Travel the World - A few most beautiful bookshops


There is not a day in my life when I wouldn’t read. From an early age, I would answer “reading” when asked for my hobby. Reading is not my hobby; it is as important to me as breathing and eating. I remember one afternoon in Australia. An English friend told me that her boss would visit bookshops on weekends for hours on end. I was waiting for the punchline of the story, but nothing. That was it, that was the story. She was confused and shocked that her boss voluntary visits bookshops in his pastime. That was probably the first time I heard that there was a person who wouldn't hang out at bookshops in her spare time. I told her I search for and visit bookshops when I travel. The silence between us. She tried to control the serious look of doubt on her face. If you are like her, please leave the article now, otherwise, you will end up utterly bored.

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Travel the World. A few most beautiful bookshops



Travel the World - A few most beautiful bookshops 


Books are like friends. I find non-readers highly suspicious. Why would one want to miss out on all these stories?

Taschen in Berlin, Germany


Five rooms in 300 square meters just a few steps from famous Kurfürstendamm. The bookshop is designed by Italian duo Stampanoni Bassi and Salvatore Licitra. There are blue-and-white Ponti tiles from the sixties and Ponti exhibition tables. Armchairs and bookshelves are by French architect Michel Roux-Spitz from the 1930s.

Taschen Store, Schlüterstraße 39, 10629 Berlin. Hours Monday to Saturday 11am to 7pm.

Book shelves, blue tiles on floor and table with books


Tiled blue and white floor, two blue armchairs in front of a large photo of two skyscrapers.



Dussmann in Berlin, Germany


Five floors full of books, audiobooks, music, films, and stationery. There are an English Bookshop and an International Bookshop. They sell books in eleven languages. The restaurant has got a hanging garden (Monday to Saturday from 9am to 9pm). Have breakfast, lunch afternoon tea, or early dinner. All is cooked from locally sourced ingredients. At the bookshop lives a 3500 years old sphinx. The Egyptian museum was so lovely to lend the sculpture to the shop.

Friedrichstraße 90, 10117 Berlin. Information: Dussmann, Friedrichstraße 90, 10117 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm, Saturday 9am to 11.30pm. This is fantastic, considering that most shops in Germany usually close at 8pm. Sunday closed.

Inner courtyard and staircases of a book department store.
Giant sculpture of a 3,500 year old sphinx in the hallway of a bookshop..


Hugendubel Frankfurt, Germany


Hugendubel opened its doors in 1893 in beautiful Munich. It is Germany's largest owner-run bookseller. The Frankfurt shop that looks like a lighthouse offers books on several levels. Readers are invited to stay as long as they want, and to read before they buy.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read "Unpacking Berlin’s Mysterious, Ubiquitous Tote Bag" in the New York Times. It was entertaining since pretty much everyone in Munich owns at least one of these cotton bags. I ask what followed the hype for the bag. The cashier at a shop in Munich laughs. "As a result of the article in the New York Times we had lots of fun for a few days." Buy the cotton bag when you visit.

Hugendubel. Steinweg 12, 60313 Frankfurt/Main. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 09.30am to 8pm, Thursday to Saturday 9.30am to 9pm.

Inner staircase of a bookshop with shelves full of books


Librería Ibañez in Bogota, Colombia


You are in La Candelaria, Bogota's downtown district. There is this small bookshop on the ground floor, which is specialized in legal books. On the second floor, there is a cafe, called Cafe Ibañez. The atmosphere is enticingly captivating. The coffee is of awesome quality (and so are the sweet treats on offer).

Information: Librería Ibañez. Calle 12 b # 7-12, Bogota, Colombia.

Old fashioned wooden brown armchairs and tables in front of three rows of photos

Abaco Libros y Café in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia


Books, books, books. You are surrounded by books in this little bookshop plus cafe. Order the coldest drink you can get (it is hot) and an espresso and enjoy the view of all these pretty books.

Information: Abaco Libros y Café. Calle de La Iglesia con Calle de La Mantilla, Cartagena, Colombia. Hours Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays
8am to 8pm.

An intimate room full of book shelves and books with a wooden table and two chairs

A vaulted entrance of a yellow painted house with two chatting gentleman sitting on the porch.


Jewish Bookshop in Krakow, Poland


A bookshop in a former synagogue. It offers a wide range of books related to Judaism, politics, and the holocaust. You can choose a CD with Klezmer music, to take home with you as a souvenir. On the second floor, there is an exhibition if you want to dig deeper. Books on offer are in Polish as well as in English.

Information: Jewish Bookshop, Józefa, 31-056 Kraków, Poland.

Bookshop in a vaulted hall with tables and bookshelves full of books.


Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France


Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, they have all been here. Have you ever queued to enter a bookshop? You can do it here; it is that popular.

The book shop welcomes writers to stay for a few nights. The only thing they must do in return is to read a book a day and write a one-page autobiography for the archives. “Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.” The, by now late owner of the shop, George Whitman, wrote that over one of the doorways in his book shop. There is also a resident cat, please leave her in peace, she needs to rest, a lot, since she reads so much at night.

Information: Shakespeare and Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France, Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 10pm, Sunday 12:30 to 8pm.

A green iron structure in the front of a green and yellow facade of a bookshop in Paris.


Bertrand in Lisbon, Portugal


The oldest bookshop in Lisbon and in the whole wide world opened its doors in 1732. What makes it so real and charming is the fact that the owners didn’t turn this shop into Disneyworld. The shop is just doing what a bookshop does, selling books.

Information: Livraria Bertrand, R. Garrett 73-75, 1200-203 Lisboa, Portugal. Hours Monday to Sunday 9am–10pm.

Tiled light blue facade of the oldest bookshop in the world.


Verbatim in Stellenbosch, South Africa


Verbatim comes closest to a little dream bookshop. Literally. It is intimate but gives you enough space to browse the great selection of books, be it fiction and non-fiction.

Information: Verbatim, 158 Dorp St, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa. Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Saturday 8am to 5pm. Sunday 10am to 2pm.

Bicycle with flower basket leaned on the white facade next to the open entrance door of a bookshop

More books? A few of these were bought at Verbatim. 48 books to read before you visit South Africa.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice in Italy


We all know that Venice has got its problems with flooding from mid-September to mid-April. Acqua Alta means high water as in ‘floods’ in Italian. Books at this quirky bookshop are stacked high on stilts and in gondolas and bathtubs. Books come in Italian and in English. There are not only books to discover but also many adorable stray cats to meet.

Information: Libreria Acqua Alta. Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy. Hours Monday to Sunday 9.15am to 7.45pm.

Courtyard with books stacked along the brick walls and open entrance door to a bookshop.


Academic Bookshop in Helsinki, Finland


The Academic Bookstore was founded in 1893. The building and its interior, designed by Finnish architect and furniture designer Alvar Aalto in 1962 was completed in 1969. On the second floor, there is Cafe Aalto. It celebrates the maestro who received his Diploma of Architecture, that started his stellar career, in Helsinki.

Information: Academic Bookshop, Keskuskatu 1, Pohjoisesplanadi 39, 00100 Helsinki, Finland. Hours Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 7pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm.

Two levels of books on shelves with an artistic skylight in the ceiling


From Berlin with love