Eight Books and Record Stores to Visit in Europe

Not too long ago, I made a post about What’s in My Bag (Europe edition), featuring all the books, records, magazines and a few other treats I bought through my 55 day trip to Europe. This time, I’ve decided to talk about some of the places where I bought these things and checked out some others, since these are places that you definitely must go if you are into the things that we talk about in the blog. Not mentioning some of these places are kind of hard to find. So here they are!

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Concerto Music Store – Amsterdam
Utrechtsestraat 60, Amsterdam

Concerto Music Store was definitely my favorite place to buy records during my trip to Europe. This three floor and two building store seem pretty ordinary from the outside, until you realize the huge selection of records they have inside, from modern bands to out of print Jamaican music from the 50’s – which it’s not something very rare in Europe, I must admit. But after finding some records I could have never imagine I would find, I was very surprised and sad to realize I wasn’t going to be able to afford everything I’ve wanted to, even though the prices of the records were pretty good as well. They also have a DVD/Blu Ray section and a coffee area.

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Athenaeum Boekhandel – Amsterdam
Spui 14-16, Amsterdam

There are three Athenaeum Boekhandel in Amsterdam, which two of them are located next to each other. This however, is exclusively for magazines, which is in another words, dangerous ground to have a heart attack if you are someone like me. Located near the red light district and very nice pubs, this magazine store has everything you would like to find from fashion to art, gardening, politics, cinema, poetry, you name it. It’s probably one of the best stores I’ve found about magazines, and I don’t even need to say you have to check out the bookstore besides it, where you can find books of any kind, including about photography, art, fashion, etc.

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Shakespeare & Company – Paris
37 de la Bucherie, Paris

Shakespeare and Company is a classic. If you go to Paris and don’t visit this bookstore, you are doing Paris wrong. Which was my case, first time I went 8 years ago. When I went there this time, I thought I would find a bookstore that sold itself for the tourism, but instead, I’ve found a remarkable shop of many titles, from fiction and non-fiction to poetry, philosophy and sociology books and french literature. The best thing is that they are mostly in english so most of the people who go there can actually buy something to read. It’s also a very peculiar store, with a lot of charm. The people who work there also don’t let you take pictures of the place with your cellphone. It’s definitely an amazing place to explore and get lost.

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Gibert Joseph – Paris
26 Boulevard Saint Michel, Paris

I’ve discovered Gibert Joseph out of nowhere. I was walking through the streets of Paris, trying to find a bank so I could change my money and I saw this horrible signs of DVD’s and CD’s. I’ve tries to get in but I ended up on the bookstore. I went to the store besides, with the same name and it was a bookstore for children. I went besides it and saw there was CD’s, so I was probably right – until I realize it was a music store just for jazz. So I went to the store besides it and found what I was looking for. So to put in a word, this Gibert Joseph in Boulevard Saint Michael is probably the biggest DVD, music and bookshop in Paris, taking the space of two buildings! It’s huge and it’s beautiful, with movies separated by genre. The coolest thing here was to see the “French session” and the “International session” where they put all the American movies. I did not only spent an hour and a half of this store, but also was able to change my money at the cashier.

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Foyles – London
Waterloo Station, Unit 22, Lower Concourse, London

Foyles was by far the best place I’ve found in Europe. I also found this store by chance, and almost died when I went inside. This place has, if I’m not mistaken, six floors. It has all the best magazines, an incredible vast catalogue of photography, fashion and art books, not mentioning their amazing DVD and CD section, with books from each subjects that vary from biographies to major studies. I could totally see this place as my hang out area if I lived in London. They also have this super cool cafe at the last floor, where they also have a space for events. If you go to London, you have to come here. They also have the same store in other addresses, but I believe this is the biggest one.

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Independent Label Market – London
Old Spitalfields Market, Commercial St, London

Located in a very hipster place in Shoreditch, the Independent Label Market is where new british bands are born. I honestly didn’t recognize anything that was being sold, but people who were there seemed to understand what was going on. I actually saw the vocalist of the band Friendly Fires there, so I believe that’s where all the cool kids hang out and meet each other to perform London’s next big thing. And speaking in cool, the space itself it’s pretty rad, selling not only independent music, but also T-shirts, food-trucks, purses, hats, and all sorts of things that makes the Independent Label Market a very different and interesting place in London.

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Voo Store – Berlin
Oranienstraße 24, Berlin

Berliners are very weird. I’m sure I will never understand them and their level of hipsterness. However, some of their hipster world is worth checking out, even though the difficulty of finding this store is almost impossible. Located in the middle of a building in a far location where turkish immigrants seemed to be taken over, Voo Store is a clothing store with some cool books and magazines that are sold with some house objects. I know everything I’m saying makes it seems this store is horrible, but it’s definitely worth checking it out by its unique concept and nice coffee area located inside of the place.

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Soda Books – Berlin
Rumfordstraße 3, Berlin.

And for last but not least, Soda Books. This place was literally besides my hostel, so of course I ended up there everyday to check it out, even though I have seen it already. Selling all the magazines I love and some other I’ve never heard of, plus some books of architecture and travel. This place is located in a very nice area known as Munchen, where you can find all the types of modern and hipster coffee shop. Is a very young area, so it’s worth checking it out not only because of the store itself, but the area around. It’s just some blocks away from Alexanderplatz.