Royal Portuguese Reading Room

The interior of the historic Royal Portuguese Reading Room is nothing short of awe inspiring

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura
Real Gabinete Português de Leitura cc licensed photo by Os Rúpias

Located in downtown Rio, amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, lies the Real Gabinete Portugues da Leitura or Royal Portuguese Reading Room in English. The Real Gabinete Portugues da Leitura or is a beautiful library built in the Portuguese manueline style back in 1837.

It is said that books fill the walls from top to bottom in precious and beautiful carved wood bookshelves. There are those who make comparisons with Hogsworth college (those of you who have watched the Harry Potter series would know exactly what they are talking about). For those who have not seen any shots of the inside of Hogsworth, let's just say that the place is absolutely magical.

The library houses over 350,000 works, many of those works dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th century. These works contain an incredible amount of Portuguese history and culture. The Real Gabinete Prtugues da Lietura also features a variety of small collections of paintings, sculptures and ancient coins.

It is recommended when visiting the library you make certain that you go with a group of people or at least one other person as the library is situated in an older part of downtown of Rio de Janiero and like many large cities, you will find a number of beggars and vendors who can sometimes be on the aggressive side. See the video at the bottom of our Transit Tips page for some great advice on being safe while exploring Rio.

The other attractions in the area are the National LIbrary of Brazil and the Municipal Theatre. Both are definitely worth a visit.

For an afternoon of wonder in a world of literature and amazing architecture, visit the Real Gabinete Portugues da Leitura. Don't forget to bring your identity document along to ensure access!

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Royal Portuguese Reading Room Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Address: R. Luís de Camões, 30 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20051-020, Brazil

Phone: (21) 2221-3138

Official Website: Royal Portuguese Reading Room

Royal Portuguese Reading Room Reviews

Rated 4.8 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating If you haven't yet had the chance to visit this library, I highly recommend making it a priority during your time in Rio. This incredible place is truly a sight to behold, with a soaring ceiling and an endless sea of vibrantly colored books that surround you. It's nothing short of amazing! However, I must caution that the area in which the library is located can be a bit rough. While I wouldn't discourage anyone from visiting, it's essential to exercise extra caution and be aware of your surroundings. All things considered, the library is an absolute must-visit for book lovers and anyone who appreciates stunning architecture and design. If you have the opportunity to see it in person, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Kimberly Pham - a year ago

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5 Star Rating Bananas! Wow! The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro is a cultural haven, housed in a stunning Neo-Manueline style building designed by architect Rafael da Silva e Castro. Established in 1837, it holds the title of the fourth most beautiful library globally, according to Time magazine. With a long history and the largest collection of Portuguese literature outside Portugal, it stands as a testament to cultural promotion.
Sara Govero - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating Quite literally the most beautiful library I’ve ever seen in my life. From the way the books are stacked to the intricate little designs of the shelves and the glasswork on the ceiling, this library is a stunner. 10/10 would recommend visiting
Chardonnay Francis - 11 months ago

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5 Star Rating A dream library, probably among the most beautiful in the entire world, Unfortunately, now is a tourist spot, full of people taking selfies. Nevertheless, it's a magical place that I recommend visiting, as a glimpse of a more glamorous past.
Danielo D2 - 10 months ago

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5 Star Rating Nice and short visit. Only takes about 5 min as there is only one room to see.
Daniela M - a month ago

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Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 1 - Orange or LIne2 - GreenUruguaiana

How to get to Royal Portuguese Reading Room by Metro

Exit Uruguaiana Station onto Rua Uruguaiana and go right. Go right again onto Rua do Ouvidor and follow it to the plaza. Continue west along Rua Luis de Camoes, the road that borders the right side of the plaza and watch for the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura on your right.

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