El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires

4.8
#2 of 594 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
22,875 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • to walk into this fabulous bookstore set in a theater....with areas for people to read in the theater "boxes"...incredible. Plenty of souvenirs to buy along the line of reading...loved this...  more »
  • A Stunning place! An amazing place for Book lovers. Not only you'll get the best books but also the best croisssants. Best bookshop I have ever been to.  more »
  • Not written up as a highlight in many tour books, it is a beautiful former theater which has now turned into a bookstore. We did not buy any books but went here for the beautiful architecture. Very...  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!
  • One of those must visit places in Buenos Aires and it is not to be missed! Very easy to reach if you take the Subte, its Callao station and you walk a few blocks from there. A gigantic book store in the theater setting. Fantastic coffee shop to take a break and read that book that you’ve bought. English literature stand is very limited, just a few detective stories. And unfortunately, you can’t find the books of South American authors in English (you can find those in smaller book shops in the city, just not here). But you will be amazing how much literature is produced in Spanish. This is the capital of reading in South America. And you can find translations of most of the classics from different countries. So, you can spend hours going through the book shelves and reading the passage of your favorite books in Spanish. There is a huge selection of games and kids’ literature, if you are studying Spanish that’s a great place to shop. Also, you can buy some cool diaries in Spanish, and they make amazing gifts. You can easily spend hours here, reading, walking, people watching, having coffee. By all means don’t miss it if you ever in Buenos Aires!
  • I don't speak Spanish nor do I read Spanish. They do not have a big selection of English books nor should they because it is located in Buenos Aires Argentina. But man, what an impressive bookstore. Visually just walking through it is amazing. If I actually knew Spanish, that place seemed to have everything. I love just spending time in there. It is a great sight to behold
  • This place is so amazing. I could hang out here all day. My friends had told me about it, but experiencing it is a different story. A 100+ year old opera house converted into a bookstore. Amazing.

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