Located in the old opera Teatro Grand Splendid, this place is guaranteed to awe you. According to Guardian, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. Not sure about Guardian, but I have never seen a more impressive bookshop in my life. Original ceiling, ornate carvings, red stage curtains, and auditorium lighting – all remain from the old opera days, preserving the grand feeling of the theatre.
What to know: most of the books are in Spanish, with English section being quite limited. There are however loads of illustrated books that are fun to browse even if your knowledge of Espanol is limited. Wait for a spot in one of the boxed seats area close to the stage to read. Even better – go straight for a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine for that matter) at the “stage” cafeteria. Definitely, the best setting to dive into the book world.
When to go: the shop is typically open from 9am to 10pm (except for Sundays, when it opens at the midday). Make sure to check the timing online before going – Argentinian sights are known to schedule in unexpected siestas.
How to book: walk in; the entrance is free. Don’t forget a camera – you’ll need it there.