By: Grace Navarro

My three passions are traveling, photography and reading. So I have dedicated myself to hunting those famous and beautiful bookstores that are all over the world. I love discovering different spaces, full of warmth, bohemia and knowledge. And I always go out with a book in hand.

The Athenaeum, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Without a doubt one of my favorites, and one of the most famous. It was a theater, now a bookstore, the best thing is that they tried to preserve most of the original details such as the curtains, the railings, the dome and many details of the old decoration of the Grand Splendid Theater from 1919. It has been cataloged as one of the most beautiful by The Guardian and National Geographic.

Bookstore Dominicans, Maastricht, Países Bajos

This thirteenth century church was converted into a bookstore in 2006, I swear it is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen with its medieval windows and intact atrium. Corridors and stairs full of a vintage atmosphere, three floors of magic and charm. In the area where the choir used to sing, there is now a cafe where you can sit down for a while to read your books.

Cărturești Carousel, Bucharest, Romania

The Romanian bookstore with a Parisian touch, located in a 19th century building, houses more than 10,000 books on six floors, not only do you find books, there are also vinyls, DVDs and an art gallery. It has its cafe on the top floor with some delicious desserts. This bookstore in Bucharest has a touch of ´Belle Epoque´, not everything in Romania has to do with Vlad the impaler (the real Count Dracula) and this is the best.

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

It opened its doors in 1906, it is more than 100 years old and it has become very famous not only for its unique decoration, but the people who go to visit it is because JK Rowling was inspired by the stairs of this place to imagine the living stairs of Harry Potter (although she already denied it), I say that’s the least of it because this place takes you back to another era, it tells you about history and the city. (Here they charge five euros to enter).

The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, United States

Everyone comes to The last Bookstore to take their instagram photo, but it really is a very old and strange place, like in Jack’s Strange World (hahaha), it is an independent bookstore located where a bank used to be, it even has the original vault. It has a tunnel made of books, books arranged by colors and flying books on the ceiling. It is a huge bookstore to get lost or sit in its hidden places, in a dark and dusty little corner, like something out of a movie.

Verbatrim Books, San Diego, United States

I discovered this one by chance, but it has to be on the list because it seemed unique and rare, one of those hidden gems that should never be missing on your visit to San Diego. (Here they sell and buy used books, a plus for the place).

The Pendulum, Mexico City, Mexico

I could not miss one from Mexico, and I include it not because it is from here, it is on all the best lists (also in The Guardian), the wonderful thing about the Pendulum is that it is spacious, open and with trees inside, and let’s not forget that it was one of the first cafeterias in the world.

I never miss the opportunity to enter a bookstore when I travel, many tell stories about the destination, its community and give you knowledge and memories. I promise you will not regret it if you start with this beautiful custom that I share with you.

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