El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires

4.8
#2 of 586 in Shopping in Argentina
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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22,830 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • You'll remember the fast disappearing mega book stores B & Noble, Borders (RIP). El Ateneo tops them all. In its earlier life it was a theater - the balcony gives that away and now there is a...  more »
  • Although the El Ateneo was very crowded when we visited on a weekday, we easily maneuvered the crowds to wander this beautiful bookstore located in an old theater. The store has a wide selection of.....  more »
Google
  • 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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