Like any Harry Potter fan, if you’re in Porto, you have to visit Livraria Lello. J.K. Rowling lived in Porto teaching English from 1991 to 1993 and was a frequent customer and many say it was a direct inspiration for the books (which when you see below if evident). Livraria Lello is not only one of the world’s oldest bookstores (opened in 1906), but frequently ranks as one of the most beautiful.
The crimson staircase is the centerpiece of the bookstore:
“Thou who walked the room, shall then see a staircase which is a piece of surprising allure, for its apparent lightness which masks the audacity of its design. One feels the urge to climb it yet fears one’s weight may make it crumble.” (in Catálogo 1930 of Livraria Lello).
Don’t forget that you need to purchase tickets next door for 5 euros. You can use the voucher towards your purchase or just consider it a donation towards preserving the bookstore. I understand why – there were so many people inside the tiny shop!