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El Ateneo Grand Splendid

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Architectural buildings, Specialty shops, Sights & Landmarks, Shopping & Fashion
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Address: Av Santa Fe 1860 | Barrio Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone Number: +54 11 4813-6052
Website
Description: Situated in an old theater, El Ateneo is one of the most popular...
Situated in an old theater, El Ateneo is one of the most popular bookstores in Buenos Aires.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Terrible
Most recent review
beautiful bookstore

This beautiful theater-turned-bookstore was at the top of my destination list. I was surprised that the selection wasn't better considering how large the place is. It's... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 4, 2015
Lauren S
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2,060 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015 NEW

This beautiful theater-turned-bookstore was at the top of my destination list. I was surprised that the selection wasn't better considering how large the place is. It's basically like a giant Barnes and Noble in a lovely old theater.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
14 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015 NEW

love this place, love to be there just walking through the aisles full of books, the celing is amazing with a "fresco", and the balconys... The place used to be a theatre and a luxury one, and the kept all the old style in this great library...

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Buenos Aires
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
22 attraction reviews
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015 NEW

This is a fully restored theater that was converted into a bookstore (El Ateneo chain) about a decade ago. If you were walking by it on the street, you'd think it was just an ordinary bookstore until you actually walk inside and see the huge cupula and amazing architecture.

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Fort Myers, Florida
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
29 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 NEW

It used to be a theater, then a cinema, but could have been an opera house. Gilded trim, frescoed ceiling, the stage is now a cafe. An amazing selection of books--in Spanish. Only one small bookcase of paperback "airplane reading" in English. Go for the experience!

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Palo Alto
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

The Ataneo is a grand, spacious place for books to be displayed. It's definitely one of the biggest bookstore I've ever seen, and also the most ornate. Walking in, you step up into what used to be a large performing arts venue. The main floor is split wide open by the staircase down to the music and children's section. The... More 

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Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

A converted grand old theatre houses a bookstore, that does not fail to amaze. If you're in the area shopping, be sure to check it out. In all honesty - I wouldn't have travelled across the whole city to see it, but since we were staying in the area, it was a definite attraction. There is an English section, as... More 

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

Visiting El Ateneo, grabbing a few books and taking them to the bistro at the bottom of the store for a pair of medialunas and some Cafe con Leche is one of the best (and quietest) experiences in town.

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

Go have a look at this old theater they saved and now houses an amazing bookstore! And enjoy a limonada in the cafe.

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Chappaqua, New York, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

Old theatre converted into a bookstore. Spent hours there even though there were very few English books.

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Regina, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2015

Argentina has some great big and little bookstores. This one is worth going to just to see the great job they did of converting a former theatre to a bookstore, while keeping much of the original decor.

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Questions & Answers

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Berkeley, California
1 month ago

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Questions? Get answers from El Ateneo Grand Splendid staff and past visitors.
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?