Did I Step into a Harry Potter Novel at Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal?

Walking into Livraria Lello Was Like Stepping into a Harry Potter Novel, Porto, Portugal
Walking into Livraria Lello Was Like Stepping into a Harry Potter Novel, Porto, Portugal
Walking into Livraria Lello Was Like Stepping into a Harry Potter Novel, Porto, Portugal

A couple of weeks have passed and I’m still scratching my head in wonder. Did I step into a Harry Potter novel when I walked into Livraria Lello & Irmão located in Porto, Portugal?

Livraria Lello - Amazing, right???
Livraria Lello – Amazing, right???

Walking into the 1906 neo-gothic building, I was greeted with a bucket of Art Deco whimsy with the twisting, crimson staircase leading up to the mezzanine. I immediately wanted to look up at tower of books lining the walls and the vibrant stained-glass skylight. The ceiling, although it looks like wood, is carved plaster with beautiful, lace-like patterns.

Can you picture Harry Potter in this bookshop? I can!
Can you picture Harry Potter in this bookshop? I can!

If I believe what the Viking River Cruises guide told me, then yes, I did step into a Harry Potter novel. According to the guide, J.K. Rowling spent time in Porto, Portugal while writing about Harry Potter and specifically spent time in Livraria Lello & Irmão, also called Livraria Lello.

Livraria Lello, in Porto, Portugal is the most beautiful bookshop I've seen.
Livraria Lello, in Porto, Portugal is the most beautiful bookshop I’ve seen.

The guide also told me this has been called one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world and I’m not going to argue with that. If you go, at the time of this blog post, admission is €3 but if you make a purchase, you have a €3 credit. Purchase tickets from a red, cloud looking kiosk across from the bookshop then proceed to the store.

Ticket Booth for Livraria Lello
Ticket Booth for Livraria Lello

I almost didn’t visit the bookshop and glad I did. I also lucked out in that there wasn’t a line to enter. When you find yourself in Porto, please, jump into the whimsy of Livraria Lello.

Livraria Lello
Rua das Carmelitas, 144
4050-161 Porto
Portugal
Tel.: (+ 351) 22 200 20 37

Be sure to check out my video about Livraria Lello. If the video below doesn’t play, view it on YouTube.

The trip to Porto was part of the Viking Cruises Portugal’s River of Gold itinerary on the Douro River. View additional photos from the trip on my Flickr stream.

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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