El Ateneo Bookshop

A memorable bookshop is usually one that has a large, impressive and interesting selection of books. A place where you can allow yourself to get lost in a world of print for several hours. In Buenos Aires however, there is a bookshop which is worth visiting, not only for the variety and breadth of its offerings, but purely for the decor.

El Ateneo Bookshop

El Ateneo Bookshop


The Ateneo Grand Splendid opened in 2000 in a building that at one time or another has housed a theatre and later a cinema, but what makes it unusual in building conversions is that all the original theatrical decor is kept 100% intact and the theatre has made room for the bookshop rather than the other way round.
Roof detail, El Ateneo

Roof detail, El Ateneo


The stage, which once played host to Carlos Gardel is now a cafe, the private boxes are now reading rooms and the higher seating levels have bookshelves fitted perfectly into their curves. It’s the perfect place to lose yourself in history and the printed word for an hour or two.
The Ceiling, El Ateneo

The Ceiling, El Ateneo


Ateneo Bookshop: Av Santa Fe 1860 (between Riobamba & Callao)
Boxes converted into reading rooms, El Ateneo

Boxes converted into reading rooms, El Ateneo

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2 Comments

  1. Irma says:

    I loved this place! In fact went there 3x when I was there last May! I went to a Jesuit Uni as well with the same name (Ateneo, si!) so a bit of a connection there…This bookshop is such a grand yet cozy place…Recovered from a resaca grande on a Sunday afternoon with just a cafe con leche and facturas keeping me company and of course, a little travel book with photos, not much text, as I could barely read that day! Anyway, shame I didnt hear about your tours when I was there…have already passed on your link/blog to a couple of my friends who are visiting from Australia this Sept and November.
    Saludos desde Sydney!

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Irma – now you mention it, think I’ve recovered from a hangover or two in there as well! Look forward to meeting your friends in the spring! Saludos desde Buenos Aires 🙂