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El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires

1860 Sante Fe
Buenos Aires
Tel: 54 11 4811 6104's insider take:

The original El Ateneo at Calle Florida 340 is one of B.A.'s most beloved librerías (bookstores). But this outpost on Avenida Santa Fe must be seen to be believed. It's a browser's paradise (titles come in several languages), housed in an enormous, ornate 1919 theater (check out the towering ceilings, carvings, and preserved box seats), where Carlos Gardel was once among the marquee performers. These days, a café occupies the old stage.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 9 am to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 9 am to midnight, Sundays noon to 10 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.