Coming to a new city can be really overwhelming for the first time. You need to figure out where to live, and how to get around, often before you have even seen the city with your own eyes. I put together this Buenos Aires neighborhood guide to help you get a bit more acquainted with the area, and hopefully make your transition a bit easier. Also, make sure to check out these TIPS for moving to Buenos Aires.
SUMMARY OF RECOLETA
Recoleta is generally considered more of an upscale neighborhood, particularly the area around the cemetery. The average age also tends to be a bit older than in other neighborhoods.
VIBE OF RECOLETA
Recoleta feels comfortable and safe, mainly the area around the Cemetery and parks, which gives off a much more relaxed vibe. There are cute restaurants and cafes all around. But as you leave that area and head south towards Santa Fe and Cordoba Avenues, things start to feel much more busy and ‘city like.’ There is less of a comfortable neighborhood feel and more of a chaotic feel.
TRANSPORTATION IN RECOLETA
Both Subte lines D (green, Aguero stop) and H (yellow, stop Santa Fe-Carlos Juaregui) pass through the Recoleta neighborhood. The green line D stops of Callao and Facultad de Medicino skirt right along the southern border of the neighborhood on Avenida Cordoba. There are, of course, several bus lines and bus stops all throughout the neighborhood. While there is not officially a train stop inside the Recoleta neighborhood, the Retiro station is just next door on the barrio’s eastern edge.
Just across from the cemetery is the Recoleta Urban Mall. This is a 4-floor building which offers several shop options, as well as a food court, and a cinema. There are also other smaller shops and boutiques along the side roads near the cemetery.
The northern edges of Recoleta are covered in green space with trees, shade, and statues. It’s a beautiful area. Starting from the Recoleta Cultural Center, you can find a large green park which curves around the corner and goes along Avenida Alvear. On the weekends, there is a large Feria Artesenal where you can find many white tents and beautiful items. Then all in a row, you have Plaza Francia, Plaza Mitre, and Plaza Evita Peron. All three parks are covered with grass, trees, and several shady spots. Plaza Mitre has stairs that lead up to a large statue of Bartolomé Mitre and a great view. Across the street you’ll find the Plaza Naciones Unidas; right in the center of this plaza is where you’ll find the Floralis Genérica.
EAT & DRINK IN RECOLETA
Surrounding the edges of the Recoleta Cemetery and the Centro Cultural, you’ll find several upscale and stylish restaurants and cafes. I recommend La Biela. They have a large outdoor, fenced in patio. In the summer they put up awnings to provide shade.
If you like scones, you would regret not visiting Andra Bakery. I had the best scone of my life in this quaint and cozy cafe. I recommend trying both the scon de crema, and the scon de queso. Outstanding.
All along Plaza Barrientos, you’ll find franchises such as Starbucks, Moisha, and Mooi. They have outdoor patios and the atmosphere is peaceful next to the park.
WHAT TO DO & SEE IN RECOLETA
Floralis Genérica is a giant metal flower donated to the city by Argentine architect, Eduardo Catalano. The flower opens up in the morning, and closes in the evening.
Facultad de Derecho (Law School) is directly next to the park with the Floralis Genérica. Its architecture was influenced by Greco-Roman temples.
Centro Cultural Recoleta is a cultural center located directly next to the Recoleta Cemetery. It is free to enter, although you should make an online reservation before going. They have art exhibits, concerts, etc.
Cementerio Recoleta is easily the most famous cemetery in the city, if not the country. It is incredibly beautiful with above ground mausoleums. Of course its most famous resident is Evita Peron (#37). It costs 1400 pesos to enter for foreigners and must be paid with a credit card. Donation based tours in English are available with a man named Simon. Just ask for him at the front gate.
La Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) is in a funky modernist building made of concrete. It is free to enter, you’ll just need to show an ID. There are a few different rotating exhibits.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is totally free to enter. There are two floors. Classic 16th-17th century Portraiture and a history of Argentina on the first floor, and more contemporary work on the second.