Explore the upscale Recoleta neighborhood, known for its parks, plazas, embassies, museums and galleries. With wide, tree-lined boulevards, open air cafés, designer boutiques and French-style architecture, the area has a European character. Some of Buenos Aires’ wealthiest and most prominent citizens have their homes here. Recoleta also contains a colossal cemetery filled with the crypts of many historic figures.
Wander past luxury hotels and houses with grand façades. Shop for designer goods in the expensive boutiques along Avenida Alvear and Avenida Santa Fe. Stop for coffee at La Biela, where motor racing champions used to meet in the 1950s. The café has been serving fresh brews for more than 150 years.
Devote at least a couple of hours to walking through the Recoleta Cemetery, where many famous Argentines are interred. Thousands of mausoleums of mixed architectural styles line long avenues of this vast walled cemetery. They house presidents, military leaders, scientists and writers. The most visited site is the tomb of Eva "Evita" Perón, the country's former First Lady, who championed the causes of the poor.
Beside the cemetery is the Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar, an 18th-century church with brilliant white exterior walls and a single bell tower. View the baroque altar decorated with silver from the country’s Jujuy province. Examine paintings, vestments, writings and other religious artifacts inside the small museum.
For more cultural enjoyment, go to the Centro Cultural Recoleta, close to the basilica and cemetery. See temporary art exhibitions, concerts and performances by touring theater companies. Then walk the short distance to the National Museum of Fine Arts. Here you will find European and Argentine works of art spanning more than 800 years.
Relax in Recoleta’s green spaces including the Plaza Dante Alighieri and Thays Park. Plaza Francia offers an artisan market on the weekend.
If late nights are on the agenda, Recoleta provides several options. Sip designer cocktails in a converted mansion, have a late supper in an elegant French restaurant and dance to the latest electronic music in a basement club.