An elegant residential district just north of downtown, Recoleta is Buenos Aires at its most polished—think luxury apartments, upscale boutiques, and perfectly manicured parks. The grand centerpiece is Recoleta Cemetery, a mini city of marble mausoleums and ornate crypts, where Eva “Evita” Perón was laid to rest.
Strategically located en route from Palermo to Plaza de Mayo, Recoleta is a popular inclusion on Buenos Aires city tours, alongside neighborhoods such as La Boca, Puerto Madero, and San Telmo. The wide avenues and lively plazas of Recoleta are ideal for a walking tour, while bike tours will take you on a scenic detour through the parks and residential streets.
Most visitors make a beeline for the famous Recoleta Cemetery, but other top attractions in the area include the Palais de Glace (once a renowned tango hall), the striking Floralis Genérica sculpture, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, home to the world's largest collection of Argentine art.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Recoleta has some excellent restaurants serving traditional Argentine cuisine, most of which are located along Avenida Alvear and Rodriguez Pena.
- Although attractions, such as Recoleta Cemetery, are open daily, most museums are closed on Mondays.
- Hotels, bars, and restaurants are generally a little pricier in Recoleta than in downtown Buenos Aires.
How to Get There
The Recoleta neighborhood is just northwest of central Buenos Aires and a short taxi ride from Palermo to the west and Retiro Station to the east. From Plaza Francia, the Museo de Belles Artes, and Recoleta Cemetery, the closest subway (subte) stations are Las Heras (Line H) and Facultad de Derecho (Line H).
When to Get There
While weekday mornings are the quietest time to take in the sights and visit the museums, the most atmospheric time to explore is on the weekend. Plaza Francia hosts a lively art and handicrafts market each weekend, and the surrounding streets are full of bars, cafés, and restaurants for a post-shopping lunch or dinner. In the evening hours, bars around Rodriguez Pena are filled with well-heeled locals.
Recoleta Cemetery, with more than 6,400 tombs, each more elaborate than the next, makes for an impressive walking tour. Stop by Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, just north of the entrance, before passing through the grand cemetery gates to stroll along the tree-lined avenues. Look out for graves of notable Argentine politicians, military heroes, artists, and businessmen. Most famous, of course, is the tomb of former first lady Evita, which often draws a crowd.