Europe is an absolute hotspot when it comes to bookshops – from the cobbled side-streets of London to the bustling quarters of Paris, we are regularly reminded that bookshops still play a role in our lives, even as scientific and technological developments steer us towards a more digital existence. Scientific bookshops, though somewhat less mainstream and more niche, are still plentiful on the continent and the following are the cream of the crop.

Skoob Books 

This second-hand bookshop in London specializes in academic books and boasts an impressive array of scientific books. Their science range covers scientists looking to read for leisure but is mostly orientated around those looking for reference books. 

La Central 

This gem of a bookshop in Madrid, La Central de Callao, is not just expansive in terms of its topical range, which includes philosophy, history, social sciences, and fiction, but also literally: it is really huge (there is even an indoor cypress tree). Often, bookshops tend to occupy cozy spaces, little holes in the wall of a quaint alleyway – the depth lies behind the pages rather than in the building itself. However, La Central manages to get both – it has three floors that cover 1200 square meters. 


Buchholz is one of Lisbon’s must-sees for book-lovers and scientists alike – preferably those who fall into both categories. Though varied in topics, they really excel in all sectors of the sciences, as well as classical music, gay literature, and new age books. With books available in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and English, there is something for international visitors. 

Atlantisz Könyvsziget

This is both a publisher and a book shop in Budapest. The bookshop covers two-stories and specializes in the humanities and social sciences. Though they have books in English, French, and German, their focus is largely philosophy and political science in Hungarian translation. The interior decor is delightful, quirky, and old-school library-like, which is worth admiring in its own capacity – there is even a statue of a dragon! 

Hoepli International Bookshop

Milan is known for many things, but it is not often given the credit it is due for its wonderful array of bookshops. When the scope is spread across 500,000+ international books over five stories, it is no wonder that the sciences are well-represented from within Hoepli. 

Scheltema is not only one of the biggest bookshops in Europe, but also one of the oldest in the Netherlands. While people will recommend the likes of The American Book Center or Athenaeum Boekhandel, if you are just looking for general fiction, or something on the humanitarian topic spectrum, this is your go-to for science. It specializes in science and educational publications, which cover five stories and 3200 square meters – so it is safe to say you will have plenty to look at. 

Inanna Rare Books 

This lovely bookshop in Drimoleague, Ireland, sells out-of-print, secondhand and antique books – though they vary in subject matter, they tend to focus on a scientific nature. From medicine to the social sciences, it covers all manner of subcategories within the sciences, too. 

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