Here Are The Most Beautiful Bookstores On The Planet

By Leah Freeman-Haskin


Bookstores may feel like things of the past, but in these locations around the world, they are alive and thriving, merging architecture, design, and literature for unforgettable experiences.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The location of this bookstore has taken on many personalities during its century-long existence. Once a performing arts theater, then a cinema, and now a bookstore, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the most beautiful venues in the world. Its frescoed ceilings, ornate theater boxes, elegant rounded balconies, detailed trimmings, and plush red stage curtains are almost as fascinating as its robust variety of books.

Galio | Wiki Commons

RELATED: 13 Feminist Bookstores Around The World

Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy

The self-proclaimed “most beautiful bookstore in the world”, Libreria Acqua Alta is a magical place where books are stored in bathtubs, boats, and even full-sized gondolas to prevent damage from the frequent flooding of the canals. The name itself even means “Book Store of High Water”. 

The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store. The name was chosen with irony, but seems more appropriate as we continue to see the daily decline of physical bookstores. In addition to over 250,000 new and used books on two floors, the space includes tens of thousands of vinyl records and graphic novels, a huge mezzanine level that includes the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore, Gather Yarn Shop, and the Spring Arts Collective gallery shops.

Photo via lastbookstorela.com

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

Since 1906 Livraria Lello has been home to thousands of books within an architectural marvel. With colorful facades, stained glass, and a majestic ceiling, this space is as much a museum as it is a bookstore. 

RELATED: 11 Most Instagrammable Places in Los Angeles

Book and Bed, Tokyo, Japan

Half-hostel, half-bookstore, Book and Bed is a readers paradise. Imagine sleeping in a bookshelf surrounded by thousands of books. Though the books aren’t for sale, the idea behind this concept is that the best sleep often comes after (or while) reading a great book. 

Photo via bookandbedtokyo.com
Travel Noire

Leah Freeman-Haskin

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Best South American Cities For Black Singles

Best South American Cities For Black Singles

Instagram would have us to be believe that taking a “baecation” is the only way to travel at times. However, traveling as a single person can be just as fun. If you are heading to South America and want to know where the single folks mingle, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of […]

DeAnna Taylor

Six Underrated Cities To Visit In 2019

Six Underrated Cities To Visit In 2019

One thing was made clear by tourism officials and travel agencies alike this past year: people are traveling more than ever before. More people traveling is good news for local economies but it also means popular destinations are becoming overcrowded. The spike in tourism in some places have resulted in local officials to either restrict […]

Parker Diakite

Error Fare: Multiple Cities To Buenos Aires As Low As $242 Round-Trip

Error Fare: Multiple Cities To Buenos Aires As Low As $242 Round-Trip

The experts at Travel Pirates have found an apparent error fare with flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina from San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. for as low as $242. The fare is still available now, but it likely won’t last long. If Buenos Aires isn’t on your travel bucket list, it should be. The city […]

Nadia-Elysse Harris