Buenos Aires has a flourishing book industry, one of the most competitive in Latin America, owing to the amount of books published every year as well as to the quality of the publications. That is why Buenos Aires is one of the cities concentrating more bookstores. Often referred to as ciudad de libros (city of books), Buenos Aires has a rich literary history and culture that inspires residents and visitors alike to explore the shelves of its charming bookstores.
For those who admire or collect pieces of art there are wonderful galleries and art museums where works by Argentine and foreign artists may be admired. There is a great variety of museums. At present, there are more than 100 museums, both public and private.
El Ateneo Bookstore – the most beautiful bookstore in the World !
In 1919 a young man named Max Glucksman decided to construct a theater house that would be both grand and splendid. Newly immigrated to Buenos Aires, he was a visionary who saw his dream realized and opened his new theater, appropriately named The Grand Splendid. For years the theater presented Argentines with performances of all kinds and local greats such as Gardel and Corsini graced the stage. In 1924 Radio Splendid began broadcasting from the fourth floor of the building, and his recording company Odeon recorded some of the early Tango greats. In the late twenties the theater was converted into a movie house and in 1929 showed the first movies ever presented with sound.
In its final metamorphosis in 2000 the Ateneo was converted into the bookstore that it is today, but despite the abundance of books, the building still feels very much like the glorious theater it once was. There are a few comfy chairs scattered throughout the four floors as well as in the theatre boxes on either side of the ’stage’. An elegant café serves up fancy coffees, set lunches, and rich pastries in the back of the store where the stage once was. The Guardian, a prominent British periodical, named El Ateneo second in its 2008 list of the World’s Ten Best Bookshops.
Eterna Cadencia Bookstore
Across Juan B. Justo in Palermo Hollywood, you will find Eterna Cadencia Libros, another great bookshop-cafe combo. Within its expansive display of English books, you will find many translated Latin American works including those of Neruda and Saér. If you tend to seek environment-appropriate texts while traveling, this shop is definitely worth a visit.
The reading room in the back evokes Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, the shop and its courtyard restaurant are nonetheless attractive.
Clasica y Moderna Bookstore
Near the heart of Buenos Aires lies a historic bookstore called Clasica y Moderna. Located at the back of a restaurant that has the atmosphere of a Parisian Bistro, Clasica y Moderna offers an excellent selection of modern fiction titles by authors like Bill Bryson, Don DeLillo, and Ian McEwan also a selection of coffee table books, maps, art, and most notably a big section of guidebooks in English and other languages.
The Street-Museum Caminito, is one of the most important markets of its type in the world, is essentially
an uninhabited open-air art and history exhibit, and officially the world’s first outdoor pedestrian museum. The Caminito Museum Street is a colorful and distinctive pedestrian zone located in La Boca Neighborhood that since 1959 has functioned as an open-air museum and art market where 62 plastic artists exhibit their work. Painted a patchwork of colors, this string of photogenic buildings offer quality souvenirs, sculptures, and free open-air tango demonstrations.
National Fine Arts Museum
Buenos Aires is one of the important fine arts museums
of the former water pump house. Inaugurated in 1933,
the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes has a widespread
collection of international and national artwork. The ground floor displays international artists from the Middle Ages through the 20th century which includes Rodin’s famous sculpture The Kiss, as well as works by Picasso, Modigliani, Pollack, and Degas. On the upper floor is a room dedicated to Pre-Colombian art, as well as a permanent collection of works by Argentine artists, such as Pettoruti and Pueyrredón.
Latinamerican Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA)
The museum was inaugurated in 2001, features modern and contemporary Latin American art from the 20th century through present day. The private collection of Eduardo F. Costantini, over two hundred and seventy pieces by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Antonio Berni, and Joaquín Torres García. Designed to be an educational, multicultural meeting space, the MALBA also hosts temporary exhibits, movies, workshops, and lectures, as well as a café and bookstore.