city too. There's something magical when you enter a bookshop or a library. I guess it's a feeling that all the wisdom in the world is on the pages of those books right in front of you.
Lello & Irmão (Lello&Brother) has been open since 1906 and much thought was put into it, from books to architeture. The fact that it has been an inspiration for acclaimed authors like J.K.Rowling is no secret and I would dare to say that many travelers put this bookshop on their travel bucket list because of that.
There is a € 3 entrance fee that is fully discounted if you purchase a book, plus you get a map of the bookshop with some curiosities. It gets around 4,000 visitors a day from around the world, and lines can be long at any time of year, though inside Lello it is never crowded.
It sells around 5,000 books per week!
On the top shelves behind closed glass doors there are rare books and first editions. You feel you are being transported to another era just by looking at them and imagining all the acclaimed authors who have their first editions in there! A feeling that maybe only booklovers will understand and share. By the way, every single person who enters Lello smiles! It's amazing to see. Of course I know this because this happened to me, so I started looking at people as they entered to see if I was the only one.
If architecture is also your thing, the red stairs are a big deal, and again an inspiration for the Harry Potter stories. If you are able to get a picture of you at the stairs without no one else photobombing it, consider yourself a lucky booklover.
In July of this year, 2016, the bookshop was under restoration for 4 months to receive its original façade color and clean stained glass ceiling to celebrate its 110 years. It was and still is stunning!
With its anniversary, Lello Bookshop was chosen to be the host for the worldwide book release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I took this picture about one hour before the release, and all the fans, visitors and travelers were there in front of the small two-story bookshop just waiting for Lello to open its doors again, after the 4 month period. The excitement was so strong that it felt like it was opening for the very first time.
Lello bookshop definitely deserves a visit. From booklovers to tourists I guarantee everybody will have fun browsing (and maybe buying) books, having a cup of coffee, buying a souvenir or just feeling closer to Harry Potter.