April is a remarkable month for many reasons: it brings us good weather at last (yes, spring starts in March, but that doesn’t really feel like spring, does it?), it brings us Easter (weather we’re religious or not, we all feel thankful for the holidays!)… and it also brings us World Book Day, an international event that all book lovers cherish.


And when exactly is World Book Day? Well, the UNESCO set the date on the 23rd of April for several reasons. First of all, it is the anniversary of the death of two of the greatest authors of world’s literature, Spanish Miguel de Cervantes and English William Shakespeare. The attention on the 23rd of April was called thanks to another tradition, Catalonia’s Sant Jordi (which you can read about in this article).


To celebrate World Book Day, we’d like to take you on a tour around the best book shops in Europe, so you can pin down the best places for your next trips. Don’t miss out on the following list!

Best book shops in Europe: The south

You will find the following book shops in the Mediterranean countries. Besides being amazing, the weather here will be great in World Book Day… So take good note of them!

  • Libreria Acqua Alta: This absolutely stunning book shop has lots of interconnected rooms full of books. Like a book labyrinth where all book lovers would love to get lost! Besides thousands of wonderful volumes, the owner has four cats that are keen on wandering around the shop. Cats and books: can we ask for more?
  • Livreria Lello & Irmao: This book shop located in Porto, Portugal, is one of the most beautiful in the list. And you have probably seen it already, without being aware of it, as it’s been the location of several scenes of the Harry Potter series. You’re not likely to forget its stunning wooden staircase.
  • Librería Bardón: A trip to another time, and with no need of a Delorean – the smell of old books will be more than enough! The Librería Bardón in Madrid opened in 1947 and counts with more than 50 thousand books, although not all of them are displayed to the public. We’re sure that Miguel de Cervantes would have loved it!
  • Atlantis Books: The Greek islands are much more than party, even if that’s an important part of their tourism. This beautiful book shop looks like a literature sanctuary.
  • The Bookàbar bookshop: And now for something completely different: The Bookàbar in Rome, that is, the official book store of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni of the capital of Italy. There you will find a ton of volumes specialised in art, architecture and design.
Best book shops in Europe - Gowithoh

Best book shops in Europe: Centre and north

Of course, over the Pyrenees and the Alps book lovers can find other paradises where to spend their time and their money. Take good note of the following to complete your list of the best book shops in Europe!

  • Shakespeare & Co: It’s not the first time we mention this wonderful Parisian book store here at  Gowithoh vacation rental, as it is so amazing. Some of the book shops in this list are impressive due to their architecture as well as their books, but in the case of Shakespeare & Co, the beauty of the books is more than enough. Volumes pile up in shelves and hallways, so you can spend hours and hours digging up gems!
Best book shops Europe - Gowithoh
  • Daunt Books Marylebone: Beautifully decorated and with an old-fashioned air, home of thousands of books, and specialised in travel books. We’re talking about London’s Daunt Books, considered to be the best travel book store in the world – although, of course, you can find gems of any other genre.
  • Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen: Also named Polare Maastrich, this wonderful book shop is definitely one of a kind, and a must-visit even for those who aren’t so keen on books. Located in an 800-year-old Dominican Gothic Church, its famous both for the uniqueness of the location and for its breath-taking beauty. It sure makes the trip to Maastrich worth it!
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  • Words on the water: Yes, the land of Shakespeare has two spots on our list of the best book shops in Europe, and this is a travelling one! It moves between Camden and Paddington, depending in the cultural event. You can pick up a book of your choice, sit on the grass and enjoy the atmosphere. It may not be the best stocked book shop, but it’s one of the most relaxing!
  • American Book Center: Have you ever seen a tree inside a book shop? You can cross that off your list if you visit this wonderful place located in Amsterdam.


Of course, those are not the only great book shops that you can find in the Old Continent: Every major city has its literary hotspots, also in other countries in the worlds. We couldn’t include them in the list due to geographical reasons, but you should add Buenos Aires’ Ateneo Grand Splendid and Mexico City’s El Péndulo to yours.


Are you ready to visit the best book shops in Europe? Which other would you add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments to celebrate World Book Day – we’re book lovers too!

At GowithOh, we are an enthusiastic team of self-confessed Europhiles who are passionate about travel. We especially love the variety of city breaks possible in Europe, from the historic UNESCO heritage cities like Prague, to the more cosmopolitan beachside destinations like Barcelona. We love discovering the hidden gems in different cities and sharing them with our fans so everyone can benefit and enjoy the perfect city break in Europe.