Uruguay is a country for readers. In fact, most Uruguayan homes show off a great collection of books that grows monthly, and books are considered an important and meaningful gift here. Where do all these fabulous titles come from? Keep reading to discover the best independent bookstores in Montevideo, Uruguay.
No one can pass this bookstore without noticing it, starting with its exterior design: a beautiful mural painting of books lining several shelves. Step inside to find the real books, in this shop that gives no special treatment to bestsellers, which democratically share the spotlight with the rest of the books. Among these, book collectors can locate some hard-to-find titles of any type, from classic literature to comic books. Every month, this corner of the city hosts numerous activities and book launch events.
Located in an old house built in 1903, this bookstore was founded in Montevideo just two years ago. The concept of combining a bookstore and a coffee shop is still fairly unique in Uruguay, which makes this store one of the most successful businesses in town. Any book lover is prone to collapse immediately upon entering Escaramuza and seeing the shelves that stretch from the floor to the exceptionally tall ceilings (traditional for these types of construction), and are filled with literally thousands of titles taking up nearly every single inch of space. After overcoming the shock, take a stroll to the back of the house, where you’ll be captivated by a charming patio with long tables. Thanks to the table sharing style, you can enjoying a delicious meal and a nice conversation – or just stick with a book, of course.
On Rivera Street (considered the longest in Montevideo), there’s a bookstore that invites visitors to slow down the pace and lose track of time as soon as they enter through the door. And no judgement if you end up spending all day here – this is what vacations are for, after all. With less than two years in business, Las Karamazov has discovered the perfect fusion: books, coffee, craft beer, and wine – sure to please any type of reader and drinker. No day is the same here, thanks to the countless workshops, which vary from philosophy to cinema, pottery, photography, piano lessons, drawing, and embroidery, all of which make this shop a cultural oasis where you can share and develop any kind of interest.
Anyone who has ever looked for a book for ages until feeling defeated can rejoice upon finally arriving at Diomedes Libros. This bookstore will do everything possible to reunite readers with the beloved book they’ve been seeking for so long. The shop sells new titles, but also hides innumerable treasures in its used books section just waiting to be discovered. The stalls are placed in the street right outside the bookstore, where people can spend hours exploring. In the hypothetical situation – and this is unlikely to happen – that visitors can’t find what they were looking for, the store can get it in just a few days. Tip: the prices are more than fair and books are always on sale, so make sure to check for special offers.
Let’s agree to humor the epic name of this bookshop, because it gets even better, seriously. Comic-book fans from all ages will be delighted by this specialized bookstore that includes a staircase with steps that resemble book spines – an attraction in its own right. But someone looking for books, in addition to the aforementioned stairs, will also find this bookstore (or castle, as its owners prefer to call it) appealing. For instance, it’s located in Plaza Independencia, the main square in town, which makes it a convenient stop while touring through Montevideo’s historic sites. It also has two floors (allowing for way more books) where titles vary from classic literature to a vast range of comic books from all times – because Lannisters are all about serving their people.
There is no better way to get to know Uruguay than by discovering what soccer means to its people. It is capable of bringing Uruguayans to tears and will have people talking for hours with chests full of pride. Uruguayans are all about soccer, up to the point of dividing the year 2018 into two halves, before and after the FIFA World Cup. Needless to say, there had to be a bookstore specializing in selling only soccer books. For every Uruguayan, any soccer lover or just anyone that wants to get to know Uruguay in depth, this is the place where dreams come true… even if it’s not even a physical place. Because, if innovation could go any further than this, it certainly did, by operating exclusively as a successful online bookshop that turns into a pop-up store just every now and then.
This bookstore is in the heart of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja neighborhood, in Peatonal Sarandí, one of the most important pedestrian walkways in the city. The original building was made in 1917, and its Art Nouveau and neoclassic style are still intact, making visitors feel like they travelled in time. A book lover can be lost for hours in its several floors, so this is the place to go if your bookworm-significant-other is missing. You’ll be able to wait patiently until they comes back, while enjoying a delicious coffee or even a main meal in the bookstore’s restaurant. This bookshop also has a great music section, so it can please all types of visitors.