Many things may vary from city to city, but one thing is for sure: you can always count on bookshops to be treasure troves of knowledge and entertainment. Cherished both as a place to buy reading materials and as a comfy, calm, and coffee-friendly space to relax, the bookstore has become an integral part of modern life. It’s no wonder architects have paid close attention to the potential of these scholastic sanctuaries. Some of the best bookstores offer unique experiences, just upon entering.
Though the sites carry like merchandise, their styles and histories are drastically dissimilar. Some of the shops have taken up residence in refurbished spaces like a spectacular old theatre and even a 13th century Gothic church. Other stores’ designs are completely contemporary, featuring futuristic architecture, bright color palettes, and creative, built-in lounges. Still, some simply put a creative twist on the classic and cozy bookshop aesthetic.
Virtually visit (and curl up in) some of the world’s coolest and most beloved bookstores below.
Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal
Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Kid’s Republic in Beijing, China
Selexyz Dominicanen Maastricht in Maastrict, Holland
Shakespeare & Company in Paris, France
9 3/4 Bookstore and Café in Medellín, Colombia
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy
El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Book and Bed Kyoto in Kyoto, Japan
Cafebrería El Péndulo in Mexico City, Mexico
Cook and Book in Brussels, Belgium
The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, California
Rizzoli Bookstore in New York City, New York
Book and Bed Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan
Assouline at the Bauer Hotel in Venice, Italy
Le Bal des Ardents in Lyon, France
Brattle Bookshop in Boston, Massachusetts