Skip to main content.
Guides

Top 5 bookshops in Lisbon

Hotel search

Portugal has as a rich literary tradition born of its culture of maritime exploration and political struggles. Portuguese literature is also heavily influenced by the cultures of Brazil, Africa and various other regions where Portuguese explorers founded far flung colonies. This means there is a wealth of opportunity for visitors to Lisbon to explore Portuguese literatureas well as finding books in other languages in the various bookshops in the city.

1. Bertrand

 

Bertrand is the oldest bookshop in Lisbon, founded in 1732, and is among the most well known. Behind a picturesque façade of blue and white tiles is a wide selection of Portuguese writers and also many translations into English. Situated at Rua Garrett 73-75 in the heart of the Chiado, Bertrand has an enviable location that allows visitors to soak up the best of Portuguese literature in one of the areas most associated with it. Also available are guidebooks in a selection of languages and foreign magazines. For those with a proficiency in Portuguese the shop has a website that gives a good idea of what is available and has a contact feature allowing you to order books not currently held in stock.

2. Buchholz

 

Buchholz is located at 4, Rua Duque de Palmela, a short distance from the top of the Avenida da Liberdade. Originally founded by a German, this shop contains books on a very wide range of topics; visitors to Lisbon who are specialists in slightly obscure subjects should be able to find something on their field here. The areas of interest include most spheres of science, classical music, gay literature and new age books. Buchholz also carries narrow selections in a wide range of languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian, as well as English. Travellers wishing to purchase new audio books to listen to on long flights home will also find something to suit their tastes here.

3. Livraria Brittanic

 

At 83, Rua de Sao Marcel in the Bairro Alto, and opposite the British Institue, is Livraria Brittanic. This is the best place for English language books in Lisbon and carries a wide range of classic novels and popular fiction. If there is something you want that is not in stock the Brittanic will more than happily order it in for you and deliver it to your hotel once it has arrived. Staffed by friendly and helpful young people who are clearly enjoying their job this is a pleasant bookshop in which to simply browse and while away some time.

4. FNAC shops

 

For sheer breadth of choice the FNAC shops in the Armazéns do Chiado and Colombo shopping malls cannot be beaten. Travellers hoping to find a wide selection of books in their own language other than English are best advised to try these shops first. However, these are large chain stores present across Europe and so certainly lack most of the charm of other bookshops in the city. Their vast, soulless interiors stock music and technological gadgets as well as books. Locals use them for convenience and their lower prices due to economy of scale but travellers seeking a specifically Portuguese experience are advised to look elsewhere.

5. Feira doa Alfarrabistas market

 

Although not strictly a shop, the first Sunday of every month sees the Lisbon Feira doa Alfarrabistas market pitched at Oriente metro station, the last stop on the Linha Vermelha. Although in a slightly out of the way location, this is a great chance for visitors to explore a fascinating collection of second hand and vintage books. Serious bibliophiles might want to arrange their trip to coincide with the market to take advantage of the opportunity to discover some literary gems. Photo of bookshop by ButterflySha