Best Things To Do in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Recoleta is one of the most picturesque and traditional neighborhoods of the Argentine capital and a must-see destination for those visiting Buenos Aires because of the many attractions it offers. Here I tell you about the best alternatives to discover this place.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

9 min read

Best Things To Do in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Recoleta | ©Mauro Astolfi

If you really want to get to know Buenos Aires, then you can't miss Recoleta, one of the most traditional neighborhoods of the Argentine capital and also one of the most attractive, apart from its beautiful Parisian architecture and its many green spaces where you can relax and rest between each of your excursions.

Among the best things to see and do in Buenos Aires to discover Recoleta, you can visit the neighborhood's Cemetery, have a drink in one of the most famous signature bars in the world, visit the National Museum of Fine Arts, enjoy a play at the Cervantes National Theater and visit the stately Duhau Palace, one of the most characteristic buildings in the area.

1. Visit the Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery| ©Andres Larrazabal
Recoleta Cemetery| ©Andres Larrazabal

Recoleta Cemetery is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and one of the main tourist attractions in Buenos Aires. It was inaugurated in 1822 and has a large number of tombs and mausoleums of great architectural and artistic value, since the tombs and mausoleums are elaborated in different architectural styles, such as neo-Gothic, neoclassical, art nouveau and art deco, and are considered true works of art in themselves.

Among the most outstanding tombs are those of important figures of Argentine history such as:

  • First Lady Eva Perón.
  • The writer José Hernández.
  • Argentine President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento.
  • The musician Astor Piazzolla, one of the greatest representatives of tango in Buenos Aires.
  • The mythical boxer Luis Ángel Firpo, who is also represented by a life-size bronze statue.

The cemetery offers guided tours that will allow you to learn about the history and details of the most important tombs, as well as the architecture and the evolution of the cemetery over the years, although, if you wish, you can also visit it on your own. In addition, this site is a green and quiet space in the middle of the city, which offers a unique perspective of the history and culture of Argentina.

Details of interest

  • Price: the entrance fee is approximately 5 euros.
  • Location: Junín 1760, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Book a guided tour of the Recoleta Cemetery

2. Tour the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica

Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica| ©A S
Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica| ©A S

The Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar is a baroque style church built in the 18th century, between 1732 and 1745. It is considered one of the oldest churches in the city and the epicenter of the Recoleta neighborhood. It is dedicated to the Virgen del Pilar and in one of its patios there is an image of this Virgin, which is the object of devotion of the Catholic faithful who visit the church, many of them, on pilgrimage.

The basilica is usually included in the tours of the best tours of Buenos Aires due to multiple reasons:

  • It has a very striking architecture, with a Spanish baroque style façade and a neoclassical style tower, a crossing of styles that make it unique.

  • Inside it houses a large number of works of art and religious objects of historical and artistic value. One of the most outstanding elements is the altarpiece of the main altar, which was brought from Spain and has a large number of details carved in wood.

  • Its gardens and interior courtyards, which offer a calm and serene atmosphere for visitors.

Details of interest

  • Price: entrance to the basilica is free.
  • Location: Junín 1892, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: every day from 7:30 am to 12:00 noon and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

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3. Have a drink in one of the most famous signature bars in the world.

Tasting Wine| ©Larissa Coutinho
Tasting Wine| ©Larissa Coutinho

If you are looking for a place to have a drink in a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere, Florería Atlántico bar in Recoleta is an excellent choice. This signature bar is located in the basement of a flower shop and has a decoration that combines vintage elements with modern and sophisticated touches. It is also considered one of the best signature bars in the world.

One of the highlights of the bar is its attention to detail in the preparation of the drinks. Cocktails are made with fresh, quality ingredients, and each drink is presented with an artistic touch that makes each drink a unique experience. In the area where it is located you can also discover some of the best buildings in Buenos Aires.

In addition to the drinks, the bar has a menu of tapas and small plates that perfectly complement the drinks. The dishes are creative and delicious, with options for all tastes, from vegetarian options to fresh meats and fish.

Details of interest

  • Price: Cocktails start at 6 euros and dishes start at 13 euros.
  • Location: Arroyo 872, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 am and Sundays from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am.

4. Get to know the National Museum of Fine Arts

National Museum of Fine Arts| ©Takashi Matsumura
National Museum of Fine Arts| ©Takashi Matsumura

The National Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see destination for those who enjoy art and culture. When visiting the museum, you will be able to appreciate a great variety of works of art, including paintings, sculptures and engravings, ranging from the 13th century to the present day, making it one of the best museums in Buenos Aires where you can find:

  • European, Argentine and pre-Hispanic art collections and works by artists such as Goya, El Greco, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir, among others.
  • A collection of pre-Hispanic art, including objects and artifacts from South American cultures.
  • Argentine art collections, with works by national artists such as Benito Quinquela Martín, Antonio Berni and Xul Solar.
  • Temporary exhibition rooms, where contemporary art exhibits and other thematic exhibitions are presented.
  • French art room, which features works by artists such as Rodin, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec.
  • Oriental art room is also a must-see, where you can find Chinese, Japanese and Indian art objects.

In any case, it is a must-see museum in Recoleta and can be reached by public transportation and Buenos Aires hop-on-hop-off buses.

Interesting details

  • Price: the entrance fee is approximately 8 euros.
  • Location: Av. del Libertador 1473, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

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5. Take a break at Plaza Francia

France Square| ©ec st photo
France Square| ©ec st photo

Plaza Francia is one of the most picturesque places in Buenos Aires. Located in the heart of Recoleta, it is an ideal place to take a break after a day of sightseeing, as it has a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, as well as being surrounded by bars and open views of some of the most beautiful buildings in the city, such as the Doric building of the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires.

In addition, on weekends, the square is transformed into a craft and antique fair, where you can find unique and authentic objects of Argentine culture. The fair is very popular with tourists and locals alike and is one of the city's meeting points.

Being located in an area close to the Recoleta Cemetery and the National Museum of Fine Arts, it is an ideal place to take a break between excursions and to take some of the best gastronomic tours in Buenos Aires.

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6. Take a shopping tour of the Recoleta Mall

Recoleta Mall| ©Pablo Stösst
Recoleta Mall| ©Pablo Stösst

The Recoleta Mall is one of the most popular places to go shopping in Buenos Aires, especially for those looking for fashionable clothes, jewelry and designer or top brand items. It is a modern and elegant mall full of stores and brands.

There you will find a wide variety of clothing stores, from international brands to local designers with unique and authentic style. In addition, if you are interested in technology, the mall also has electronics and gadget stores.

At Recoleta Mall you will also find food and beverage options, from cafes and ice cream parlors to sophisticated restaurants. It's a perfect place to take a break and enjoy a snack or a full meal before continuing your shopping tour or hectic city tour, especially if you have a short stay planned. If that's your case, here's how to discover Buenos Aires in 3 days.

Interesting details

  • Price: admission is free.
  • Location: Vicente López 2050, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: every day from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

7. Visit the Recoleta Cultural Center

Recoleta Cultural Center| ©JJ SCIALFA
Recoleta Cultural Center| ©JJ SCIALFA

Centro Cultural Recoleta is one of the most emblematic places in Buenos Aires, especially because it is a cultural and artistic space that offers a wide variety of exhibitions, activities and events for all kinds of audiences.

It is a vibrant and dynamic place that always has something new to offer, so each visit is a unique experience. It is also one of the best places to visit with children in Buenos Aires.

At Centro Cultural Recoleta you will find:

  • Different exhibitions of contemporary art, photography, cinema, theater and music.
  • A public library, where you can find a great variety of books, magazines and newspapers to read in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
  • A souvenir store where you can buy souvenirs and designer items from local artists.
  • Its courtyard, where different events and outdoor activities take place. From concerts and festivals to art exhibitions, design fairs and tango classes.

Interesting details

  • Price: rates vary depending on the exhibitions.
  • Location: Junín 1930, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: daily from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm.

Book a tango class in Buenos Aires

8. Enjoy a play at the Cervantes National Theater

Cervantes Theater| ©yourberlin
Cervantes Theater| ©yourberlin

The Cervantes National Theater is one of the most emblematic artistic epicenters of Buenos Aires and an important cultural center in Argentina. This theater was founded in 1921 and has been home to some of the best plays, operas and ballets in the country and the world.

Seeing a play at the Teatro Nacional Cervantes is a unique and exciting experience. The quality of the productions is exceptional, and the selection of plays includes both classics and new proposals of the theater scene. Moreover, the theater's majestic architecture is an attraction in itself, with its impressive Renaissance-style façade and elegant interior decorated with marble columns.

If you are a theater and performing arts aficionado looking for a cultural experience outside of the famous Teatro Colón, the Cervantes could be just the thing for you.

Details of interest

  • Price: the rates will depend on the chosen play, but you can find options from 15 euros per person.
  • Location: Cerrito 618, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: the plays start at 7:00 pm.

9. Have a coffee at the popular bar La Biela

La Biela| ©Silvia L. Paglioni
La Biela| ©Silvia L. Paglioni

Having a coffee at La Biela bar is an experience not to be missed during your visit to Buenos Aires. This place is an institution in the city and its history goes back more than 150 years. Its privileged location on the corner of Quintana Avenue and Junín Street, in the Recoleta neighborhood, makes it an ideal place to relax and enjoy the city.

The bar owes its name to a famous French bicycle brand and in its early years it was used as a meeting point for lovers of this sport. That is why it is one of the places where the best bicycle tours in Buenos Aires usually stop.

Over time, La Biela became an emblematic place for intellectuals, writers and artists of Buenos Aires and also for motorists. Today, it is famous for its coffee, which is served with unique style and flavor. In addition, it also offers a wide selection of drinks and typical Argentine food such as empanadas and medialunas.

Details of interest

  • Price: coffee starts at 4 euros, while full breakfasts start at 11 euros.
  • Location: Quintana 596, Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: daily from 8:00 am to 1:00 am.

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10. Visit the Duhau Palace

Duhau Palace| ©David
Duhau Palace| ©David

The majestic building of the Duhau Palace is a perfect example of 19th century French architecture, which is closely related to the Recoleta style, which contributed to the fame of Buenos Aires at the time when the city was known as the Paris of South America. The palace was originally built in 1934 for the Duhau family, one of the most influential in Argentina, and in 2006 was restored and converted into a luxury hotel.

In addition to luxury accommodations, Palacio Duhau now offers a wealth of activities and experiences for visitors:

  • The garden is one of the largest and most beautiful in Buenos Aires and features an outdoor pool, fountains, sculptures and green space, making it an ideal place to relax and enjoy a sunny day.

  • The art gallery features a collection of contemporary and antique works by local and international artists.

  • Restaurants and bars, offering everything from gourmet cuisine to traditional Argentine dishes.

  • You can also enjoy an afternoon tea experience in their elegant tearoom, which is one of the most popular choices among visitors.

Details of interest

  • Location: 1661 Alvear Av., Buenos Aires.
  • Hours: The palace gardens are open daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.