Livraria Lello is well worth a visit – but the lines can get long. Find out how to skip the line here!
Livraria Lello is on most bloggers’ “must-visit” lists in Porto for good reason. Unfortunately, however, that means that this cute bookstore is mega-popular and lines can get many hours long.
I believe that vacation time is valuable and it is worth it to skip the line. If there’s an opportunity to save time, I will almost always take it.
Luckily, there is a way to skip the line at Livraria Lello. Read on to learn more!
Please note: this post may contain affiliate links. What that means is, if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, please see my Affiliate Disclosure.
What is Livraria Lello?
Livraria Lello, located in Porto, Portugal, is one of the most famous bookstores in the world. “Livraria” means “bookstore” in Portuguese, so the name literally translates to “Lello Bookstore”.
This bookstore is nearly 120 years old, having opened in 1906. Think of all the history this bookstore has seen!
Livraria Lello is super close to some iconic Porto sites, including the Clerigos Tower (Torre dos Clérigos) and the Imperial McDonalds. (Side note – the Imperial McDonalds is iconic, and is worth a visit, even if you are someone who adamantly avoids McDonalds when you’re traveling!)
How are Livraria Lello and Harry Potter connected?
By conspiracy theory only!
It’s true – you’ll see bloggers all over the internet claim that Livraria Lello inspired J.K. Rowling when she was dreaming up Hogwarts. It’s certainly easy to draw parallels, but J.K. Rowling said it herself – Livraria Lello has nothing to do with the Harry Potter series.
For instance, I never visited this bookshop in Oporto. Never even knew of its existence! It’s beautiful and I wish I *had* visited it, but it has nothing to do with Hogwarts! pic.twitter.com/f83rxBeeyY— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 21, 2020
How bad are lines at Livraria Lello?
I showed up something like 30 minutes before opening and I was at least the 50th person in line.
By time the bookstore was preparing to open, the line wrapped down the block and back around – and when I exited 30 minutes or so later, it was even longer.
It’s worth it to spend the money to get “Skip the Line” access at Livraria Lello.
How to get “skip-the-line” access at Livraria Lello
Now what you have been waiting for!
The only way to skip the long line at the world-famous Livraria Lello…. is to purchase the “Priority Ticket”!
The base ticket price is 5€ and the priority ticket is about 10€ more. You’ll notice that the ticket includes a book so the ticket price is the cost of whatever book you select. You can exchange your voucher once you’re inside for any book of your choice, just paying the difference.
Books are available in many languages and many genres. You can get just about any classic here – so if you want a lovely book as a souvenir, it’s a win-win!
Is Livraria Lello worth it?
I think so!
It was pretty and probably a little overhyped, but it is historic and absolutely stunning. I’m a bit of a bookworm, so I love bookstores and I’ve never been to a bookstore nearly as gorgeous as this one.
Side note, if you love books, I cannot recommend “Book of the Month” enough. Every month I get a book that pulls me in and immerses me completely. It’s worth it if you’ve been looking for some new books!
When you’re done visiting the shop, go up the hill just a little bit to enjoy some delicious pastries at Leitaria da Quinta do Paço. They sell some absolutely divine eclairs.