El Ateneo Grand Splendid also know as ‘the most beautiful bookstore in the world’ as said by National Geographic. El Ateneo, a must do in Buenos Aires. The bookstore is located in a former theatre that has been converted into a bookstore and a dam beautiful one at that.
Located in the Suburb of Recoleta, it is common for people to visit both El Ateneo Grand Splendid and Recoleta cemetery on the same day.
Looking from the outside El Ateneo Grand Splendid just looks like any other shop. So much so that we walked past it the first time expecting to see a grand entrance. This is not the case though, it is just a glass door tended by a security guard checking bags for books. The entrance is free.
Keep An Eye Out For The Entrance
Once you walk inside the rather ordinary entrance becomes transformed into a book lovers dream. Bookshelves after bookshelves spread out across the floor in what still seems like an ordinary bookstore. It’s not until you walk past this first few lines of books, that it opens up into something you have never seen before in your life.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid is bold, historic and simply beautiful. As you walk deeper to the area that used to be a theatre it opens up in a circular architecture that spreads out over 3 different stories. Each story is stacked full of books upon books.
There is also a cafe on the bottom story. Just as Beautiful as the El Ateneo itself where you can grab a coffee or a few of the classic Argentinean Empanadas. Which to be honest with you, it is a pretty badass place to have a coffee.
Is El Ateneo Grand Splendid ‘the most beautiful bookstore in the world’? I’m no bookstore expert but It is most definitely the most beautiful bookstore that I have been too, and if you go, I’m sure you will have the same opinion.
This is just one of the many things you must do! For a full ist check out my post here!