Although I have only visited Lisbon once, I had the serendipitous experience of staying in the Chiado district which is home to some of the city’s best cultural attractions, cafés, and the world’s oldest continuously operated bookstore. Livraria Bertrand, which was founded in 1732 by Frenchman Peter Faure, has been certified by Guinness World Records to own the title of oldest bookstore. Today, the original shop is part of a 50-store chain, but it retains an old world charm rarely matched.
Livraria Bertrand suffered significant damage in the catastrophic earthquake of 1755 and had to temporarily relocate, but returned to its present location in 1773. From the outside the bookstore appears to be but just a compact corner shop whose façade is decorated with stunning old azulejos tiles. But once you make your way inside you’ll discover a warren of tunnels, alcoves, and book-packed chambers with all of the walls covered in historic wooden shelving.