Porto Library (Lello Library) + Photos

One of the best places to visit as part of your Porto itinerary is the Porto Library. Also known as the Lello Library among the tourists or Livraria Lello e Irmão to the local Portuguese.

Or if you are a Harry Potter fan then you will love the Lello Library for its association with the original Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone book.

Livraria Lello e Irmao (Lello Library)

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Porto Library

Porto library is considered one of the most beautiful libraries in Europe. Lello’s was built in 1906, decorated with ornamental ceilings, a breathtaking glass ceiling that lets the natural sunlight in. Floor to ceiling wood shelves and majestic stairs that transport you from the first to the second floor of the shop.

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, this is the place to be! Not only because you get the tails in the library (in many languages) but because it’s rumoured that the author, J.K. Rowling got inspiration to write the first series from Lello’s Library’s own shop.

This Portuguese Library is easily reached, either by public transportation or just walking, and easily located (there are always big queues outside).

And don’t be fooled by the outside of the library because it is truly a beauty inside and well worth a visit.

Lello Library is extremely popular, so my advice is to go book your slot in advance online and choose one of the earlier times. I bought the Ticket-Voucher Livro (Ticket-Voucher Book), which costs 15,90€ or 16,90€ (depends on which ticket you purchase).

Meet Mariana

Mariana is a Portuguese Expat living in Yorkshire. She made the move from Porto in Northern Portugal to England when she married Jack in early 2023.  On a visit back to Porto  to visit family she spent 2 days exploring all the tourist hotspots of Porto including many hidden gems for the readers of Trip Meets Travel.

Where Is Porto Lello Library?

Porto Lello Library aka Livraria Lello is located at Rua das Carmelitas, 144. If you are not familiar with Porto then it’s a five minute walk upwards from the Clerigos Tower and about a 2-3 minute walk from the Carmo Church.

But don’t worry, you’ll easily be able to spot it by the big queues on the outside.

Are There English Books In Livraria Lello?

Yes, there are English books at Livraria Lello. Lello Library carries all its books in many dialects. From Portuguese, of course, as well as English, Spanish, German and many, many others.

You’ll be able to get any book you want, including some lovely Portuguese classics, in your own language.

How Long Is The Queue For Livraria Lello?

We visited Porto Library Lello as our first stop during a 2 day itinerary in Porto. For us we waited around 5 to 10 minutes. If you look through the pictures we have shared, you can see the queue level for when we visited. 

The way the queuing system works is when you get your tickets, you book a time slot. When you get to the library, you’ll queue in the according line for the time slot booked.

Well, the Portuguese (like us Brits) hate to queue so if you don’t want to queue for long or perhaps have a tight schedule for you day you might want to look into booking the earliest slot available. Or if you have read our Jorvik Viking Centre visit in York you will have noticed how we visited at the end of the day to avoid the queues.

We booked for the 9am slot and were in the library for about 1 hour, so when making your plans take this in account.

lello library queue
This is the queue we saw when we were outside waiting to go inside the Lello Library.

More interestingly is the queuing law in Portugal. If you are pregnant, elderly or have any disabled issues you do get to jump the queue.

How Much Does It Cost To Go To The Lello Library?

I mentioned above that the Lello Library offers a ticket voucher, and you can get a ticket for 15,90€ or 16,90€ depending on which ticket you bought, or a basic ticket which costs 5€ and will put you in a general queue.

This must be confusing if you have not been to Lello before and are basically different levels of ticket just like when you stay in a hotel you can upgrade.

There’s a choice of four different Ticket-Voucher Books (sort of like premium tickets) – Romeo and Juliet, The Art of War, Los Lusiadas and The Jungle Book. This Ticket allows you priority entrance and the value of the ticket goes towards the purchase of the book listed on your chosen Ticket-Voucher. 

So, when you book your ticket, you’ll choose the time slot as well. So again, keep in mind that if you choose to go for the general ticket, you might be stuck in a queue for hours on end.

I advise spending the 15-16€ and getting yourself a ticket with your favourite book to take home and getting in at the time your ticket is booked for.

So, when you get to the library, don’t be scared by the long queues, just join the one that has your time slot and once the time arrives you’ll get in the Lello Library.

Is It Worth Going To The Livraria Lello?

Yes, we loved our visit to the Livraria Lello and highly recommend it as one of the best things to do on your visit to Porto. Its also not an all day thing, therefore you can fit it in with your other attractions, such as visiting the Igreja do Carmo, Clérigos Tower, or The Chapel of Souls. Or read our 2 day things to do in Porto itinerary for more ideas.

But of course, a beautiful photo tells the truth story and here are 5 Lello Library photos I took and have handpicked to really prove that going to Livraria is so worth it!

lello library beautiful ceiling
This is a photo of the beautiful ornated ceilings you will see right as you walk in the library. Pause for a moment and take a picture of the beautiful ceiling.
2nd floor ceiling at lello library
The skylight of the second floor’s ceiling, the art on the glass is just a sight and the light that it lets in the Lello Library sets just the right mood.
the stairs at lello library
The infamous stair that J.K. Rowling is rumoured to have taken inspiration to write Harry Potter from in this very library.
1st floor at lello library
This was a photo we took from the second floor where you can see how the first floor is displayed – the entrance of the Library and top to ceiling bookshelves.
2nd floor view at lello library
This was a photo we took from the second floor where you can see how the first floor is displayed – the entrance of the Library and top to ceiling bookshelves.

Harry Potter Lello Library

The Lello Library in Porto is often referred to as the Harry Potter Lello Library and is another of those places that gets mentioned whenever people talk about the first Harry Potter movie.

That is because it is rumoured that JK Rowling wrote the first couple of chapters of the Philospher’s Stone whilst she was living in Porto and visiting the library each day.

There are of course many Harry Potter books in the library.

Why Did JK Rowling Live In Porto?

Sadly, after the death of her mum Anne, JK Rowling moved to Porto in 1991 and taught English classes, got married, had a little girl and then she wrote the first few chapters of Harry Potter and the Philiospher’s Stone.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, its up here of the best places to visit with The Shambles in York and Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando.

Our Visit To Lello

Once we had queued and showed our ticket it was time to head inside the Porto library and to show you that it is so worth all the hype it gets.

My first thought as I walked through the library was of how incredibly beautiful it was, followed by the thought of how silly I was for having lived there my whole life and not having gone in there once until now.

It’s truly hard to concentrate on one thing at a time, because every time you move your eyes you see something that just blows you away.

You can’t help but take notice of the ceilings, which are beautifully decorated in gold coloured ornaments, placed to create a beautiful and unique pattern.

The floor to ceiling bookshelves decorates the walls. With any book imaginable in many different dialects. So don’t worry, if you don’t speak Portuguese, you’ll be able to find your preferred book in your language. There are also tables decorating the floor with various books on it.

As you walk further into the Porto Library, you’ll be able to see and walk up the stairs that take you to the second floor.

The stairs are like the ceilings, beautifully ornate. Built in a single direction and split into two as you make your way up.

The second floor is very similar to the first one in the way it’s displayed. But instead of the gold ornaments, the ceiling is decorated with a glass skylight. On top of being a very lovely view it lets light in which sets just the right mood.

The only downside that I can say about the experience is that it gets very busy. You won’t be able to get pictures without having two handfuls of strangers in them, and of course you have to wait for people to get through to be able to go up and down the stairs.

close up bookshelves at lello library
Here is a closer look of the shelves and ceilings of the Lello Library. So wrong that I haven’t been here before to admire this beautiful architecture.

Where To Stay In Porto

Porto has some brilliant places to stay especially for being close to all the major attractions. You also have something for every budget with cheap, mid-range and pure city centre comfort.

I have included below three amazing choices all with great reviews and perfect for city break to Porto.

Luxury Porto: InterContinental Porto Hotel is a five-star hotel in the city of Porto. Located in the Historic Centre region, its architecture bleeds right in with surrounding buildings. The rooms are beautifully decorated and will offer all the comfort you’re looking for. The hotel also offers an indoor sauna that you can take advantage of, as well as massages and body treatments – Click here for more details including loads of photos, reviews and more about the facilities.

InterContinental Porto Hotel

City Moderate: The Eurostars Porto Douro Hotel is a four star Hotel in Porto City if you’re looking for a solid mid-range. Located in the Old Town region, makes it perfect for you to explore the historic part of the city while getting a beautiful view of the Douro River right from your window –  Click here for photos, more info and to read the glowing reviews.

The Eurostars Porto Douro Hotel

City Budget: If you’re looking for a more budget friendly hotel then Moov Hotel Porto Centro Hotel will be a great option for you. The hotel offers multiple affordable rooms, and its location makes it easy to explore the Porto city centre, without breaking the bank – You can find out more here about this Porto budget hotel and just check out the photos, it is amazing.

Porto Library Lello Review

We loved our visit to the Lello Library in Porto. Going to the Library was probably one of my favourite places to visit. Not just because I’m a big nerd and book reader, but the beauty of the beauty of the place speaks for itself.

The staff is also very lovely and helpful, they’ll show you where the book you want is. Or help you if you have any other issues. They can speak different languages as well, so if you do have a question or worry don’t be shy to ask or enquiry.

After visiting the Lello Library I definitely wish I had taken the opportunity of living in Porto to have visited it before.

I think in the future, and when we visit the city again, we will revisit.

Lello Library Visitor Information

  • Where is Lello Library In Porto Portugal? The Lello Library known in Portugal as Livraria Lello e Irmão is about a 2-3 minute walk from Clerigos Tower and the Carmo Church (which you’ll be able to spot by just looking at your surroundings).
  • Lello Library Address. If you are using Google Maps or something similar to direct you then the address for the library is Rua das Carmelitas, 144.
  • Does Porto have parking? If you require to take a car or transportation there are a few local parking spots available, just be aware that most charge an hourly rate. If you’re using public transport, we recommend the metro Aliados, line D, the tram Carmo, line 22 or the bus lines 6, 20, 35, 37, 52 and 78. Though do note that Porto library is easily accessible from several parts of the city, so if you can we advise you to walk there and to other sights.
  • Lello Library prices? The price for entry into Lello is a fee of 5 euros which gets you in a general queue. There are available other tickets, which have the cost of 15-16 euros but will give you a time slot for entrance – see above, for our full information about pricing.
  • Does Lello Library have toilets? Lello Library does not have toilets. Though if you do want or need to use the toilet, there are nearby places that will let you use their facilities, but be aware that you might have to consume something in order to be able to.
  • When is the Lello Library open? The library has simple opening times that are easy to remember. It is every day, from 10:00 to 19:30.
  • Can you just turn up at the library? Yes, you can but the queues are big and you will regret not booking in advance when you get there and see how busy it is. Plus, you don’t want to risk it hitting capacity and having to come back later.
  • What else can you visit in Porto that is nearby? What is loved by many (well apart from the great food and culture) is that Porto is a smaller city, and you have a lot of different places within walking distance of each other. We recommend you read our things to do in Porto and if you want a quick idea note that nearby you have the Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos (86 m), Praça  da Liberdade (281 m), Estação  São Bento (359 m), Catedral  da  do Porto (496 m), or the Igreja  São Lourenço dos  Grilos (498 m). All these places are under 500 metres away from the Lello Library!

Pin Visiting Lello Library Porto For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your porto visit then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

our visit to lello

you should plan a visit to lello library
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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