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Anybody who has done a considerable amount of traveling has likely stumbled across a local shop or market that stood out. Though you may have seen much in your travels, you'd be hard pressed to find an establishment quite like El Ateneo in the midst of a South America tour. Located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, El Ateneo is among the best-known bookstores in the world, and even if you walk out empty handed, it will have been well worth the visit.
The store is housed in an old theater that dates back to the turn of the 20th century. It was not until about 100 years later that the site was turned into a bookstore, and although its role has changed the building still retains much of its antique charm.
In addition to being one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, and likely the country, El Ateneo is a great place to spend a day with your nose buried in books. The store features chairs strewn through its interior for you to read before you decide on a purchase, including some that are still in the old theatre boxes.
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