Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore)

#10 in Best Things To Do in Porto
Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore) picture
Ângela Antunes/Flickr

Key Info

Rua das Carmelitas 144

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

A bookstore may not seem like one of the most necessary things to see in a new city, but when it's consistently named one of the world's most beautiful, it's worth a look. Situated among the cafes and shops along Rua das Carmelitas in downtown Porto, Livraria Lello easily stands out with its chalk white, neo-gothic facade featuring intricate carvings and two painted ladies (representing science and art). Step inside and you'll be even more impressed. The bookstore's interior is adorned with rich wooden paneling and colorful stained glass windows, and boasts a regal ruby red staircase. As for the books, you can peruse an assortment of Portuguese fiction and non-fiction works, as well as a selection of books in English and French.

Travelers are often impressed by Livraria Lello's allure and say visitors should take a peek inside. Most visitors commend the charming atmosphere and exceptional artistry evident in the Livraria Lello's architecture, but also warn that photos are not allowed. You can purchase professional photos on site for around €5 EUR (about $7 USD), or stay awhile to grab a coffee, take in this bookstore's beauty and commit the image to memory.

Livraria Lello can be accessed via the Aliados or São Bento metro stops on the D (yellow) line. The bookstore, which is free to visit, welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; on Saturdays, doors close at 7 p.m.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Dom Luís I Bridge

This iconic arching iron bridge straddles the Douro River, connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Though Porto is known for having quite a few bridges, the Dom Luís I Bridge is especially renowned because it was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the mastermind behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Plus, at the time of its completion in 1886, this bridge was the longest iron arch in the world. The bridge accommodates cars on its lower level and Porto's metro on its upper level; pedestrians can walk along the bridge on both levels. Stroll along the upper deck of the bridge and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the edifices built into the hillside cliffs that line the river.

Admiring the bridge's composition and the views it offers is something all visitors to Porto must do, according to recent travelers. "This bridge has got to be one of the most amazing pieces of architecture," swooned one TripAdvisor user. "Be sure to walk both top and bottom levels if you can, views are excellent!" A visit here would pair well with a stop at some of Porto's nearby wineries across the bridge in Vila Nova de Gaia. Another option would be to hop on a Douro River cruise or boat tour, which would allow you to see all six bridges in one go.

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