Harry Potter’s library? Is that really true and a real thing? Well yes – the rumor says that the author of the Harry Potter books used to live in Porto and that there is a lot of similarities between the Livraria Lello bookstore and the library in the books and movies. Join us on this trip to a magical but oh-so-touristic place.
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Harry Potter’s library is in Porto
This bookstore is something that you have never seen before. But oh wait… you might have seen it before – like the library at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movie. And it is more than impressive. It is amazing for being a bookstore and it is truly “over the top”. And don’t think for a second that you will be alone here because then you will be gravely disappointed.
The Livraria Lello bookstore in Porto is super crowded. So many people want to visit this place that you are likely to stand in line for a while before you can enter. All you people that “hate touristy places” be aware that this is not the place for you. This is not a small shop hidden away from the touristy paths. No this is a well-known place and also a well-visited place!
Getting a ticket to the bookstore
This is one thing that made me react (and not in a positive way). There is a guard at the door to Harry Potter’s Library and it is not just for you to enter. First, you need to buy a ticket for five euros. You can buy the ticket online and then you show it at the door. I don’t like the fact that they charge you five euros to enter. Sure, if you end up buying something in the store – you just show them your ticket and you get the five euros discount. But at the same time isn’t five euros quite a lot to enter a store?
I can understand that they want to have some sort of entrance fee but I do feel that five euros are a bit too much. And the bookstore is more expensive (my opinion and not based on facts) than your regular bookstore. The only thing I could compare with were the Lonely Planet travel guides and there were a few dollars added to the price tags. One of my closest friends loves Harry Potter and I found a notebook that I wanted to buy for her. 35 dollars for a notebook is a bit much so I ended up leaving it there.
Enter a magical world at Harry Potter’s Library in Porto
My favorite at this place were the white “heads” that they had glued to the back of some of the books. But the whole place is incredible and jaw-dropping. If you start to really inspect the place, as I did – you might notice some “plastic fantastic” amongst the wooden details. Nothing major, but there is room for improvement if they want the real “Harry Potter experience”.
Come to think of one thing. If this bookstore wasn’t known as Harry Potter’s Library, would it still be well visited? I believe so but not in the same way. I do believe that the power of Instagram would have made people flock here since it is a truly unique bookstore. There is a reason why this place is crowned “the world’s most beautiful bookstore”. It opened its doors for the first time in 1906.
Livraria Lello revisited 2022
Our first visit to the Harry Potter library was in 2017. In 2022, we had a dear friend visiting us in Portugal and we ended up going back to the book store since she is a huge Harry Potter fan. So what has changed over the years? First, they have changed the way you get your ticket for the better. Before, you had to go next door to get your ticket. Now, you can easily get it online.
Inside, it looks almost the same as before. My favorite part with the heads glued to the books is now behind glass. But otherwise, it looks just as awesome as it did before. Now, they also have their own books that they publish from famous authors, and these miniature books might be the world’s cutest books! It’s still a fact that this bookstore is super cool and a must to see while in Porto.
Information about Livraria Lello:
Address: Rua Carmelitas 144, Vitória, Porto 4050-161, Portugal.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 09:30 – 19:00.
You can buy your tickets online at their website.
For more awesome things to see in Porto city center.
- Armazem – The coolest store ever!
- Just around the corner you can play an escape game at Porto exit Games
- Bridge climb in Porto – get a bird’s-eye view
- Bolsa Palace – Palacio da Bolsa is hiding a surprise (This is also something you just have too see when visiting Porto)