A classic case of over tourist-acized, but even choked full of tourists - it is hard to overlook the beautiful bones and the care and love with which the space is till maintained. From the intricate wood carvings that cover all exposed surfaces, to the blown glass bookshelf panes polished crystal clear, Lello is hard to not love. The architectural design flows like water. The word on the street is that J. K. Rowling was a regular customer at some point and used Lello as an inspiration for Hogwarts. Despite the crowd I walked around for half an hour and got lost in the volumes and volumes of books in store. In the end, I walked out with Heart of Darkness with thoughts of Anthony Bourdain clouding my head. He talked about this book constantly during the Congo episode of Parts Unknown. So sad that he had to go, I will miss him forever.
I have always felt safe and satisfied amongst books, and same was true at Lello, although I did wish that for 10 seconds I could make all the shuffle disappear and experience it as it was in 1869 when it was first established.
Entrance is 5 Euros which you can put toward any book of your choice, not to be missed!
Livraria Lello, Porto
R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal