El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Built as a theater and opened in 1919, the building itself is splendidly ornate with frescoed ceilings, finely sculpted caryatids and auditorium lighting. Although the theater seats have been replaced by rows and rows of books, visitors can still sit and read in the preserved theater boxes. There is also a café where the stage used to be, offset by plush crimson curtains and host to a live pianist in the afternoons.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Comuna 2, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina