Recoleta in Buenos Aires – What to do, how to get there, where to eat and where to stay

Recoleta, in Buenos Aires, is the most elegant neighborhood in the city, with an all-Parisian charm. Come and discover all the corners that this neighborhood hides.

Recoleta Buenos Aires – From the romantic simplicity of Avenida General Las Heras, through the bustling Avenida Santa Fé to the luxurious palaces of Avenida Alvear. It's hard not to be enchanted by Recoleta.

The traditional neighborhood in Buenos Aires and, from Buenos Aires high society, is the place for long and peaceful walks. The cobbled streets share space with the wide sidewalks full of beautiful trees. The buildings display their large balconies with some cafes at their feet.

Museums, including the Recolet Cemeterya, explain a little about this strong European influence. There are several options for where to eat in Recoleta, from the most refined to the most affordable.

You can also find great accommodation there. Despite the fame of luxury hotels, Recoleta has shown itself to be democratic. Some hostels, hotels and even apartments can already be chosen in the region.

Quiet, discreet, full of trees and glamour, the neighborhood is for those who like day trips. Night rides are for the neighbor Palermo.

>> Also read all our tips Tourist Points Buenos Aires – The 25 Must-See Attractions in the Capital

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  • The History of the Neighborhood
  • What to do in the Neighborhood
  • best restaurants
  • what to do at night
  • Where to stay in the Neighborhood – From Luxury to Budget
  • What you need to know before you go
  • Read more about Buenos Aires

Recoleta neighborhood in Buenos Aires

If today Recoleta is synonymous with elegance, refinement and luxury, the beginning of its history was already quite simple. THE Pilar Parish Church, opened in 1732, is the starting point of the Recoleta neighborhood. The friars were the first residents, the name comes from the “Ordem dos Recoletos”.

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the cholera and yellow fever epidemic pushed families to Recoleta. They were wealthy families, from the southern area, who discovered in Recoleta a great escape option. As it was the highest point in the city, it was more difficult for the disease to spread.

Ready! Recoleta was becoming the most chic neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires high society occupied the grounds with grandiose French art nouveau mansions.

However, in the 1950s and 1960s, modern buildings took the place of many mansions. To bump into hidden mansions and surprising Palaces, history survives preserved in the Alvear Avenue. Along the way, the belle époque is in the small details.

The luxury of Buenos Aires is Recoleta. On the streets are still very important designer stores. But the neighborhood also reserves places like the region of General Las Heras Avenue.

Narrow streets, small houses with colorful doors. Simplicity that contrasts with the imposing luxury of Alvear Avenue. Already in Liberator Avenue museums remain. Shopping and excitement invade the Santa Fe Avenue.

Things to do in Recoleta

On the map are all the tourist attractions in Recoleta in Buenos Aires that we count here, so you don't miss any attractions. Enjoy!

Recoleta Cemetery

O Recoleta Cemetery it is a unique historical conservation place. There are more than 90 mausoleums declared National Historic Monuments. No wonder, many are true masterpieces, statues so realistic that they cause discomfort.

The French engineer and architect Prosper Catelin carried out the project inspired by the Parisian cemetery Père-Lachaise. It was built in 1822 in the garden of the Basilica Nossa Senhora do Pilar.

The organization of the marble mausoleums decorated with statues was made with the city of Buenos Aires in mind. Blocks and streets in a rectangular layout. The entrance gate to the Recoleta Cemetery was completed in one of the renovations, in 1881. In neoclassical style, it has two classical columns and symbols about death.

The entrance to the Recoleta Cemetery

The Recoleta Cemetery seen from above. Incredible!

One of the most beautiful open-air museums

The various decorative styles present in the mausoleums make the Recoleta Cemetery one of the most beautiful open-air museums in Latin America. From the Gothic to the Art Deco movement, it's almost impossible not to appreciate the details. Being named National Historic Landmark since 1946.

Most families are part of the Buenos Aires aristocracy. Among the important names are that of the writer and friend of Jorge Luís Borges, Victoria Ocampo.

Also the former president of Argentina, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Guillermo Brown – the admiral who participated in the independence struggle. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry Federico Leloir, as well as the legendary former first lady Evita Perón.

The cemetery is open for visitation daily from 7 am to 17 pm. The tour is free and there is even a guided tour for the most curious. Even alone, it's worth acquiring the cemetery map to get your bearings.

Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar

Right next door is Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar. The 1732 church is the second oldest in Buenos Aires. Inside, there is also a museum with curiosities, artifacts and even windows with curious views of the Recoleta Cemetery.

On the altar, silver plates from Peru and a tower that was once the highest point in the city. Built by the Jesuits in colonial baroque style, it has been a National Heritage Site since 1942.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar – Photo: Greg Adams

France Square

Right in front of the Cemetery is the Plaza France. Designed by the same landscaper as the Botanical Garden, it is considered the central point of Recoleta. On weekends, the hippie and alternative fair invades the green lawn. Since 1970, crafts and music have made the charming garden more welcoming.

A curious factor: in fact, the square is called Plaza Intendente Torcuato de Alvear. It goes from the front of the Cemetery to Avenida Libertador. It surrounds the Buenos Aires Design mall, where the Hard Rock Cafe. It is in this part, where the 1910 monument, donated by France, is located, that it becomes Plaza Francia.

In this region many squares interconnect. In addition to being beautiful and well preserved, it has monuments full of history. Recoleta is an interesting neighborhood to take a guided tour, precisely because of the historical details.

Plaza Francia right in front of the Basilica in Recoleta

Recoleta Cultural Center

The square still passes by one of the oldest buildings in Buenos Aires, the Recoleta Cultural Center. Considered a Historic Cultural Monument since 1948, the space that was once a convent, currently offers courses, art, culture and technology workshops.

It is also the headquarters of Museum Forbidden Do Not Touch, for children. And stage for the performances of the famous Argentine group Gross force.

Alvear Avenue

A Alvear Avenue invites you for a walk through time, worthy of a movie, with comfortable tree-lined sidewalks and palaces along the way.

Like Duhau Palace, inspired by the French Chateau du Marais, with León Dourge as the responsible architect. It is currently a five star hotel just like the Alvear Palace Hotel.

Built in 1909, the Fernandez Palace Anchorage it has an amazing dome and belongs to the Vatican. In 1982, it was the residence of Pope Juan Pablo II during his visits to Buenos Aires.

Already Pereda Palace has internal decoration in gold and is where the Spanish Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Duhau Palace, where the Park Hyatt hotel currently operates

The Fernández Anchorena Palace – which today belongs to the Vatican

The Pereda Palace where the Spanish Embassy in Argentina is currently located

Recoleta Palaces

The palaces are beyond Avenida Alvear, spread across Recoleta and Barrio Norte – Palermo and Retreat.

Like Errazuriz Alvear Palace, one of the few open for visitation. And the National Museum of Decorative Art. It's really worth going, at least to satisfy your curiosity about what a Palace was like.

Or even meet the Ice Palace opened in 1910, it was once a skating rink, a tango hall is currently the National Hall of Fine Arts.

Liberator Avenue

Already in Liberator Avenue, in a building from 1933, is the National Museum of Fine Arts. There are more than 12 thousand pieces, the greatest heritage of sculptures and paintings in the country. See works by artists such as Tarsila do Amaral, Cartier Bresson, Degas and Rodin.

Still close to the museum, in Miter Square enjoy an incredible view from one of the highest natural viewpoints in the Buenos Aires city.

Already crossing the walkway of Avenida del Libertador is the Generic Floral. The 2002 sculpture blooms according to natural sunlight. Therefore, you will certainly be surprised depending on the time of your visit.

Designed by Argentinean architect Eduardo Catalano in stainless steel. The metallic flower is over 20 meters tall and weighs about 18 tons. Next door, the building law University completes the landscape with lots of concrete and beautiful staircases.

The National Museum of Fine Arts in Recoleta in Buenos Aires

Floralis Generica in Recoleta

Beautiful sunset overlooking the University of Law and Floris Generica – Photo: via Instagram

Eva Perón Square and National Library

The architecture in the Recoleta neighborhood is indeed much celebrated. At Eva Peron Square, National Library is proof of this. Designed in 1811 by the architect Clorindo Testa, it represents brutalist architecture, reinforced concrete and glass.

It's really cool to sit next to the statues of Eva Perón and Juan Perón, right in front, to observe this library that seems to be hanging.

Including the Unzué Palace, an old building in Italian and French style from the 1956th century, occupied the land of the Library. It was demolished by the military in XNUMX, in an attempt to erase Peronism from memory. This is because the palace was the residence of the Perón couple.

National Library of Buenos Aires, in Recoleta – Photo: Halloween HJB

El Ateneo Grand Spendid Bookstore

To finish the tour of Recoleta, in the bustling Santa Fe Avenue is the bookstore The Grand Splendid Athenaeum. The fun of the bookstore is definitely not in the books. But in the building that was once an important theater and even cinema. In fact, Carlos Gardel was one of the artists in the theater.

The original features have been kept. In this way, the cafe is located above the stage. The armchairs and chairs have given way to shelves and the frescoes of the main dome make us lean on the classic and decorated balconies.

A fabulous Livraria El Ateneo Grand Spendid Foot: Christian Jiménez

Shopping in Recoleta

The designer shopping mall in Recoleta is the Bullrich courtyard. Don't be put off by the word “designer”, this is also a place to visit. It is a renovated XNUMXth century mansion and has details that resemble a train station.

For lovers of something like Galeria do Rock, in São Paulo, the place is the Bond Street Gallery. It brings together tattoo artists, geeks and nerds stores, band t-shirts and graffiti.

Best Restaurants in Recoleta

Despite so much luxurious history, it is possible to eat well in Recoleta at a good price. How to taste the historic and tasty empanadas from The Sanjuanino. Of course, because of tradition, despite being a pleasant environment, it is very crowded.

Or still be surprised at the alternative Classic and Modern. Founded in 1938, the restaurant-bar-café and bookstore also has inspiring intimate shows.  

To get into the Recoleta climate, Cafe La Biela it's a good request. Since 1850, the neighborhood has been in a very typical corner building. Lunches are served outdoors, overlooking the Recoleta Cemetery.

Still to feel the refined footprint of Recoleta the Bistro Shiaffino it's the right place. The flavors are modern keeping the tradition.

The Sanjuanino

Cafe La Biela

The charming Shiaffino Bistro

What to do at night at Recole

Despite not being a traditionally nightlife neighborhood, Recoleta offers delicious options for dinner. how to go to The Querencia to taste very regional dishes. The desserts with dulce de leche are top notch.  

And how about enjoying the Recoleta night outdoors on the terrace of Buenos Aires Design. At the Camping Bar it's possible. The place is young, plays music and has hours governed by the weather. Then check out the schedule on social media.

Even though it's not the cheapest place, it's worth getting organized to at least have a drink at the Alvear Roof Bar. On the terrace of the most luxurious and traditional hotel on Avenida Alvear, in Recoleta. It is to contemplate the sunset with elegance, closing the night in a magical way.

With a super nice atmosphere, Camping Bar – Photo: @camping_ba via Instagram

The luxurious Alvear Roof Bar. Worth it!

And to finish and you like this charming neighborhood even more with so many attractions, see more of Recoleta in the video. To get into the mood of the trip, take advantage of the fact that it is in Spanish!

Where to stay in Recoleta

* Changes may occur in daily rates depending on availability and time of year. Always check the website to check the updated values.

It is possible to stay in Recoleta to better feel all its charm, tranquility and style. It is true that the most luxurious and expensive hotels are here, like the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau ($$$) and the Alvear Palace Hotel.($$$). 

Pure luxury or 5 stars in Recoleta, the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau

One of the most traditional and famous hotels in Buenos Aires, the Alvear Palace Hotel, in Recoleta

But we will give you tips on other hotels for all budgets: 

Good value hotels in Recoleta

But, there are also intermediaries like the impressive ARC Recoleta Boutique & Spa ($$) with daily rates from R$ 361*.

Or even the well located, overlooking the Cemetery, swimming pool, gym and sauna, the Hotel Sileo ($$). The rooms are spacious, with a balcony, air conditioning, cable TV, minibar, wi-fi and kitchenette. Daily rates from R$ 472*.

>> In our post you will find more hotels in Recoleta, read everything Where to Stay in Buenos Aires: The Best Options from Budget to Luxury – Neighborhood by Neighborhood.

Room at ARC Recoleta

Sileo Hotel

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Holiday apartment in Recoleta

In Recoleta there are many holiday apartments. those of Poetry Building ($$) It is very charming, inviting and perfect for those who want to feel at home.

It has a garden and a swimming pool on the terrace. There are 12 apartments in an elegant renovated building from 1911. Two nights from R$1.036*.

Good value hotel in Recoleta

There are also options for hotels with very attractive value for money. Next to the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Up Recoleta Hotel($) has daily rates from R$ 194*. They are modern and clean rooms, equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, Netflix and wi-fi.

already the old A Hotel ($$) It has an attentive staff and breakfast is included. The charming rooms have air conditioning, wi-fi, cable TV and heating. Rates from BRL 237 *.

Up Recoleta Hotel Room

Quarto do A Hotel

Where to stay cheap in Recoleta – Hostel

And how about a hostel in the area. On Avenida Santa Fe the Malala Hostel($) it's in an old house, it offers a good breakfast and service in Portuguese. Rates from BRL 40*. Terrace and very authentic decor.

O Reina Madre Hostel($) close to Avenida Santa Fé, in the style of an inn, it has simple but comfortable shared rooms. A very nice terrace with daily from R$ 115*.

You see, these are options that are worth it. The only problem with staying in Recoleta is finding the will to leave the neighborhood. At the risk of going as far as Palermo.

>> Read all our tips on what to do in Palermo Buenos Aires

Malala Hostel

Queen Mother Hostel

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What you NEED to know BEFORE going to Buenos Aires

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Read more about Buenos Aires

Oh, and don't forget to read even more about every corner of the city in the full posts:

  • Hotels in Recoleta – Which ones are worth the stay
  • Recoleta Cemetery – How is the tour?
  • Buenos Aires Argentina – COMPLETE Guide to Discover the City
  • What to do in Buenos Aires – 2 to 5 Day Itinerary
  • Where to Stay in Buenos Aires – Best Options from Budget to Luxury
  • Best Hotels in Buenos Aires – 12 Suggestions that are worth booking
  • Buenos Aires Sights – 25 Must-See Attractions in the Capital
  • Tango Shows in Buenos Aires – Which ones are worth entering the itinerary
  • Obelisco Buenos Aires – How to Get There, Visit and Nearby Hotels
  • Buenos Aires Restaurants – Guide to the Best Places to Eat
  • Buenos Aires with Children – What to Do There and Where to Go
  • Palermo Buenos Aires – Complete Neighborhood Guide
  • Caminito Buenos Aires – Complete Neighborhood Guide
  • San Telmo Buenos Aires – Complete Neighborhood Guide
  • Puerto Madero Buenos Aires – Complete Neighborhood Guide
  • Argentina Tour – 26 Main Tourist Points in the Country
  • International Travel Insurance – Is it worth it?
  • How to Buy Travel Insurance – Step by Step
  • America Chip – Learn How the Travel Internet Chip Works
  • Buenos Aires Travel Insurance – Is it mandatory? Find out here!

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