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Recoleta, Buenos Aires Travel Guide

Recoleta Summary


  • Attractive, upscale area with tree-lined streets and numerous parks
  • Beautiful historic buildings
  • Home to the Museum of Fine Arts (free admission!)
  • Basilica del Pilar, a historic Baroque cathedral
  • Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron is buried
  • Great, high-end shopping


  • Very expensive
  • No easy subway access

What It's Like

Today Recoleta is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, but this was not always the case (although it has been for over a century). Originally used as farmland when the area was first settled, Recoleta transformed into a seedy metro area when the 18th century brought with it brothels and bars. It wasn't until the 1870s, during a yellow fever outbreak in Southern parts of the city, that Recoleta became the playground of the rich and the famous, who fled to the neighborhood to escape the outbreak and to settle in gorgeous Parisian-like apartments. These beautiful old buildings remain; some are still home to Buenos Aires' elite, while others house high-end fashion houses.

Recoleta is one of the most attractive areas of Buenos Aires, with its well-maintained historic buildings, tree-lined streets and many squares and parks. It is also home to the beautiful Basilica del Pilar, next to the Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron and several prominent dignitaries are buried. The National Library and the massive Museum of Fine Arts, with the world's largest collection of Argentine art, can also be found in the neighborhood. However, getting to the neighborhood to see these sites can be tricky as there is no convenient subway access.

Where To Stay

Recoleta is home to upscale hotels, many located along the fashionable Avenida Alvear. Though Recoleta has some historic sites and museums, staying in the neighborhood can make it difficult to visit other must-sees as there is no convenient subway access in Recoleta. Recoleta is a great spot for fashionistas, however, and its subdistrict, Barrio Norte, offers cheaper (but still chic) shopping and lodging options.

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