Bookish travel Destinations: Óbidos, Portugal
A medieval hidden village close to the heart of Portugal is one of the best bookish destinations that you can afford in 2020, and it will definitely not disappoint whoever travels to this magical point of the world.
Óbidos is located roughly 1 hour away from Portugal capital, Lisbon. Its enclosed behind castle walls and you will definitely find the friendlier folk around this sunny destination.
I am Portuguese and for a while I heard of this place, I even live less than an hour away...and this Christmas break sounded like the time to finally get out the road and go looking for cool books! The village has only around 3000 people living in it BUT it is home to over 10 bookshops and the largest Literary Hotel in the world. But more about that in a bit. Here is some of the bookshops that I visited:
1.Livraria do Mercado
In the enchanted streets inside the castle walls you can find a cute little bookshop with high ceilings and very funny books, you can also buy fruits and wine here. This is a market bookshop! Yes you read that right, it is an amazing place with titles in several languages
including english, portuguese, french and german.
And you can browse books from ten years ago to recent releases. The space is small but no worries because it is filled to the top with all the dreams you want to buy and the service is quite friendly.
I loved to able to buy a lovely poetry book and some bananas!
PS: Weirdly enough you cannot enter this market bookshop while eating! Be aware of that.
Where to find it: R. Direita 27, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal
Did you think that the crazy places for bookshops stopped? Nope! This one is inside a church and it is stunning.
This has an even more impressing collection of titles for every genre and languages and age gap that you will ever need. It is super quiet and had all this hidden nook that you can find on your own which makes it even more charming. You can also go up the stairs of the church and get a view of the castle and the village which makes for a double tourist attraction.
Prepare to be dazzled by this one because it was simply one of the best places that I, professional booklover, have been ever.
PS: Beware of your phone/wallet, this is a place that unfortunately is highly attractive to pick pockets and it can be very bad during the summer months.
Where to find it: Largo de São Tiago do Castelo, 2510-057 Óbidos, Portugal
3.the literary man hotel
This is ,for me, the jewel of Óbidos! If you have time and money to spend a day or a week or even a month in this hotel then please do!
The Literary Man Hotel is what put the village on the map as a bookish travel destination. It’s the world’s largest literary hotel in the world and holds over 65,000 secondhand books. It's amazing that this place acts like a bookshop, an hotel and a restaurant with bar. OH and there is also a sushi bar...
This labyrinth of stairs is filled with books that you can pick up and just ask about the price at reception. The condition, languages and genres of the books are varied but they are usually less than 5€ or 15€ if its a vintage edition. And yes you can literally spend a day browsing all the books displayed in the hotel.
I wasn't able to spend the night in this hotel but I am certain that I will do it some day, the vintage feel is amazing not to speak of the restaurant room which has book pages for tables and screams coziness.
The prices may vary but currently they are at £70 per night, and that is off season!
PS: The staff is super kind, they let me go in the hotel without being a guest or having dinner there, it was truly amazing to see that it is a bookshop in all its fullest.
Where to find it: Rua D` João d`Ornelas, 2510-074 Óbidos, Portugal
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