El Ateneo is usually described as ‘the most beautiful bookshop in the world’ and I cannot argue. It is certainly the most beautiful bookshop I’ve ever set foot in. Housed in the stunning and well kept Gran Splendid theatre (which first opened in 1919), it is an absolute treat to be surrounded by books as well as a glamorous old theatre. The domed ceiling is painted with celestial scenes, the private boxes are now reading rooms, and the stage is home to the cafe, where you can study the set mechanisms and enjoy the performers view. It is a truly wonderful repurposing of a classic building.