Heading to the local bookshop may not be everyone’s dream day out, even the most dedicated of young academics find this a chore at times but Porto’s most popular bookstore has changed this for students across the city.
In our latest feature here at Collegiate, we take a look at one of Porto’s best loved shops and the story behind just why it is so magical. As you are about to find out, the city’s best loved bookstores transforms what can sometimes be a rather droll affair, into one of the most magical days out one can enjoy anywhere in Portugal.
As we all know, book stores are an essential aspect of student life and a trip there can often be a laborious and expensive exercise. However, students in Porto are blessed to have an ever popular bookstore which is useful but also one of the best attractions in the city.
Livario Lello or Lello & Irmão as it is lovingly referred to by locals, is just that. Regarded by many to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world, Lello & Irmão is not just a bookstore but also a vast library and is characterised by its neo-gothic façade which was painted by the famous artist José Bielman. Once you enter this fantastic building you are greeted by yet more stunning art, in the shape of its interior, lovingly created by Xavier Esteves. If you aren’t aware of the works of these famous artists, then a few years studying in Portugal will surely rectify that.
Inspiration for Harry Potter?
The truly marvellous stairways, wooden walls and interior décor in this book store are so unique in fact, that the fairly well accepted rumour is that none other than J.K. Rowling based some of her Harry Potter locations and characters on the very premises. The writer lived in Porto for 10 years in the 1990’s and often drank coffee on the second floor of the shop, there are indeed many similarities between the general interior and the staircase and those you can read about in the classic series.
Something else which could well have inspired J.K. Rowling and in particular the Harry Potter novels, is the uniform worn by students in the city of Porto. The iconic black suits and coats are often seen milling around Porto and Lello & Irmão in particular, as students peruse the great array of literature available. Porto University is located just a short walk from the book store, which adds to the incredible, academic atmosphere you will always find in Lello & Irmão.
Things you should know about Lello & Irmão
If you are already studying in the city of Porto and wondering what to do this weekend as a student on the pursuit of academia, then a trip to Lello & Irmão is absolutely perfect. Enjoying a drink in this popular bookstore’s coffee shop whilst getting started on some brand new literature is a joy to behold and being able to do this in one of the world’s most beautiful and popular bookstores is a joy to behold. There are a few things we recommend you bear in mind however, in order to make the most out of your trip to São Nicolau e Vitória.
Firstly, be respectful when it comes to photography. The book store owners have become increasingly frustrated with tourists simply entering the store to take pictures and then disappearing.
This can be distracting for those actually reading at Lello & Irmão and just isn’t good etiquette. As students, we are sure you will be interested in reading some books there and taking advantage of the facilities that exist, but be sure to bear in mind the hard work that has gone into maintaining such a wonderful building over the years.
You can even buy some stunning postcards for a fairly nominal fee, which you can send to your loved ones and show off about being able to study in such a world famous book store.
Luxury student accommodation in Porto
If you are currently studying in Porto, or perhaps you are looking to attend the University of Porto during the next academic year, then why not take a look at some of the stunning luxury student accommodation we have available in the city? We have stunning residences across Portugal in the cities of Coimbra, Lisbon and Porto and you can take a good look at what we have available in our various properties right here at the site.
If you have any questions about our luxury student accommodation in Porto, then why not give us a call on +351 213 500 070?