It has changed hands and locations several times and has been renamed 11 different things. But for 285 years, the Livraria Bertrand, as it is known today, has served Lisbon’s bibliophiles and been a space for intellectual and cultural conversations. Opened in 1732, it holds the Guinness record as the world’s oldest bookstore still in operation.
The bookstore was opened by Peter Faure as a small shop in the central Rua Direito do Loreto. It was a favorite haunt of Portuguese writers and intellectuals across different generations.
Alexandre Herculano, the 19th-century historian who is widely credited with ushering in Romanticism in Portugal, historian-turned-minister Oliveira Martins, and the prolific novelist Aquilino Ribeiro, are among the Portuguese thinkers who sought out like-minded people at the bookstore. Ribeiro, a Nobel Prize nominee, even had some of his books published by the printing press that was later started by the shop, and the current store has a dedicated “corner of Aquilino.”
In 2010, the Livraria Bertrand became part of the Porto Editora group, with branches all over the country. The original remains a Lisbon literary landmark, just like Faure envisioned when he started his business nearly three centuries ago.
Know Before You Go
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am–10pm, Sunday 11am-8pm