If there’s one thing that you should know before heading off to the capital of Spain, it’s that the centre of the city is bursting to the brim with beautiful bookstores, all of which are worth an explore. Here’s your guide to the best Madrid Bookshops you should be sure to visit on your next trip to the city.
On a recent first trip to Madrid, I was honestly surprised at just how many bookstores can be found in the city centre, often just a few minutes walk from one another. In an age where the written word is dying out in favour of screens and monitors, it was all too refreshing to see so many bookshops packed with people.
If you’re planning to bring a little souvenir home from Madrid, then consider setting a small budget aside to purchase a book or two. While most Madrid bookstores stock mostly Spanish language books, a number of the bookshops I visited also had a small selection of English language books (particularly the second hand bookstores).
La Central de Callao
A café bookstore that’s set over several floors and located right in the heart of the city, La Central bookshop is popular among locals and visitors alike. After making your selection from the largely Spanish language books, I recommend taking your purchase into the ground floor café/ restaurant where they serve up delicious snacks, cocktails, and coffee.
Situated steps away from the historic Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, a 16th-century monastery turned museum which houses treasures such as works by Titian, Rubens & Bruegel, as well as holy relics, the Bardón bookshop specialises in rare and antiquarian books.
Please note that this Madrid bookstore has fairly limited opening hours and is only open from 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM from Monday through to Friday. As such, if you’re only spending one day in Madrid or less, it will be pretty hard to fit this little Madrid bookstore into your schedule.
San Ginés Book Shop (Librería San Ginés)
Those in search of one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ places to visit in Madrid would do well to head to Librería San Ginés, which can be found on a little pedestrian alleyway of the same name and is easily one of the most beautiful bookshops in Europe.
Picture perfect, the used bookshop is characterised by its many stalls spilling out onto the street offering books at a reasonable price. San Ginés also sells small souvenirs such as artistic prints and postcards.
If you want to get the best photos of this bookshop in Madrid, be sure to head to the store earlier in the day and mid-week if possible as the shop is understandably very popular among locals and visitors alike and it can be hard to capture a good photo when the little street gets too crowded! All in all, San Ginés is one of my favourite hidden gems of Madrid.
Librería La Mistral
One of the best-reviewed and most popular bookshops in Madrid is that of Librería La Mistral, which is located just a short distance from La Mallorquina, which is a popular place to purchase pastries in the city.
Step into shop at any given moment and you can expect to find a bookstore that has been styled like a bookstore of old (or in a ‘dark academia fashion’ as Gen Zers might call it).
A cozy store that’s perfect for exploring on a rainy day or during the winter months in Madrid, there’s even cosy armchairs in the basement where you can curl up with one of your new purchases.
When it comes to specialist bookshops in Madrid, no guide would be complete without a mention of Librería Mujeres, which is a book store for women by women. As its name would suggest, this store specialises in feminist books and selected writings catered for women.
Set across the space of several rooms, there’s also a small selection of children’s books, as well as little souvenirs to purchase. I particularly enjoyed that the books are organised into various topics pertaining to women’s rights and issues.
In a world where overconsumption is a daily problem, second-hand bookstores are a must. Librería Re-Read is an aesthetically pleasing store which sells second-hand books. Wander into the store and you’ll find a well-organised array of fiction, travel literature, children’s books, and more. There’s even a section of rare and antiquarian books and tote bags for sale.
Perez Galdos library (Librería Pérez Galdós)
One of the quirkiest bookstores in Madrid is that of Librería Pérez Galdós, which was founded as early as 1942. The bookshop is named for Benito Pérez Galdós, a 19th-20th-century novelist who is an ancestor of the current owners.
A fairly small space that’s well packed with books and tomes of all shapes and sizes, this second-hand bookshop boasts over 20,000 titles of out of print books, including plenty of English language books.
Tipos Infames: Libros y vinos
When you marry together books and wine, you’re sure to have a winning formula and this is exactly what has happened with the Tipos Infames bookshop in Madrid. Located close to the Romantic Museum of Madrid, this bookstore has a mouthwatering selection of wines on its café menu, while the rest of the shop offers up an interesting array of books.
Enjoyed reading about the best Madrid Bookshops? Pin this article now, read it again later: