Libraries & Bookshops


The Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library is the central axis of the Póvoa de Varzim Public Libraries Network in the promotion of training and access to knowledge in the city.  Making the Municipal Public Reading Network, together with the Diana-Bar (Beach Library) and the Manuel Lopes House (Garden Library), with a total of 18 reading hubs distributed throughout the municipality.

Throughout its almost 30 years of existence, it has already been the stage for several initiatives related not only to literature but also to other creative fields such as music, cinema, and illustration, among others.

The activities developed in partnership with the Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library serve as a link between education, culture, information and leisure, thus fostering the ideal conditions to promote the cultural development of individuals and social groups in the city
From 2000, the Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library began to open Reading Hubs in the municipality, with the objective of decentralising knowledge through the provision of spaces dedicated to reading and entertainment. The policy of expanding reading spaces and promoting culture has facilitated equality in access to learning and continuous cultural development for all citizens. 


The Beach Libraries are decentralised units of the Public Libraries Network, located on seafronts: the emblematic Diana-Bar café, on Avenida do Mar, and the Praia da Lagoa Library, at Aver-O-Mar. 

The Diana-Bar building is an unmistakable landmark of the Póvoa de Varzim bathing landscape. Inaugurated on 7 July 1940, it was designed by renowned modernist architect Delfim Amorim, before he emigrated to Recife, Brazil. The Diana-Bar has left a lasting mark on several generations of the people of Póvoa de Varzim and people from other areas. There have been literary gatherings there, promoted by José Régio, meetings organised by students and carnival dances. Several prominent figures of Portuguese culture, such as Manoel de Oliveira, Agustina Bessa-Luís and Alberto Serpa participated in the intellectual impetus of the space. Currently, due to the versatility of the space, all these experiences continue to be part of the life of the building, which is now a reading hub beside the sea, on the beach.

In the summer, the libraries advance into the space around the beach, receiving up to 800 visitors per day from among the beachgoers.  


The residence of the intellectual, defender of Póvoa de Varzim culture and history and former director of the Municipal Library, Manuel Lopes, was donated in a will to Póvoa de Varzim Municipal Council in 2006, along with his bibliographic collection. In accordance with his manifest wish, the House has become a centre for studies concerning Póvoa de Varzim, forming part of the Public Libraries Network. 

Also known as the Garden Library, it makes its green area available during the summer for special activities, accommodating up to 50 people. The aim of this initiative is to broaden the range of children's and young people's activities at the Municipal Library. The garden is used to occupy the children's free time with playful activities related to reading. 

The interior of the garden house is ideal for activities of reading animation, visual arts, learning games and educational and recreational video sessions.

Manuel Lopes House plays an important role in the municipal policy of encouraging literature. The cultural facility, in addition to being the stage for various literary initiatives, also serves as a home for writers and illustrators. In 2017, the House was home to the artistic residencies programme of the Correntes d’Escritas Literary Festival, hosting the Portuguese authors Ana Luísa Amaral, Jaime Rocha and Margarida Ferra, and the Argentine photographer Daniel Mordzinski. The work of this residency resulted in the publication of an original work.


Seven school library units form the Póvoa de Varzim Public Libraries Network. They are members of the National School Libraries Network Programme, coordinated by the Ministry of Education. The Municipal Councils, through their programmes to encourage reading, have been an important ally of the Programme, achieving more consistent operation in the field and aligned with the desires and availability of the schools.

The Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library, responsible for orchestrating the Public Libraries Network, offers schools the necessary support for the functioning of their libraries and the promotion of reading. It collaborates in the development of cultural, educational and technical extension activities in school libraries of all levels of education in the municipality. It provides fun activities, loans for thematic exhibitions, bibliographic exhibitions, training actions for teachers and the implementation of specific projects, such as Story Time.

In addition to the network of school libraries, the Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library also supports some schools that, not being integrated into the national network, have physical conditions for the existence of such a space.

These schools, trained in this way, regularly promote international literacy projects among their students, such as: School Libraries Across Europe, World Read Aloud Day, Book it 18. Some of these projects were recognised by the eTwinning School Label Award.

Finally, the entire school network is mobilised for the annual programme of the Correntes d’Escritas Literary Festival.


Municipal Public Reading Network

1.    Rocha Peixoto Municipal Library
2.    Diana Bar (Beach Library)
3.    Praia da Lagoa (Beach Library)
4.    Manuel Lopes House (Garden Library)
5.    Aguçadoura Reading Hub
6.    Amorim Reading Hub
7.    Balasar Reading Hub
8.    Beiriz Reading Hub
9.    Estela Reading Hub
10.  Laúndos Reading Hub
11.  Rates Reading Hub

School Libraries Network

12.    Eça de Queirós Secondary School
13.    Rocha Peixoto Secondary School
14.    Dr. Flávio Gonçalves Basic School
15.    Cego do Maio Basic School
16.    Aver-o-Mar Basic School
17.    Rates Basic School
18.    Campo Aberto – Beiriz Basic School


The commercial offer in the city complements the facilities devoted to the promotion of reading. The city has a total of 8 bookstores and 22 press kiosks, which are, by themselves, spaces to encourage literature and, therefore, local protagonists of the literary sector. The bookstores are located in strategic points distributed throughout the municipality. In addition to being, in essence, sales spaces that support the relationship between literature and local commerce, they are often spaces for the proliferation and dynamisation of important initiatives of the literary sector, such as book presentations and autograph sessions. 

They are, therefore, partners in promoting reading. 

National network of bookstores:
•    Livraria Bertrand

Local initiatives:
•    Livraria Minerva
•    Livraria Moderna
•    Livraria Triângulo
•    Livraria Graça
•    Livraria Locus
•    Livraria Xitaca
•    Theatro

Theatro stands out among these as an innovative space that combines a bookstore, art gallery, restaurant, wine bar and the organisation of events. Inaugurated in 2017, it is the result of the rehabilitation of an Art Noveau building, in a clear focus on the role of culture as a source of innovation and creator of entrepreneurial opportunities. All theses spaces are enveloped by a literary atmosphere. The widespread presence of books, such as the daily recommendation of a book on the tables of the restaurant, gives the space its distinctive tone, making it special and more attractive.
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