There is two advantages to live in a hilly city: Strong legs and nice viewpoints (miradouro in portuguese). Going up and down the 7 hills in Lisboa is definitely the main sport around here and once you are in the top you have the reward of a nice view of the whole city of a part of it.
Almost all the miradouros has a bar/cafe where you can drink a portuguese bica (expresso) or a imperial (beer). We don’t know about you but for us is just a perfect spot to read. The view increase the feeling of being a little person in this big world and that helps to empower the emotions of the book you are reading.
There is several bookstores in Lisbon but we selected some that we like very much.
1 – Bertrand
Bertrand Chiado was considered by the Guinness Book in 2011, the oldest bookstore in the world still in operation. Appearing in 1732, the store is located in Rua Garrett in Chiado and has several rooms for readers and visitors to read. By operating for soo long time, the bookstore was scenario of many important passages in the history of the city. It is must for those who pass by Chiado!
Adress Rua Garrett, 73-75
2 – Ler Devagar
This independent bookstore was founded in 1999 in Lisbon, at Travessa St. Bonaventure (Bairro Alto). Moved later to the complex Lx Factory, in Alcantara. Besides a full of books space (which is already included in the list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world), Ler Devagar (Read Slowly) hosts a regular program of cultural activities (launches, exhibitions, theater, music).
This is a large space, united by a grand staircase and filled with antique printing machines, it has 2 bars, sculptures such as the famous flying bicycle, and thousands of books distributed all over its walls and nooks. Here you can have a coffee, read a book, be with friends, taste the flavor of the words, and perhaps even be inspired by the atmosphere and become one of the many hundreds of members who contribute to this space.
Adress 1300, R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300 Lisboa (inside Lx Factory)
3 – Livraria Simão
Imagine 3.000 books being sold in a 3.8 square meters shop. The library in the stairs of São Cristóvão, located in the popular Baixa, is considered the world’s smallest bookshop.
“I do not know if it’s smaller site in the world that sells books, but in terms of supply, quality and customer treatment I can say that this is a bookstore with all the respect and quality of a big one” said the shop owner, Simão Carneiro.
Nearly a decade ago, Carneiro, 41, was living surrounded by thousands of books (which he claims to know all the titles) written in languages such as Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and English, and even as far away languages like Mandarin and Japanese .
Antonio Machado, Haruki Murakami, António Lobo Antunes and Fernando Pessoa are some of the authors who make up the varied catalog of novels, poetry books, history and art, among other styles, which he sells in its narrow bookstore.
The stairways of Sao Cristovao unite the center of the Portuguese capital to the Castelo de São Jorge, which from the top of a hill offers an amazing view of the city. Every day, thousands of tourists go up the stairs decorated with colorful graffiti that give access to the castle, and these become potential customers of Simão Carneiro. Actually we recommend read one of the books in the café up the stairs. There is always someone playing some music and a Fado mural makes it even more “lisboeta” experience.
Adress Escadinhas de S. Cristóvão 18 Telem. 914 597 419 / 961 031 304
By Alex Araujo