Valencia is a highly-cultured city, home to one of Spain’s oldest and best-regarded universities and a large community of artists – so it’s no surprise that it also boasts an excellent selection of independent bookshops.Every neighbourhood has its own public library where you’re welcome to browse, but if you want a book or two to take home here’s our list of the best places to look.
Without doubt the most popular bookshop in town, UBIK is a family friendly cafe-bar popular with the creative crowd. Enjoy a cup of tea and slice of homemade cake as you browse the shelves stacked with new and second-hand books. The selection includes English and other foreign-language books, its relaxed atmosphere and free wifi also making it a popular hangout for students. By night it gets lively, so grab a table, settle back and sample their creative, veggie-friendly all-day menu and artisan beers.
Situated on the north end of Plaza de la Virgin, this bargain basement store has a wide range of books at unbeatable prices. There are two sister shops in town and all are well stocked with city guides, Spanish classics and children’s books. It’s also a great place to pick up Spanish cookbooks.
Art lovers will enjoy the city’s museum bookshops, the best of which can be found at the IVAM. They sell a comprehensive range of biographies and art books about international and contemporary Spanish artists such as Julio Gonzalez. There’s a wide selection of art magazines, hand printed books, cheap exhibition posters, limited edition prints and gifts.
Just along from the Ceramics Museum, this airy shop is a refreshing place to browse. The staff speak good English and stock various foreign language translations in French and English. The focus is on fiction, but there’s a good art and children’s section and you’re welcome to linger and read.
Valencia has its own, somewhat smaller, version of the riverside book market that trades along the Seine in Paris. The location may be a little less picturesque, but you’ll be able to rummage through the stacks of paperbacks and chat to the various booksellers at the street market on Calle de Martín Mengod, near the Llotja de la Seda.
If you’re travelling with children, looking for the perfect present for a young one or just starting out with your Spanish learning, make your way to this specialist children’s bookshop. Their books of legend and tales of adventure will illuminate your day as you explore the city, discovering the very same alleys and balconies frequented by the curious characters in the books. They stock plenty of gifts and occasionally host storytelling and puppet shows.
One for the serious collector. If it’s leather-bound volumes or first editions that you’re seeking then be sure not to miss this place, packed floor to ceiling with rare finds, collectibles and valuable volumes. The trestles outside also offer a cheaper selection and are well worth a browse.
Next door you’ll find another gem. A beautiful steel-frame building which was once a textile market, it’s now a cultural centre with a bookshop and coffee shop on the ground floor. It specialises in fiction and translated classics and has a pretty mural depicting the original function of the building. The lower floor is a gallery hosting photography and art exhibitions.
Looks like it's closedHours or services may be impacted due to Covid-19
Across the road, you’ll find this vintage treasure trove that will transport you back in time as you rummage through shelves of leather-bound travel journals, yellowed volumes, antiques and curious old anatomy posters.
From here it’s a short walk north to this very Valencian bookshop. Here you’ll find an impressive selection including informative volumes about Valencia, it’s culture and origins and glossy photography books of the city. The bookshop is part of a publishing house and in April they join 80 other booksellers at a large outdoor book fair to coincide with the day of St Jorge.