Ateneo Grand Splendid opened in the space which was previously a theatre at the start of the 2000s. The bookstore offers up thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, and more to one million-plus people who drop every year. Travelers relish a wonderful experience browsing the flamboyant shelves arranged artfully in the former orchestra and mezzanine segments. Former luxury boxes serve as quiet reading nooks, with stunning views, to read a book or take it all in. The café is in fact set on the theater’s former stage provided a center-stage experience.
Argentina is famous as a literary country, publishing tens of thousands of titles a year. Buenos Aires boasts of having the highest number of bookstores per person in the world, with over 700 brick-and-mortar establishments. Ateneo Grand Splendid is worth a visit as a piece of history breathing new life in its own right, among the many other inviting bookstores the city is home to.
The grand store has a wonderful and lively kids’ section nested in the heart of the building, where youngsters excitedly flip through the latest Spanish titles.
Limited English Section
For adults, the bookstore has a small offering of titles in English at the front, but the selections are slim, mostly romance novels and drugstore thrillers. Some large-format photo books are available in English.
The gorgeous store is so striking that many people stop in just for a look, including tourists. And the welcoming staff seems completely comfortable with that. Head to the top for a stunning view from the balcony, especially a little off-center to either side. This allows travelers to circumvent the small line of people taking selfies at dead center. Photography from the stage café is another popular option.
When To Visit
The center stage café can get crowded, so if you want to avoid waiting for a seat, visit at an off time, mostly during the week. January and February are typically the most popular months to visit Buenos Aires, followed by October while June tends to be the least busy month. Regardless of the time, Ateneo Grand Splendid is definitely more than a bookstore.