Tied with San Telmo, Recoleta is my favorite neighborhood in Buenos Aires (“BA”). Recoleta is an upscale neighborhood, very reminiscent of a European city, particularly Paris. For example:
The streets and buildings are very Parisian, and the area is inhabited by lots of business people and stay-at-home moms. All the big name luxury brands have shops here, and there are many upscale hotels, coffee shops and restaurants. Its a beautiful part of BA. Lots of flowers, cool, European architecture. This is a great area to view the gorgeous Jarcaranda trees when in bloom!
This is the part of town to find the Parisian flower stands and dog walkers.
It also has a lot of parks and quaint streets for strolling.
What To Do in Recoleta?
Recoleta Cemetery – One can not visit Recoleta without stopping into its most famous (and free) attraction – Recoleta Cemetery. I was not too keen on centering a sightseeing day around a cemetery, but I was pleasantly surprised. Recoleta Cemetery is not your average cemetery; it is really beautiful, well-kept and a joy to walk through. It contains the final resting places of Eva Perón (Evita!), Nobel prize winners and former Argentinian presidents. You can take a tour or stroll around on your own. We walked around on our own and found Eva Perón’s tomb without much trouble with directions from the internet. Entrance is free and we spent about an hour. A muse-see in BA, as its one of the few internationally-renowned tourist attractions.
Heres walking up and the main entrance:
Very pretty on the inside:
And the Evita tomb, Fámilia Duarte:
Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar – This is an adorable little white church next to Recoleta Cemetery. It is really cute and free to enter. Stop in to check out the ornate interior.
Floralis Genérica -Not too far from Recoleta Cemetery is Floralis Genéria, which is a large steel flower. It used to bloom in the day and close at night, but its since broken and remains “in bloom” all the time. Its located in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, Avenida Figueora Alcorta. We did not go right up to the flower, just photographed it from afar.
Shopping – There is tons of shopping in Recoleta, including a few malls and a lot of design shops, and shopping should be an activity on your list! There is a shopping mall directly across the street from Recoleta Cemerery and a design mall just a bit down from Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The luxury shops are located along the streets near Prato y Neptuno (see below). You can really spend all day shopping here. My favorite shop was the leather store Uru Recoleta. It is right across from Recoleta Cemetery one block down from the shopping mall referenced above. Uru Recoleta sells Argentinian leather jackets in a variety of styles and colors. The factory is directly above the shop and they will custom make a leather jacket to suit you with just 24 hours notice. I ended up with a FABULOUS brown, sheep leather bomber jacket at $450 US (blue rate exchange). The same jacket in cow leather would have been about $200 US (blue rate exchange). There is a discount for paying in US cash, but you must ask.
Prado y Neptuno – Dan really loves cigar bars and wanted to visit one in Argentina for a Cuban. I did some online research and found Prado y Neptuno to be one of the best rated. We visited twice on our trip (that says a lot) and had a relaxing break each time. The door is always locked (standard in BA) so if someone does not come to let you in, ring the bell. Once inside, go into the humidor room and choose your cigar. Someone should come help you out. After, enjoy your cigar in the lounge, which also sells, coffee, desserts, wine and cocktails. Perfect for the ladies. Recommended if you like cigars!
Where To Eat In Recoleta?
Café Biela – Just across from Recoleta Cemetery, Café Biela is an old school coffee shop serving pretty good coffee and lunch-type food. Café Biela is iconic in the Recoleta neighborhood and worth a stop for at least coffee. It has lots of outdoor and indoor seating and certainly makes for a nice break.
Café Biela Bonus – There is a huge Rubber Tree directly in front of Café Biela in Plaza Francia.
Los Immortales – BA is known to have excellent pizza, and one of the highest ranked pizzerias is in Recoleta – Los Immortales. We ate here for lunch one weekday afternoon. It had a steady crowd, but we got an outside table with no problem. Dan ordered the famous fugazzeta (pizza with onions) and I choose the cheese (plain, I know!). The pizzas were fine, but unfortunately I learned that I do not like Argentinian pizza (see my San Telmo post with the same result at another famous pizzeria, Sr. Telmo). Aside from my dislike of Argentinian pizza, the restaurant was characteristic and the service was good. If you are looking for a traditional pizzeria on your way to Recoleta Cemetery, this is a good bet. Outdoor seating has good local people watching, as the restaurant is not in a terribly touristy area. About a 15 minute, pleasant walk from Recoleta Cemetery.
Buller Brewing Company – Doing research on Recoleta, I discovered that there is a brew pub in Recoleta, so you know I had to check it out. We stopped at Buller Brewing Company for drinks and appetizers one weekday afternoon. Buller is located across the street from Recoleta Cemetery. This prime tourist real estate, so don’t expect to see many locals. There’s lots out outdoor seating for people watching and making friends. We ordered samplers and their fried cheese (I can never resist fried cheese). The beer was pretty good, although none of it stands out in my mind today. Another spot in Recoleta for a break.
Hard Rock Café – For die-hard Hard Rock fans, the BA Hard Rock Café is located in Recoleta on the roof of the above-referenced design mall. We stopped by to pick up a shirt for Dan’s aunt. Here is picture of Dan voluntarily entering a Hard Rock. I had to post because he hates these so.
I very much enjoyed Recoleta, and would certainly think of staying here next time. Have you been to Recoleta? What did I miss? Tell me about it in the comments!