J.K. Rowling, the author of the infamous Harry Potter book series and movies, once taught English in Porto and frequented the Livrario Lello, a bookstore in the town that goes back to the 1800s. She loved this bookstore so much that it’s been said it is one of her inspirations for Harry Potter. And you can certainly see the influences, from the stained glass ceiling above, the circular staircase that is in the center of the bookshop, to the old and classic facade. Once Harry Potter took off, the bookstore could not handle all of the tourists that came to visit, so it started to charge a small fee for entrance that visitors could use towards any book purchase. In a day and age when more and more bookstores are going out of business, this actually is a really good business model. People will come for the Harry Potter inspiration, and while they’re at it, why not buy a book and use the credit they paid to get in towards it?
It’s amazing that they were able to preserve the original look and feel of the bookstore so well, and continue to do refurbishments to keep the look the same. It’s one of the most unique and beautiful bookstores I’ve ever been in.