There are bookshops galore in Barcelona. Here's our handy guide to our favourites.
Whether you’re looking for novels or children’s books, old books or new books, comics, mangas or travel guides, there’s something for you in this list of Barcelona’s best bookshops.
The eclectic one: Central del Raval
There are several branches of La Central in Barcelona, but the one in Raval is our favourite, with packed bookshelves running from the creaky floor to the vaulted ceiling. There’s even a little inner garden area, featuring two life-sized cow sculptures.
The major advantage of La Central is the variety of books on offer. You’re sure to find something for you! Even if you don’t find something you want to read, take a look at the very attractive range of objects and notebooks on sale.
Why? To find something new to read
When? Monday to Saturday, 10am – 9pm
Where? Carrer d’Elisabets 6 (métro Universitat, L1 and L2)
The one for travellers: Altaïr
Bookworms who’ve been bitten by the travel bug will be right at home in this bookshop. There are books on every country you can think of, from travel guides to maps, history books to coffee-table photo books. Fabulous! A variety of languages are represented.
There’s also an Altaïr concession in the shop at the World culture museum.
Why? To travel the globe without leaving Barcelona
When? Monday to Saturday, 10am – 8.30pm
Where? Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 616 (métro Universitat, L1 or L2 or Passeig de Gràcia, L2 and L4)
The one for kids, big and small: Abracadabra
Abracadabra specialises in children’s books, and the whole place has been thought out with families in mind.
Travelling with a pushchair? No problem, there’s a place to park it. Want to flick through a few books in peace? There’s a little toy corner with plenty to keep your small people occupied. Need to change the baby? You’ve guessed it, there are facilities here.
Abracadabra stocks books in Catalan and Spanish, but also English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch.
Why? For the variety of books on offer
When? Monday to Saturday, 10.30am – 2.30pm and 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Where? Carrer General Alvarez de Castro 5 (métro: Urquinaona, L1 or L4 or Jaume I, L4)
The arty one: Laie
There are branches of Laie at several tourist sites across Barcelona: Parc Güell, la Pedrera, the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture, CaixaForum, CosmoCaixa, the Liceu theatre, the Picasso Museum and the Catalan National Museum of Art. The books on sale reflect the theme of the site.
The biggest branch of Laie is on Carrer Pau Claris. This particular bookshop isn’t attached to a museum, and has a café and a little hidden terrace which is a great place to read!
Laie offers a refined selection of works on art, architecture, science, music and on Barcelona itself, all handsome as well as educational. We could easily spend hours here…
Why? For all things arty
When? Monday to Friday, 9am – 9pm; Saturday, 10am – 9pm
Where? Pau Claris 85 (métro: Passeig de Gràcia, L2 and L4 or Urquinaona, L1 or L4)
The old one: Farré
Farré is one for collectors and for history lovers. It only stocks old books, in a range of languages. Most volumes cost somewhere between 50 and 300 euros, but that’s ok – you visit Farré to look, rather than to buy.
Why? To travel back in time
When? Monday to Friday, 10am – 2pm and 4pm – 8pm
Where? Carrer de la Canuda 24 (métro Catalunya, L1, L3 and L6 or Liceu, L3)
The quirky one: Norma Comics
Norma Comics is THE place for comic books and mangas, with two floors of books. There’s an enormous selection of works on offer, from well-known series to more obscure volumes.
The shop also sells related merchandise such as costumes, toys, figurines, posters and T-shirts.
Why? For fun!
When? Monday to Saturday, 10.30am – 8.30pm
Where? Passeig Sant Joan 9 (métro Arc de Triomf, L1)
The French one: Librairie Jaimes
Jaimes has been a point of reference for Barcelona’s French-speaking community since 1941, stocking a wide range of novels, essays, art books and children’s stories in French.
It also offers works in Catalan, Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese – like a literary tour of Europe!
Why? For a slice of France in Barcelona
When? Monday to Friday, 10am – 8.30pm; Saturday, 10.30am – 2.30pm and 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Where? València 318 (métro Girona, L4)
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About the author
Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?