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Powell's City of Books

1005 West Burnside, Portland, OR 97209

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5.0 out of 5
99 member's reviews
4,049 people visited Powell's City of Books
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Tribes: Who likes this place?

Who Likes This Place?

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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Local Culture
  • 84%
    Budget Travelers
  • 71%
    Family Travelers
  • 71%
    Students
  • 68%
    History Buffs
  • 63%
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 58%
    Backpackers
  • 56%
    Green Travelers
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Member Reviews (99)

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  • Powell's City of BooksPro 2014
    Yogic Traveler
    Member of
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    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    + 7
    • LGBT
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    • Foodies
    • Wellness
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    • History Buffs
    • Nightlife Lovers
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    • Trendsters
    5 Feb 01, 2014

    Truly a City of Books! Powell's in downtown Portland takes up an entire city block plus a second building! There are several rooms each with various sections. Make sure to make it all the way up to the Pearl room on the top floor to check out the rare book collection.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersHistory BuffsLocal CultureTrendsters
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  • Powell's City of BooksPro 2014
    Jason Flegel
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    Local Culture
    Foodies
    + 1
    • LGBT
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    • Backpackers
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    No visit to Portland would be complete without a trip to Powell's. If you, at all, like books, then a few hours in Powell's is as good or better than any amusement park. This is the big-daddy of all independent book stores and its reputation is well-deserved; the place is huge (the main building occupies one whole city block!) and has a seemingly never ending supply of interesting books to browse. Sure, Powell's has your best sellers, new fiction, and other Barnes&Noble's-type sections, but there is so much more to discover at Powell's.

    I liken Powell's to a modern-day Great Library of Alexandria. Okay, okay, so it doesn't have all the knowledge of the known- world, but it does have a lot of books you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

    Take your time and wander around each level. Of course the rare-books section is beautiful and interesting, but there are gems to be found in every section.

    In an era when bookstores are quickly becoming obsolete, Powell's reminds us that being unique can keep you ahead of the game. So, grab your friend Dewey (or a Powell's map, which they publish to keep you from getting lost in the aisles) and burrow into Powell's. Don't worry if you can't see it all in one visit; you'll just have one more reason to come back to Portland.

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  • Powell's City of Books
    Cory Roush
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    + 2
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    • Students
    • Luxury Travelers
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    I could stay here for days.

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  • Powell's City of Books
    Terry R
    5 Mar 31, 2014

    The largest book store in the country--explore, read, sit in the cafe, people watch and enjoy this incredible City gem.

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  • Powell's City of Books
    Alison Kjeldgaard
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    Foodies
    Backpackers
    Nightlife Lovers
    + 1
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    • Nightlife Lovers
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    5 Oct 19, 2013

    This place is a book junkie's paradise. Upon entering this magical "city," my inner English Literature geek nearly exploded from happiness. Plan to spend at least a few hours wandering between the stacks as this palatial store occupies a full city block. Besides housing a giant collection of new, used and rare books, Powell's sells them for ridiculously low prices. I am still in awe of its worthiness as a bookstore since I finally found a copy of a collection of poetry I had been trying to find for months there.

    Recommended for:BackpackersLocal CultureStudents
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  • Powell's City of BooksPro 2014
    Sara Benson
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    + 1
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    5 Oct 19, 2013

    I've been lucky enough to visit some amazing bookstores around the world, but Powell's made my jaw drop. Four aisles just of cookbooks? A travel guides, language and literature section that takes up one-third of an entire floor? I only wished that I could have come on Saturday or Sunday, when the rare books room is open. Check the website for upcoming special events and author readings.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersHistory BuffsLocal CultureStudents
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  • Powell's City of Books
    Molly Freedenberg
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Wellness
    5 Oct 18, 2013

    It is mind-blowing how large, comprehensive, and attractive Powell's Books is. The multi-story building on the corner of Burnside and 10th is not only fun for browsing (as they have tons of magazines, journals, reading-related knick-knacks, and a huge art and photo book section), but it's almost guaranteed they'll have whatever you're looking for, however esoteric or out-of-fashion. But unlike many booksellers that cater to hard-core readers, Powell's also has all the new best sellers and popular kids' rags. You could spend an entire day at Powell's, and the staff don't mind if you do. You can also sell your old books at the back entrance for a decent price. (And for out-of-towners, you can buy books from Powell's online - for awhile they rivaled Amazon in selection.)

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersLocal CultureStudents
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  • Powell's City of BooksPro 2014
    Margot B
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
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    + 7
    • Local Culture
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    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Sep 29, 2013

    The best thing about Portland. This is the largest independent new/used bookstore on the planet and encompasses a whole city block! The selection of used books here is absolutely astounding, and you can often find things here that aren't even available on Amazon. There's also a coffee shop on site, and you're allowed to bring in books and flip through them for as long as you want, even if you don't buy a drink. They have branches on Hawthorne and in Beaverton, too. Amazing rare book room and lots of author events, too.

    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversBudget TravelersLocal CultureStudents
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  • Powell's City of Books
    Kelly Gregory
    5 Sep 13, 2013

    A MUST visit! Huge selection of new and used books. HUGE children's section. Gift Section as well. You can get lost in the store for hours! I like the rare book section as well. Check out www.powells.com/portland to see events. They have a Children's storytime. Children's storytime is a great way to meet other local parents and find playgroups.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Powell's City of BooksPro 2014
    Frances Nguyen
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 2
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
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    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    4 Aug 28, 2013

    Powell's City of Books comprises a BLOCK of downtown Portland. How many cities can make that claim? I would argue there aren't many. Book lovers will have a field day with Powell's. Even if you're not into books, you should check out the place just to check out the sheer size and magnitude of books available.

    Update 03.12.12: Found this great quote from Eric Weiner of the New York Times describing Powell's:

    Bookstores are thin places, too, and, for me, none is thinner than Powell’s in Portland, Ore. Sure, there are grander bookstores, and older ones, but none quite possesses Powell’s mix of order and serendipity, especially in its used-book collection — Chekhov happily cohabitating with “Personal Finance for Dummies,” Balzac snuggling with Grisham.

    Recommended for:Local Culture
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Description:

Powell's City of Books is a book lover's paradise, the largest used and new bookstore in the world. Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, and occupying an entire city block, the City stocks more than a million new and used books. Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.
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