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Shopping, Independent retailers Upper East Side
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Photograph: Courtesy Albertine

An initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Albertine is devoted to works—both in its original version and in translation—and offers the largest selection of French literature in the United States, with more than 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries. The two-floor space is truly an escapist's dream, with a designated reading room with lush sofas and armchairs, all housed in the French embassy.


Venue name: Albertine
Address: 972 Fifth Ave
Cross street: between 78th and 79th Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Thu, Sat 11am–7pm; Fri 11am–10pm; Sun 11am–6pm
Transport: Subway: 6 to 77th St
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

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The Payne Whitney mansion, home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, a mini-Venetian museum, and this gem of a French bookstore is a breathtaking building. The entrance, a marble rotunda, is classy and bright, and home to an array of information about other French cultural events in New York City. 

Albertine is filled to the brim with French novels and films alike. Hosting events on a regular basis (many featuring famous writers), one feels as if they are entering an honest-to-goodness Parisian bookshop. 

Check out the photographs of the second floor; the ceiling is painted like a night-time sky -- it's absolutely gorgeous. 


This is hands down one of the most beautiful bookstores in NYC. Albertine is nestled inside the French Embassy building along Central Park East. The entrance of the building is stunning marble, and upon entrance you follow towards the back of the lobby to the french bookstore. The store floor is covered in tufted furniture and gorgeous dark wooden paneling. Head up the gorgeous staircase to the real show-stopper, a painted planetary/zodiac inspired ceiling. Definitely a must visit for any book-lover, even if they don't speak french. It's fun to see the translated copies and unique foreign book covers - especially on favorites like Harry Potter. I spent an hour with a friend just nestled into one of their well-worn leather couches.