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Need answers fast? The best bookstore in Medellin is 9 3/4 Cafe.
When most people visit Medellin they’re thinking of taking city tours, going on pub crawls, and experiencing the many hikes and gorgeous vistas around town.
When I first landed in Medellin my mission was to find a good bookstore. Now, granted, I was moving to Medellin, not just visiting.
But, if you plan to be doing some serious travel around Colombia, you might want to pick up some books to bring with you on long bus and plane rides.
Or, you might just want a cozy corner to curl up in for a few hours while you wait for one of Medellin’s rain showers to subside.
Whatever the reason, it pays to know where the best bookstores in Medellin are. In this guide, I’ll show you all the best bookstores around the city.
First on the list is quite literally the best bookshop in all of Medellin. It’s in Envigado, which means it’s relatively close to Casacol’s Seranilla property.
This coffee shop doesn’t just get brownie points because its name is a shoutout to my favorite childhood book series. It’s just a great bookstore all around.
At 9 ¾ Cafe, you’ll find a wide array of books laid out in pretty easy-to-navigate sections.
Plus, there’s a good amount of chairs scattered throughout the store. It’s not hard to find a place to post up and read your new novel.
9 ¾ Cafe, as the name suggests, also has a coffee shop inside it. My boyfriend isn’t a bookworm, but he does enjoy going with me to the bookstore so that he can grab a cup of coffee and a snack while I browse the shelves.
I have to point out that this is also one of the bookstores with the largest English language selection. If you’re looking for books in English only, you’ll find plenty of choices at 9 ¾ Cafe.
Ex Libris is a close runner-up to 9 ¾ Cafe. Just like the first cafe I mentioned, this one has a pretty large selection of books.
It’s a bit smaller than 9 ¾ Cafe, but you’ll still find plenty of books to browse. And, there are also a number of English language books for sale.
The place where this bookshop shines is honestly in its bakery. They sell coffee and baked goods, both of which are delicious and well worth buying.
I recommend picking out a book or two and then settling down on one of their comfy chairs with a snack.
This happens to be one of my favorite activities for days when Medellin’s weather is doing what it does best – turning into a rain shower at the drop of a hat.
Address: Cl. 53 #64A-27, Medellín, Antioquia
Libreria Cafe Delfos is significantly smaller than the first two bookshops on my list. However, it’s definitely worth mentioning.
The bookstore is cute and quirky. I’ve found some real hidden gems on the shelves here, never books that I thought I’d come across.
My favorite book that I picked up at this coffee shop is a book about a Maori New Zealander. As a kiwi, this was a particularly fun book for me to read!
The English language section in this bookshop is much smaller (in fact, you may only find a couple of English books). Still, it’s definitely worth browsing. You never know what you’ll find!
In terms of the coffee, I really enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and cappuccinos at this store. Sure, I wouldn’t rank it as one of the best cups of coffee in Medellin, but they’re still good enough to enjoy while you read a book.
Address: Cl. 54 #39a23, Medellín, Antioquia
Bukz is actually the most convenient bookstore you’ll find around Medellin. This bookshop is located just north of most of Casacol’s Poblado properties, which puts it in a super handy spot for most travelers.
The bookstore is unique in that they often run small-scale events. These could be book talks, signings, or other nifty workshops.
In terms of the book selection, it’s a bit more limited at Bukz. Still, I enjoy perusing the shelves as you can find some great reads here.
Bukz has a modest cafe in it, which makes it great if you’re wanting to sit down for a cup of coffee with your newly purchased novel.
Now, I have to be honest.
Aside from its convenient location, the reason why I like Bukz so much is that it’s cheap. I’ve found lots of books for $50,000 COP or less (about $15 or less). That’s true even if they’re hardcover!
Ulises Cafe Libreria is another super affordable bookstore. This bookshop has quite a large selection of items, too, so it’s definitely one of the better bookshops around the city.
In Ulises Cafe Libereria what really shines is their children’s section. They update this section pretty regularly, so you’ll have no problem finding new releases.
Before you start knocking this for focusing on the kids’ section, hear me out.
Children’s books are one of the best ways to learn a foreign language (aside from immersion and language exchange meetups, that is).
I enjoy reading the Harry Potter books or other kids’ books that I know pretty well in English. It’s a good way to start practicing my Spanish.
Plus, if you already own the English version of the book, you can compare them side by side. This is super helpful if you get stuck on the overall meaning of a passage.
Like the other bookstores, Ulises Cafe Libreria has a coffee shop inside it as well. Once you buy your books, you can sit down with a cup of tea or coffee.
Casa Tragaluz is easily the closest to home. This bookshop is located in the heart of Poblado, so it’s accessible from just about any hotel or Airbnb in the area.
It’s not just close to your hotel, either. Casa Tragaluz is located right next to some great dining and shopping in Medellin!
Once you’ve found the perfect book, you can head down the street to grab some grub from one of the best restaurants in the city!
Casa Tragaluz is more a café than a bookshop, which means there’s some great coffee and food to be had here.
However, you can snag one of the books adorning the walls and read that while you eat. It’s a great experience and a wonderful way to while away an afternoon.
Address: Cl. 9 ##43c-50, Medellín, Antioquia
Even though I’m generally a fan of small, independent businesses, you really can’t write a guide to the best bookstores in Medellin without mentioning Libreria Nacional.
Libreria Nacional is the biggest bookstore chain in Colombia, so you’ll find it all over the country, not just in Medellin.
There are a couple of locations scattered around the city, including two in Poblado. One is an independent location while the other is found inside one of the main shopping destinations in Poblado, Centro Comercial El Tesoro.
Some bookstore locations have a coffee shop, but that’s not always the case. So, if you’re looking for a place to cozy up for an afternoon, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Libreria Nacional.
On the other hand, if your main goal is just to grab some English-language books, this is the place to go.
The bookshop tends to have an entire wall dedicated to English language books. You can find everything from old classics such as Shakespeare and Hemingway and English translations of Colombian works to modern books such as the Bridgerton series.
There truly is something for everyone at this bookshop, which is why it’s worth checking out if you want to pick up something to read.
So there you have it. These are the best bookstores in Medellin, whether you’re looking for a cozy nook to while away a rainy afternoon or a plethora of books to choose from.
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