About The Guide

Hello! We are Sonja and Ivan. And this is our Bookstore Guide - an amateur guide to book shopping throughout Europe. We hope this Guide will help you find the book(stores) you are looking for.

Altair, Barcelona and Madrid

Altair bookstore logo
Where? Barcelona, Spain
Madrid, Spain

Visited: August 2008
(Read more on Altair in our Report from Barcelona)
Courtesy of Gridskipper

Gridskipper said: "Barcelona's Altair is possibly the largest travel bookshop in Europe, stocking titles from guidebooks to travelogues in both Spanish and English. The store sponsors worldwide traveler speaking events, readings, and forums, and they have their own travel agency as well. Many books wander out of strict travel genres into nature, anthropology, and sociology, often melding aspects of several disciplines. A great place to browse, even if you don't speak the lengua."

Altair bookstores in Barcelona and Madrid are the biggest travel specialized bookshops in Spain, and perhaps in the whole of Europe. The company also publishes a monthly travel magazine (by the name of Altair), and they also own an alternative travel agency called Orixa. Some people say that there is too much to choose from in Altair: numerous travel guides, maps and books related to traveling, even photography and music, find their place on Altair's bookshelves. Perhaps, there is no such thing as too much. Judge for yourself.

We have visited the bookstore in Barcelona and we were more than impressed. We have to say, that this is most probably the best travel-specialized bookstore we have seen. The whole interior of the bookstore is a traveler's delight. The books are arranged by continents and countries and the offer goes well beyond guidebooks and maps, you can actually find a selection of fiction by selected authors for each country. We tried to describe our impressions from the atmosphere of Altair in our Report from Barcelona.

Altair is a spacious travel bookstore, with two stores in Spain: one in Barcelona and the other in Madrid. Their selection offers guidebooks of many kinds, various maps, colorful travel literature and even books on topics such as nature and anthropology, children's books and comics. Another interesting offer is their selection of music CDs and DVDs.

Altair bookshop BarcelonaAltair Barcelona
Gran Via 616
BarcelonaAltair bookstore Spain


Phone and Email:

(34) 93 342 71 71

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat 10-14 and 16:30-20:30

Altair Madrid
Gaztambide 31

Phone and Email:
91 543 53 00

Working Hours:
Mon-Fri 10-14 and 16:30-20:30
Sat 10:30-14:30 and 16:30-20

Back to the list of bookstores in Barcelona
Back to the list of bookstores in Madrid


Anonymous said...

Hi--I'm a journalism student in Canada working on a travel magazine, and we've included some info on Altair in a story on bookstores around the world. I was wondering if it would be possible to use the photo you've included in this post? Also, if you have a larger original photo that we could use, that would be great. You can reach me at cara.smusiak@dal.ca. Thanks!
Cara Smusiak

raybank said...

Please, put this bookshop under Barcelona, not under Madrid.

sonjica said...

Dear Ray, we have Altair filed both under Barcelona and Madrid, with the first as it's prime location (even the map of the bookstore shows its Barcelona location - which is the one we visited in the summer of 08)