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7 Best Bookstores In The World

Stumbling upon a gem of a bookstore is a bibliophile’s dream come true. Stumbling upon a gem of a bookstore in a brand new city is downright euphoric. From legendary destinations to tucked away treasures, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best book shops in the world.

Polare Maastricht, Maastricht, Holland
Housed in a renovated (and impeccably preserved) Medieval Dominican cathedral, Polare Maastricht is the ideal destination for those who truly revere books. Vaulted ceilings, stunning frescoes, and shelves upon shelves of books make this spot a truly unforgettable stop on any book lover’s travel itinerary.

Shakespeare & CompanyParis, France
Any bibliophile worth their salt has at least heard of Shakespeare & Company. Situated just steps from the Notre Dame Cathedral, this was the local of choice for the likes of Hemingway, Pound, and Joyce so you know that it’s legit. In addition to selling really great books, this crowded, cozy space plays host to regular literary evenings and frequently hosts writers who can camp out on one of the shop’s beds for a spell.

Libreria Acqua AltaVenice, Italy
For those who eschew the minimalist movement, Libreria Acqua Alta will feel like paradise found. A warren of rooms containing stacks upon stacks of books (some piled into bathtubs or gondolas) makes for the ultimate treasure hunting experience. As an added bonus, there is a rotating cast of cats who like to hang out in the shop, trying to get a couple of pats from literary loving visitors.

Livraria Lello e IrmaoPorto, Portugal
If walking into Livraria Lello brings upon flashes of deja vu, don’t worry. You probably recognize some of it from scenes in the Harry Potter movies. From the intricately designed ceilings to the breathtaking staircases, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve stepped onto a film set when browsing though books in this gem of a shop.

Cook & BookBrussels, Belgium
While the combination of book shop and cafe is nothing new, Cook & Book has managed to take it to the next level by offering the most amazing experience complete with whimsical spaces (think Airstream trailers, glass-enclosde model railways, and grass carpeting) and a ceiling dotted with over 800 books. Each section of the store features its own flavour, making it the ideal place to while away the afternoon. As an added bonus, the onsite restaurants are nothing short of wonderful and provide an excellent spot for a mid-read refuelling session.

American Book CenterAmsterdam, Netherlands
Don’t let the simple name of this shop fool you, within its walls is a veritable treasure trove of literary wonder. Wall to wall shelving (some supported by trees), stacks of books just begging to be read, and gorgeous touches like exposed brick and modern staircases come together to make ABC an absolute must-see.

Cafebreria El PenduloMexico City, Mexico
The combination of airy, open spaces, greenery, winding staircases and a fabulous selection of books creates the ideal atmosphere for browsing, reading, or just hanging out. The onsite cafe serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as some pretty delicious coffee and a constant rotation of live poetry, music, and stand up comedy events makes it all the much harder to leave.


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