Ábaco Libros y Café – Cartagena, Colombia - Atlas Obscura

Ábaco Libros y Café

A cozy bookstore and coffee shop in the heart of Cartagena's Old City. 


This little cafe is a calm, bookish oasis within the bustling, narrow streets of Cartagena’s Old Town. Duck inside, and you’ll find walls of floor-to-ceiling books just waiting to be plucked from the shelves.

Anyone can pop into the sunshine-yellow shop and hunker down with a steaming cup of Colombian coffee while flipping through the pages of hundreds of different titles. The cozy cafe has earned itself a reputation as one of the best bookstores in the city.

Opened in 2002, Ábaco is a quiet spot, a place where tired tourists or laid-back locals can come to take a break from the city crowds. As it’s right in the heart of the city that inspired many of Gabriel García Márquez’s most famous works, you can expect to find his titles spread throughout the space. But of course, there are books from other local and international authors there as well.

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