5 English-language bookstores in Madrid

Posted in: Madrid


Outside the Casa del Libro in Madrid. Photo by Tyrexito.

Books are great travel companions and if you find yourself without one, well, it’s possible to feel a bit lonely. If you’re in Madrid, there’s no need to panic: Plenty of bookstores carry English titles. Here are five of our favorites:

J & J Books and Coffee
Calle Espiritu Santo, 47
Metro: Noviciado
Telephone: +34 91 521 85 76
Web site

J & J is a great place to go for a coffee, beer and, of course, English-language books. Walk in and you’ll likely find lots of expats chatting away. The staff speaks English and they are always willing to help you find titles. The bookstore itself is downstairs, and here you’ll find the classics, contemporary fiction, travel guides, teaching materials, non-fiction, biography and more. Since it’s a used bookstore, the prices surely beat the bigger chains.

Pasajes Libreria Internacional
C/ Genova, 3
Metro: Alonso Martinez
Telephone: +34 91 310 12 45
Web site

Known for its wide variety of titles in Spanish, German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian, Pasajes more often than not will have what you’re looking for. English subject matter includes: Language and Linguistics, Philosophy, Literature, History and Geography, Social and Political Sciences, Psychology, Religion, Science, English as a Foreign Language, Art, Music, Cinema and Children’s Books. For all the titles it offers one would think the space would be large; however, the bookstore is small in size and the atmosphere is quite cozy.

Petra’s International Bookshop
C/ Campomanes, 13
Metro: Santo Domingo y Ópera
Telefone: 91 5417291
Web site

This used bookstore in Madrid’s city center carries a wide selection of English titles. The staff is super friendly and if the book you’re looking for isn’t on the shelves, they’ll call you when they have it. Walk by the bookstore and you’ll find titles spilling out onto the street. Walk in and you’ll notice that the layout is similar to an apartment–and in fact, it used to be one! This place has great prices and a friendly atmosphere.

C/ Justiniano, 4
Metro: Alonso Martinez
Telephone: +34 91 391 00 99
Web site

What makes this bookstore different from the rest is that it specializes in Spanish, English and French titles for children and teens. The great selection starts at books for toddlers zero to three and it doesn’t go too far beyond teen literature. Another feature that sets this place apart is the “La Cuevade Keta,” a space where you can catch lectures, book readings, author signings, music, theater and more. Activities are in English, Spanish and French.

Casa del Libro
Multiple Locations
Web site

One of the biggest bookstores in Madrid (with chains all over the world), Casa del Libro has plenty of stores in the city. It’s no surprise that you’ll find an English language section here. Even though the store is big, the English literature selection isn’t. So it’s possible you may find what you’re looking for, but it’s not guaranteed.

About the author

Cynthia Kane

About the author: Cynthia Blair Kane is a freelance writer and editor who splits her time between New York and Madrid. She is the Madrid city guide writer for Blackbook Magazine, and recently co authored Take a Hike: The Best 50 Routes in the Community of Madrid.

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