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“Absolutely gorgeous and free to visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Ateneo Grand Splendid

El Ateneo Grand Splendid
Av Santa Fe 1860 | Barrio Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Recoleta)
+54 11 4813-6052
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Ranked #1 of 110 Shopping in Buenos Aires
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Situated in an old theater, El Ateneo is one of the most popular bookstores in Buenos Aires.
san francisco, ca
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Absolutely gorgeous and free to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I'm reviewing this as a place to visit for 10 minutes, not as a place to buy books, since everything I saw in there was Spanish and I can't adequately review the true bookstore experience.
First of all, coming from the US where brick-and-mortar bookstores have pretty much ceased to exist, I was surprised and impressed to see so many bookstores in general in Argentina. So I guess it's not surprising that one of their bookstores would be housed in such a beautiful setting. I was absolutely blown away by how beautifully they transformed this theater into a retail space. Definitely worth a quick stroll-through if you're in the neighborhood. There's also a cafe inside to grab a cold refreshing beverage if you need a break from walking around under the hot summer Buenos Aires sun

Visited January 2013
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Warrnambool
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“A bookworms delight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Fascinating and jaw droppingly beautiful. This bookstore was our first port of call in Buenos Aires and it did not disappoint. Plenty of great photo opportunities, the balconies are a novel place to sit, read, or people watch. Didn't try the cafe, but the bathroom amenities were that of a 4 star + hotel. Bookworms could easily lose themselves in here for hours on end.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens
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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great setting but thats it”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013 via mobile

The theater is really beautiful. The bookstore poor and only mainstream titles available. Drinks and sweets are mediocre (coffee especially bad). Service is pretty horrible. The only shop in 3 weeks trip in argentina that i didnt leave a tip.
They accept dollars but at a thievery rate
Really dissapointing. Simply good looks and nothing else

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Bedford, Texas
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Gorgeous setting!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Cant say much about the setting that hasn't been said 100 times. This was a great place to beat the heat for 30 minutes and people watch(from the upper balconies). There is a nice selection of fiction paperbacks in English, look for the section called "Pocket Books" on the first floor. The cafe was packed at 5pm on a Tuesday so i didn't try to get a spot. Very cool place to check out if you're nearby.

Visited January 2013
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“A bookstore, a treat.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

What a great idea for repurposing what must have been a beautiful theatre. It was a treat to walk into this space, which is grand, and look around. We were in Buenos Aires during the heat wave, so we were relieved to walk into the air-conditioned comfort of the store, and spend a little time looking at DVDs and books. (AND IT'S FREE!) Plus, there are washrooms available. If we had had more time, we would've had a coffee in their little cafe on the stage.

While you're in that neighbourhood, make sure you pop up to Comme Il Faut - http://www.thestar.com/living/fashion/article/885282--on-the-trail-of-the-most-beautiful-shoes-in-the-world - to check out their wonderfully priced, and extremely beautiful tango shoes!

Visited December 2012
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