El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires

#2 of 589 in Shopping in Argentina
Must see · Architectural Building · Gift & Specialty Shop
Browse an extensive collection of books in a spectacular setting at El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a bookstore housed in an early 20th-century theater. The theater first opened in 1919, and was later converted into a cinema. Today bookshelves replace seats in the stalls and galleries. Ascend to the top floor for a bird's-eye views of the floor below. Look up to admire the intricate ceiling frescoes. The theater boxes remain, converted into reading nooks where you can peruse a book before you buy. On the stage and backstage area, enjoy a coffee or empanadas at the onsite cafe. Although the store primarily stocks Spanish-language books, they also carry a wide range of English-language titles. Use our Buenos Aires visit app to add El Ateneo Grand Splendid and other attractions to your Buenos Aires vacation plans.
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El Ateneo Grand Splendid reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
22,940 reviews
  • This is a great place to pop into if your walking past, I always go in for a quick wander and gaze at the fabulous setting and architecture!  more »
  • If you are visitng Buenos Aires, you should not miss Ateneo Grand Splendid. The arquitecture and desing look perfect. We found very interesting books there, too.  more »
  • One of the most beautiful bookstore visited around the world, refurbished from a theatre. When visiting there, you won't focus on the books. Rather the architectural details, the ceiling, the ornate carvings, the crimson stage curtains, the auditorium lighting caught all your attention with the feeling of the grand theatre it once was. You can also enjoyed a coffee on the "stage" and this is a wonderful experience in Buenos Aires.
  • I really like this place and I bring visitors here for a browse and a coffee.The El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a former theatre, is now a famous bookshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2008, The Guardian placed it as the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. In 2019, it was named the "world's most beautiful bookstore" by the National Geographic. Chairs are provided throughout the building, including the still-intact theatre boxes, where customers can dip into books before purchase, and there is now a café on the back of what was once the stage. The ceiling, the ornate carvings, the crimson stage curtains, the auditorium lighting and many architectural details remain. A must see!

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