When I visited Porto with my family last year we went to Livraria Lello and it was one of my favourite parts of the trip! Before we arrived in Portugal it was on our ‘to do list’ as we had seen pictures online and had been told it was a ‘must go spot’.
The entrance/ticket office to the library was separate from the library itself, and once tickets were purchased you had to queue in line. The queue lasted around half an hour but there were lots of food and drinks places really close by that did take-away refreshments. The library itself wasn’t very big but it was beautiful both inside and out!
The first thing that I noticed when walking though the entrance were the amazing stairs that sat in the centre of the building. The library itself was rumoured to have inspired J.K Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts, I could certainly see how the architecture (in particular the stairs) would be a form of inspiration! Personally, I thought that the stairs were reminiscent of the moving dormitory stairs in Hogwarts!
The upstairs of the library housed artefacts from the Harry Potter series and were really interesting to view (although they were encased with glass for obvious reasons). There were many different types of books on offer, as expected in a library, and the ticket used to enter could be redeemed against the price of a book. Certain texts (some classics and poetry anthologies) were beautifully presented, with gold edged paper and detailed illustrations. I bought three of these as souvenirs from my trip!
I would definitely suggest a visit here if you ever find yourself near Porto! It’s a must-do trip for literature enthusiasts and lovers of the Harry Potter franchise alike!