What a wonderful, marvelous bookstore! For those of us home swap exchangers who love reading and could spend hours and hours in a bookstore...imagine visiting El Ateneo in Buenos Aires, we would want to spend days and days in there! El Ateneo was a theater built in 1919 and had a seating capacity of 1,050 and staged performances of all kinds. Later on, it became a space where a radio station broadcasted its recordings until 1929, when it was converted into a cinema and became the first projectedsound film presented in Argentina! And now, they have converted the cinema into a majestic bookstore that holds over 700,000 different titles!
The building still upholds its theaterish look with eclectic features such as a fresco painted ceiling and caryatids (sculpture female figure used as a column). And you can sit in theater booths while you flip through books, enhancing a new experience.
As you will see if you go for a house exchange there, the ground floor of the bookstore holds the collection variety of options; from classic titles to cook books and travel guides. Most of the books you will find in the bookstore are Spanish, though there is also a collection of English books. If you go down into the basement, you will find a selection of music along with books for children and teens. The second floor has bookshelves filled with science textbooks and more areas where one can sit and read without being disturbed. The third floor has more music and DVDs.
And how can there be such lavish experience without some food to accompany it? In the back of the store, which once used to be the stage, you will find a café that serves fancy coffees and incredibly tempting pastries. You can enjoy your treat on stage where there are booths with tables set up for you to enjoy the experience.
El Ateneo is an interesting bookstore, definitely an experience one must add while they travel or experience a home swap in Buenos Aires. Dont miss this grand bookstore!
Located on 1860 Sante Fe Avenue, Recoleta/Barrio Norte, Buenos Aires.