Let its scarlet spiral staircase impress you — Harry Potter knows about it!

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Lello e Irmao Bookshop

The world's prettiest bookshop.

Although its name may not ring any bells, for sure you’ll have come across its strange scarlet coloured spiral staircase before; it is a distinguishing feature of this attractive space which has appeared in such famous films as the Harry Potter sagas. Now do you remember? Whether the answer is yes or no, what is for certain is that you shouldn’t pass up the chance to visit what is deemed to be the most beautiful bookshop in Europe, and even for some, the most beautiful in the world. It’s extremely high shelving, containing thousands of books, form a dreamscape for any self-respecting literature lover. Its delightful façade, a mixture of neo-gothic and modern, is only a small foretaste of what is to be found inside. The natural light which filters through via a large glass dome which crowns the centre of the ceiling imbues the complex with a charming air of mystery. On the aforesaid dome is inscribed the motto “Decus in Labore”, which means “Pride in Work”. The Lello e Irmao bookshop was founded in 1869 and sells new and old copies in different languages and is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am till 7pm.It is no surprise that for many this is one of Porto’s best kept secrets.

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