Whether it’s delicate poetry, beautifully illustrated children’s books, or action-packed fantasy novels, Uppsala boasts a bookstore for every literary preference. Don’t miss the chance to acquire a one-of-a-kind book as a gift – or bring along a fresh reading adventure and relax at one of Uppsala’s numerous cafesor parks.
The fact that Uppsala is a university town is reflected in the high quality of the city’s bookstores. Take your time to visit more than one of these shops – we promise, there’s plenty to discover at each one.
The English Bookshop – One of the World’s Best Bookstores
If one dares to describe a bookstore as cinematic, that’s precisely what The English Bookshop is. When you step into this cozy shop tucked away in a corner of the city’s pedestrian street, you are greeted by books from floor to ceiling. There are approximately 17,000 titles here, with 15,000 of them being one-of-a-kind. As the store’s name suggests, all books are written in English. The knowledgeable staff is more than happy to recommend books from the nearly overwhelming selection. In addition to books, you’ll find many literature-related items and merchandise, perfect as gifts for any book worm.
The English Bookshop was founded almost 30 years ago, in the same location where it located today. In 2018, the shop won the prestigious Bookstore of the Year Award in the international category at the London Book Fair – competing against the very finest bookstores in the world.
The English Bookshop also hosts events on occasion. If you happen to be in Uppsala one of these evenings, do book a ticket! The event calendar ranges from discussions about gothic horror literature and geekery about Dr. Who, to more serene poetry evenings.
Uppsala residents who bought books here in the 1980s and 1990s return to this store with both their children and grandchildren.
Läslusen Ignites the Little Ones Passion for Reading
In the shop window of Läslusen (translated roughly as “The Bookworm”), Uppsala’s very own cat, Pelle Svanslös, happily welcomes visitors to this vibrant bookstore. Läslusen is a bookshop dedicated to children’s literature, aged 0 to 13 years. And in case the long shelves filled with children’s books and cuddly toys from the world of literature weren’t enough to ignite the love of reading, there’s even a designated reading nook. Here, children can crawl behind a curtain and sink into soft cushions with their favorite book.
The slightly older kids have their own space downstairs in the store, with a focus on young adult books in genres like fantasy, relationships, and mystery. Adults might enjoy the bright window area just by the entrance, where they can sit down with a nice cup of coffee purchased from the neighboring coffee shop, Arrenius & Company.
Läslusen has been a part of Uppsala for over 40 years. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for Uppsala residents who bought books here in the 1980s and 1990s to return with both their children and grandchildren to the same store. The primary focus is on books in Swedish, but Läslusen also offers a smaller selection of books in English and other languages, such as German and Arabic languages.
Poetry Heaven at Uppsala Bokhandel
On Sysslomansgatan, you’ll find several independent shops and cafes, including Uppsala Bokhandel (Uppsala Bookstore). Here, you’ll find a wide range of books in most categories, and highly knowledgeable staff (one is a member of the jury for the Swedish literature prize called the August Prize !). At the entrance to the store, there’s a dedicated shelf for books related to Uppsala and Uppland, in case you just can’t get enough of Uppsala’s rich history.
The bookstore also proudly boasts the city’s most extensive selection of poetry. Naturally, you’ll find several Uppsala poets on the shelves, and the staff is more than happy to recommend new and interesting titles in both Swedish and English. The bookstore also occasionally hosts events where you can meet the poets behind the works.
Dig for Treasures at Uppsala’s Antiquarian Bookstores
What would a university town be without a handful of excellent antiquarian bookstores? Here, you can discover true book treasures in the fields of academic literature as well as classic novels.
Fantastikbokhandeln is a specialized antiquarian bookstore for science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature. It’s located on a cobblestone street next to the cathedral, adding to the overall experience. You’ll find books about dragons, demons, wizards, and everything in between, both in Swedish and English.
The novel “Röda Rummet” (“The Red Room”) was written by August Strindberg in 1879 and is often considered the first modern Swedish novel – this antiquarian bookstore takes its name from the former Uppsala student’s work. Here, you can easily spend hours exploring the broad and at the same time curated selection of books.
Omnikvariatet is an antiquarian bookstore, gallery, and a cultural venue in central Uppsala. Enjoy music across various genres, browse through the extensive book collection, all while sipping on fine beverages from the bar.
Antikvariat Thomas Andersson is located in the Övre Slottsgatan district, with a surrounding of university buildings and student nations. This antiquarian store specializes in academic books, dissertations, as well as books in mathematics and natural sciences. Here, you’re guaranteed to find unique book titles, as well as other curiosities the owner has collected.
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