Porto Memories: J. K. Rowling Hangouts, Majestic Café and Livrario Lello

Did you know that the author of the beloved Harry Potter books lived in Porto between 1991 and 1993?  J. K. Rowling taught English there and used to hang out at the Majestic Café, and the 100-year-old bookshop, Livrario Lello.

According to The Portugalist, “During this time she outlined and developed her ideas for the entire seven-book series, and even got started on book one.”

I loved reading all the Harry Potter books and watching the films, so visiting J. K. Rowling’s old haunts was very exciting!

Majestic Café

Located on a pedestrianized street in the heart of old town Porto, the Majestic Café is a fun place to have a drink and people-watch.

“J.K. Rowling scribbled down notes on napkins while enjoying a coffee break in Café Majestic. This gorgeous, belle époque space is one of Porto’s most exclusive cafés, complete with glittering chandeliers and smartly dressed waiters.”
– The Portugalist

Smartly dressed waiters, indeed!

A nice break from sightseeing

Even the chairs had a magical Hogwarts feel

Even the chairs had a magical Hogwarts feel

Visit: Cafe Majestic, Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto. Open 9:30am-11:30pm, closed Sundays.

Livraria Lello

Diagon Alley’s premium bookstore, Flourish and Blotts, was inspired by Livraria Lello.

“This ornate bookshop in the heart of Porto has been voted one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. It’s such a big tourist attraction that you now need to pay €4 to enter (don’t worry: you get it back as a discount if you buy something).”
– The Portugalist

Apparently, I was there just weeks before its hundredth anniversary celebration, so the facade was covered for reconstruction, and there was scaffolding on the famous staircase.

Still, I couldn’t resist capturing the excitement of being in the shop that looks like where Harry and Hermione got their wizardry books!

Selfie on the staircase!

A few Camino Portugués books are available in different languages.

I put the 3 euro entrance fee towards a Livraria Lello booklet and Camino Portugues guidebook.

I applied the entrance fee towards a Livraria Lello booklet and Camino Portugués guidebook.

There’s a cafe bar upstairs where you can order espresso, snacks, and port wine.

Lello should be in great shape for visitors now. In fact, Bay Area peregrina was just there last week and shared this photo looking down the staircase.

Staircase photo by Patti Pie

Photo courtesy of Camiga Patti Pie

Whether or not you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is worth checking out when you visit Porto.

Visit: Livraria Lello, Rua das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto. Open 10am-7:30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-7pm Sat and Sun. Buy your ticket from the booth outside or book online.

For more fun Harry Potter trivia, visit Did J.K. Rowling Write Harry Potter in Porto? and On the Harry Potter trail in Portugal – JK Rowling’s inspiration.

Up next, the São Bento Railway Station.

4 thoughts on “Porto Memories: J. K. Rowling Hangouts, Majestic Café and Livrario Lello

    • Hmm, they must not enforce that rule, I saw lots of people taking photos in Lello. A friend was just there and shared a photo of the staircase that I added to the end of the post. I also updated the price to 4 euros. Thanks for the update!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Camino and Hiking Events in May 2017 | The Camino Provides

  2. was there for a couple of days this week on vacation with family. there as a line out the door at the majestic. with Bourdain eating at gazelle and JK writing at majestic, all of porto is now a tourist attraction. the locals have mixed feelings about it. on one hand, the money pouring in has led to a ton of new infrastructure and services (you’ll see cranes everywhere building new and repairing old); on the other, rent is going up fast, which is forcing locals to rent on the periphery of the city. same is happening across lots of other eu cities like lisbon, madrid, etc. but I can certainly see why JK spent time in porto. it’s absolutely beautiful and still very livable. you can eat amazing food, see thousand-year old structures everywhere, go surfing at the beautiful beaches, and raise a family on a worker’s wage. if I were considering ex-pat life, porto would be on my short list.


Digame, por favor.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s