Livraria do Mercado – the green bookshop in medieval Óbidos
One of my odd addictions is buying books. Not necessarily to read them, but to own them. I sometimes even want to buy the same book twice. It could be the smell of the print, the feeling of the pages or because the colour of the cover matches the others in my bookcase. So no wonder I’m very happy in a bookshop. Lucky for me, Portugal has many and some of them are very special. Today I want to show you the Livraria Do Mercado bookshop in Óbidos, one of my all-time favourites.
The town of Óbidos is one of the most popular places to visit in Portugal. Located on a hill, the walls are the perfect guide to beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and the medieval buildings of Óbidos. The narrow and cobbled streets lead you along whitewashed houses, colourful flowers and cute shops. Most of these shops sell souvenirs and the famous local liquor ginjinha, but I always go straight for the bookstore.
Organic meets second hand
Livraria do Mercado is not just a bookshop. It’s also a type of market (so the name “Mercado” makes sense), selling organic fresh foods, wines and spirits. This part of the shop is called Mercado Biológica do Óbidos. You wouldn’t expect organic food and books in one shop, but here it all seem to make sense. Where as the most part of the big store is filled with books, one wall is dedicated to lovely fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, bread and more.
The building used to be a fireman’s hall, but now houses many books, displayed in old fruit crates. The books are second hand in large part too. That means this place is perfect for a good old treasure hunt. And if you can’t read Portuguese, don’t worry, because they have books in all kinds of languages. Or perhaps you’ll find a pretty coffee table book with pictures. I once bought a lovely book with black and white pictures of the Alentejo here, for example.
Livraria Do Mercado is located in the historical centre of Óbidos. If you take the main street (the one where all the tourists are) you can’t miss it. Don’t worry, most tourists skip this place (who wants books, when there is ginjinha?), so you can look around in peace.
You can follow the Livraria do Mercado on Facebook.