Barcelona is a city known for its rich cultural and artistic heritage but is also as a haven for book lovers. In fact, Barcelona was named a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015, partly due to being the center for publishing for Spanish, Latin American, and Catalan literatures.
But despite publishing primarily Spanish works, there is a large English-speaking community, as well as tourists that frequent Barcelona who enjoy browsing the city’s many bookshops. When I first went to Barcelona, I was blown away by the art and creativity in the city. It’s easy to see why it inspires so many people. If you’ve seen any of my other literary travel guides, you know I love to find bookstores wherever I visit (like in London, Berlin, and Prague), so I had to find some great English bookshops in Barcelona.
If you’re an English reader navigating the exciting streets of Barcelona, you’ll be delighted to discover Barcelona’s English bookstores. Whether you’re searching for classics, contemporary fiction, or niche genres, these book shops offer a diverse literary experience.
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Tips for Visiting Bookstores in Barcelona
Before I get into the list, I wanted to quickly make a couple of notes about bookstores and shops in general in Barcelona.
- Many bookshops in Barcelona close on Sunday, with a few exceptions.
- Barcelona’s bookstores tend to operate on extended hours, often accommodating late-night shoppers. However, they traditionally close during the early afternoon for the siesta period. Consequently, you’ll find them open for browsing in the evenings, typically until 8:30-9 pm, but closed during the mid-afternoon hours, usually between 1-4 or 5 pm.
Here are the best English Bookstores in Barcelona:
La Central del Raval
La Central del Raval is a renowned bookstore located in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona, an area known for its diverse culture and artistic atmosphere.
Just around the corner from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, La Central del Raval is housed in a former chapel with multiple stories filled with neatly arranged shelves. Originally specializing in the Humanities, today they carry a wide array of books, magazines, and other literary works and has become an extremely popular bookstore in the city and one of the best places to find English books in Barcelona.
The decor is typically modern and minimalist, allowing the focus to remain on the books themselves.
La Central also has a location in Madrid if you happen to be heading there after your visit to Barcelona.
While you’re looking around at bookstores, Barcelona also has some of the most spectacular tourist sights in the word including the Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, the Picasso Museum, and the Cathedral of Barcelona.
Connect with a tour for ease of getting around and more insider information about each location, especially if you’re traveling alone in Barcelona.
Located just a quick 7-minute walk from the Plaça del Sol, Hibernian Books caters to a diverse range of readers. This bookstore specializes in second-hand English books and is one of the few places to buy cheap English books in Barcelona, making it perfect for travelers to pick up an inexpensive read.
First opened in 2004 with over 30,000 books sent over from Dublin. Today, they have over 40,000 titles in their collection at their current location, with a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, children’s books, and antique novels.
While they specialize in used books, they also have a small new book section and an overstock section with fair prices. The charming decor and the scent of old books add to the nostalgic charm of this hidden gem.
Come In Liberia Inglesa
Come In English Bookshop Barcelona, found in the Gothic Quarter, less than a 10-minute walk from Gaudi’s Casa Milà, is a cozy haven for English book enthusiasts. The shelves are lined with a carefully curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books.
As the name suggests, Come in specializes in English language books. The store is open and airy, and makes for a great place to browse books on your way to your next sight. The friendly staff is always ready to offer recommendations, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for book lovers to explore.
Laie Llibreria Café
Laie Llibreria Café is a renowned bookstore located just a short walk from Plaça de Catalunya. It’s not just a bookstore but also a cultural hub that offers a wide range of books, music, and multimedia materials, along with a cozy café and event space.
The store boasts an impressive collection of both Spanish and international works, catering to the diverse interests of its clientele. From bestsellers to niche publications, there’s something for everyone at Laie.
One of the highlights of Laie is its café, where visitors can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or tea while browsing through books or engaging in conversation with fellow book lovers. The café’s warm and inviting atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to relax and unwind amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.
Casa del Llibre
Not far from Laie is Casa del Llibre, a prominent bookstore chain with multiple locations around Barcelona. Casa del Llibre on Rambla de Catalunya is the largest bookstore in Barcelona and is a haven for book lovers, offering a diverse and large selection available across various genres, languages, and formats.
Upon entering Casa del Llibre, visitors are greeted by spacious and well-organized shelves filled with books ranging from bestsellers to niche publications, covering literature, fiction, non-fiction, history, art, travel, and more. The store prides itself on its extensive collection, catering to a wide range of interests and preferences.
While focusing mainly on Spainish language books, there is an impressive English section that makes stopping into this massive shop well worth it.
What’s better than finding a travel bookstore while exploring a new city’s bookstores? That’s where Llibería Altaïr comes in. Founded in 1962, Altaïr has become a landmark destination for literature enthusiasts, travelers, and adventurers alike.
Located in the Sant Antoni neighborhood, Altaïr has a noteworthy section dedicated to English books dedicated to all things travel. It’s a unique space where you can find travel narratives, international fiction, and literary works from around the world. The bookstore’s ambiance resonates with the spirit of exploration.
What sets Llibreria Altaïr apart is its commitment to promoting cultural exchange and understanding through literature. The bookstore often hosts author events, travel talks, and cultural exhibitions, providing a platform for writers, explorers, and artists to share their experiences and insights with the community.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about Barcelona and Spain or your next destination, Llibreria Altaïr offers a captivating and immersive literary experience that celebrates the beauty and diversity of our world.
Re-Read is a unique bookstore concept, offering a wide selection of second-hand books in various genres and languages. Re-Read has dozens of locations around Spain and even one in Paris and 2 in Tenerife. (See my list of English bookstores in Paris for more options).
One of the distinctive features of Re-Read is its emphasis on sustainability. By giving new life to previously owned books, the store promotes eco-friendly practices and encourages recycling within the literary community. Customers can trade in their own books for store credit or simply browse the shelves for hidden treasures at budget-friendly prices.
My favorite location is on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, a short walk from the Contemporary Art Museum. The ambiance of Re-Read is cozy and inviting, with comfortable seating areas where visitors can relax and flip through the pages of their latest finds. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to assist customers, offering recommendations and helping them discover new authors and genres.
oMomento- Books and Coffee
Located in what used to be Babelia Books and Coffee, oMomento has continued the tradition of combining great books and coffee just as the brand Babelia started years ago. This small shop sells specialty coffees, pastries, and cafe sandwiches as well as an impressive amount of books for its size.
They regularly hold readings and author panels and while they’re typically in Spanish, there may be some English books or writers in the mix. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, this cute and cozy bookshop cafe is well worth a stop to grab some caffein and relax before heading out to more bookish sights.
Casa Anita is a beloved bookstore situated in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. With its cozy atmosphere and extensive collection of books, Casa Anita has been a cherished destination for book lovers and enthusiasts for decades.
Visitors are greeted by shelves lined with a diverse array of books covering a wide range of genres, including literature, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, and more. The bookstore takes pride in its carefully curated stock featuring both contemporary bestsellers and timeless classics, ensuring there’s something for every taste and interest.
A Note About BCN Books: many people are still looking for (and blogs/ AI writers are still writing about) BCN Books. But unfortunately all of their locations have closed in recent years. But I wanted to include this note as, unfortunately, some people online are still showing them to be open with an incorrect street address.
Barcelona’s English bookstores are not just places to purchase books; they are literary sanctuaries that celebrate the written word. Whether you’re an avid reader or a casual book browser, these English bookstores offer a unique glimpse into the diverse world of English and Spanish literature.
Hopefully, my post has helped you find where to buy English books in Barcelona to help you on your literary travel journey or to just find your next read.
So, the next time you find yourself in Barcelona, be sure to explore these bookshops and immerse yourself in the city’s literary treasures. If you do visit any, be sure to take a photo, and tag me on Instagram or Facebook, and tell me what you thought of the store! (P.S. follow me over there so you can stay up to date on the latest news in literary travel.)
Map of English Bookstores in Barcelona
Barcelona Bookstores FAQ
Do libraries in Barcelona have English books?
Yes, many libraries in Barcelona offer a selection of English books. Barcelona is a diverse and international city with a significant English-speaking population and many tourists, so libraries often cater to this by providing a variety of English-language materials.
Additionally, you may find that some libraries specialize in foreign language literature or have dedicated sections for English books. It’s always a good idea to check with individual libraries or their websites to confirm their specific collections and services.
And if you’re looking for an English bookshop, Barcelona has a great selection of shops.
What to read before going to Barcelona?
Reading about Barcelona before your visit can greatly enhance your experience by providing historical context, cultural insights, and a deeper understanding of the city’s landmarks. Here are some recommendations, some of which are English books in translation which is a great way to learn about the actual culture of a place:
“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Barcelona” by Robert Hughes
“Homage to Catalonia” by George Orwell
“The Cathedral of the Sea” by Ildefonso Falcones”Barcelona: The Great Enchantress” by Robert Hughes
For more book recommendations, see my book lists, especially my list of books to read before visiting Spain.
What mystery book is set in Barcelona?
One notable mystery book set in Barcelona is “The Summer of Dead Toys” by Antonio Hill. It’s the first book in the Inspector Salgado series. The novel follows Inspector Héctor Salgado as he investigates the suspicious death of a teenager in Barcelona’s upper-class neighborhood. The story delves into the city’s social dynamics, exploring themes of corruption, privilege, and personal demons. With its atmospheric setting and intricate plot, “The Summer of Dead Toys” offers readers an engaging mystery set against the backdrop of Barcelona’s streets and neighborhoods.
Are you ready to Travel?
- Book Your Flights– To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is a must. Some great options are Google Flights for the calendars to find the cheapest options, Skiplagged, and Skyscanner. For more options, see our resources page.
- Find Transportation- If you’re driving, look into Rentalcars.com before arriving to find the best rates. Also check for rail or bus routes as they might be cheaper than renting a car.
- Book Your Accommodation– Look at Booking.com, Hotels.com, or Expedia for hotels. You can also look at AirBnB or VRBO if you want a bigger space.
- Book Tours and Experiences- Check Viator or Klook for some of the best tours and attractions for a great price.
- Stay Connected– If your phone’s data plan is going to be expensive, order an eSIM card before you go.
- Buy Travel Insurance- I always recommend World Nomads for insurance. It’s better to protect yourself in case of mishaps. Learn more about World Nomads in this FAQ post.
- Pack Your Bags– Check out my packing lists, or my favorite travel gear to help you remember all of the essentials.
- Learn About Your Destination: Learn about your location with guidebooks like Lonely Planet, or, novels and books about the country, or, shameless plug, search around my site for more info.
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