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Powell's City of Books, Portland

4.9
#1 of 2,102 in Things to do in Oregon
Must see · Gift & Specialty Shop · Shopping
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Powell's City of Books fills an entire city block, where it sells new and used books. The company claims to be the largest independent bookstore in the U.S. It buys over 3,000 books every day to sells in its used and rare book sections. Be sure to stop by the rare book room where autographed copies and rare editions are displayed. Called "the coolest bookstore in the world" by CNN, the store hosts art exhibits and author events. Visit the website for a list of upcoming book signings. Plan to visit Powell's City of Books during your Portland vacation using our convenient Portland journey site.
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Powell's City of Books reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
5,375 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • This book store is really big. It has mostly new and newer used book. It’s huge. There is a lot of variety. The staff was very helpful. I picked up a few books. 
    This book store is really big. It has mostly new and newer used book. It’s huge. There is a lot of variety. The staff was very helpful. I picked up a few books.  more »
  • My daughters and I loved looking through the books and they found books they had been looking for. We appreciated staff picks/recommendations throughout the bookshelves. Visiting the rare book room.....  more
    My daughters and I loved looking through the books and they found books they had been looking for. We appreciated staff picks/recommendations throughout the bookshelves. Visiting the rare book room.....  more »
Google
  • This was the biggest bookstore I've ever been in and the layout was a bit confusing at first, but we figured it out in a couple minutes and its very cleverly done. Reasonable prices across the books, and there's an information desk in every room, which said rooms are color coded for their genres. I'm an in and out guy with crowds but I spent a few hours in there exploring, despite every dang aisle having 3 or more people down it, and a human river in the main walkways. They have a small cafe on premise, with a whole room dedicated to the Cafe itself, tables, and chairs. I was just visiting Portland but if I ever go back, I'm definitely stopping here again. Fantastic selection, great prices, decent food, and excellent service.
  • The legendary Powell's is always a treat to visit. Parking is bad (if only I could get more than 2 hours on the street), but the trip is worth it. Indy bookstores are a dying breed, but this is such an institution. All my chums abroad and on the East coast even know about it. It has changed so much in the past 20 years, I barely recognize it. I remember studying in the old coffee room that had aprons all over the walls. The entire floor plan has changed. As far as sale books, there are plenty. They group books nicely as well when they want to promote certain genres or types of books. My favorite aisles are well-stocked with old and new titles (sociology, philosophy, business, history, etc). Also, I appreciate the author lectures. I've met some interesting authors and people in the crowd. This is one reason why Portland is such a great city. We're readers that have places like this!

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