This is one of my favourite activities. I usually do this in the afternoon, after lunch. But you can have lunch in the many restaurants in front of the cemetery and then walk around.
What is there to see? The cemetery (home to Evita and other famous figures), the church (too golden inside to my taste, but you may like it), Centro Cultural Recoleta (next to the church) with lots of temporary exhibitions by local and international artists (painting, photography, sculpture, etc), the markets (lots of stalls selling handcraft) and the buskers that give their shows in the grass area, where people usually sit to see them.
The Fine Arts Museum is just across the street too.
Then, when night falls, you may want to go for a movie at Village Recoleta theatres, next to Mc Donald's. There's also a bookshop with a coffee shop inside at the entrance of this cinema complex, called Cúspide, which is worth taking a look at. Most of the books are in Spanish, I'm afraid.
If you're interested in furniture and objects for the house, you may like to visit Buenos Aires Design, which is in the same area, to see some local design.
Recoleta is one of the most distinguished areas in Buenos Aires and visited by a lot of tourists. Most of them come for the ‘must see’ Cemetery of Recoleta. But there are also a lot of art galleries and museums and Avenida Alvear is a shopping paradise with upscale shops. Plaza de Recoleta offers shops and a food court and is located close to the cemetery.
We had the best impression of the cemetery from the 14th floor of Hotel Etoile, opposite the cemetery at the pedestrian mall Pte. RM Ortiz. During our first visit we had a ‘café chico’ (although during our last visit in 2009 we didn't notice the cafe any longer) and a great view over Recoleta Cemetery, the city and the Rio de la Plata. Just walk into the hotel and take the elevator to the 14th floor (did read this tip on VT !!).
The cemetery itself is like a small village with narrow streets surrounded by monuments, memorials, mausoleums and tombs of all kinds and sizes. It is amazing to realise there are almost 6500 mausoleums/tombs on such a small piece of earth. At the entrance is a plan and it was easy to find the tomb of Eva Peron. As (almost) every visitor wants to visit at least this tomb of the Duarte family.
We walked along some ‘streets’ of this city of the dead and it is surprising to see the different tombs and mausoleums with plaques on the walls, but also with flowering trees. The cemetery seems to be a tourist highlight, but when a funeral procession was passing by, we realised it is still a public cemetery.
Openinghours: daily from 8 am till 6 pm.
Set on the north side of the Recoleta cemetery, this church is the second oldest – 1732 – in BsAs. It is a treasure house of colonial architecture and sacred art. Guided tours are offered hourly through the old cloisters. In front of the church, to the east, begins a swath of parks that swings around to the north and extends to the northwest, separated from the huge Parque 3 de Febraro by a few stylish blocks of Palermo Chico.
On the weekends, a large art and craft fair is held along the walks in front of the church with thousands to be found browsing about the different stalls or sunbathing on bits of grass between the paths.
La Biela es un bar situado en una esquina privilegiada de la Recoleta, con una trayectoria de sesenta años perfumando de aroma a café esta tradicional esquina. Su antigüedad y estilo lo ha hecho merecedor del reconocimiento de la Legislación de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, que lo ha denominado “Sitio de interés cultural”. Allí ingresan diariamente personajes muy reconocidos, adentro de su clientela, las personalidades del ámbito cultural como diferentes figuras delautomovilísmo. Tiene un estilo medianamente antiguo, con paredes en madera clara, que le dan sentido a su larga trayectoria. Abre todas las mañanas bien temprano y permanece abierto hasta la madrugada. Su servicio y atención es admirable. Es el típico bar porteño en donde la elite de Recoleta, comparte un espacio en común con turistas .
La Biela is a bar located in the snooty side of the Recoleta, with the
aroma of coffee emanating from this corner for some 60 years. Their
old-fashioned style has made it worthy of the recognition by the City Council of
Buenos Aires which has designated it "A place of cultural interest". Famous
people go in there every day. Among the famous clientele are cultural icons such
as various auto racing figures. It has a fairly old style, with walls in clear
wood that give you a sense of its long history. It opens very early each morning
and it remains open until the dawn. The service and attention of the wait staff
is admirable. It is a typical Buenos Aires bar where the elite of Recoleta share
a space in common with tourists.
La Iglesia del Pilar está emplazada en un entorno urbano de notables valores naturales y culturales, vecina al Cementerio de la Recoleta y al Centro Cultural Recoleta, que ocupa parte de la construcción del siglo XVIII. Precedida por un amplio atrio enrejado, la nave única tiene altares laterales barrocos.
Pilar's Church is located in an urban environment of notable natural and
cultural values, nextdoor to the Cemetery of the Recoleta and the Cultural
Center Recoleta that occupies part of the 18th Century construction. It was
preceded by an ample barred atrium, the unique nave has Baroque lateral altars.
El edificio del Centro, cuyo origen se remonta al siglo XVII, es una de las construcciones más antiguas que se conservan en Buenos Aires. En 1716 el Solar fue donado a los frailes Franciscanos Recoletos.
Este es un espacio donde vive la cultura y el arte.
The building of the Center whose origin goes back to the 17th century, is one of
the oldest buildings still in Buenos Aires. In 1716 the lot was donated the
Franciscan friars of the Recoleta. This is where art and culture comes to life.
Una de las más bellas de la ciudad, donde se conserva un conjunto de importantes residencias. El edificio de las calles Libertad y Alvear, obra de Pater y Morza en las líneas del primer Racionalismo de los años 30, con imágenes de los barcos, ventanas redondas, suaves curvas evitando aristas y cubiertas formando viseras. A la izquierda puede verse el Monumento al Dr. Carlos Pellegrini , ex Presidente de la Nación y fundador de importantes instituciones, como el Jockey Club y el Banco Nación, entre otros. Es obra del escultor francés Julio Coutan, de 1914.
One of the most beautiful of the city, where a group of important residences is conserved. The building of the streets Libertad and Alvear, work of Pater and Morza in the lines of the first Rationalism of the years 30, with images of the ships, windows round, soft curves avoiding edges and covers forming visors. To the left he/she can the Monument it turns to the Dr. Carlos Pellegrini, former President of the Nation and founder of important institutions, as the Jockey Club and the Bank Nation, among others. It is the French sculptor's work Julio Coutan, 1914.
En plaza Francia hay una extencion que sale del cementerio y es un pasaje donde exponen sus obras algunos pintores Argentinos.
In Plaza Francia, there is an extension that goes from the cemetery and it is a
passage where Argentine artists show off their work.
Sobre la prestigiosa zona de Recoleta en la Av. Callao y Guido se pueden apreciar locales de antiguedades.
In the renowned Recoleta district on the Av. Callao and Guido, you can admire all the antique stores.
Santa fe y Callao esquina muy conocida en Buenos Aires, sobre Santa fe se encuentran muchos locales de ropa, por ejemplo Nike, Adidas, Puma, Kosiuko y muchos mas...
Muy linda avenida para ir de compras y apreciar su arquitectura.
Santa Fe and Callao is a very well-known part of town. On Santa Fe, there are many clothing stores selling multinational brands such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Kosiuko and many but. It is a beautiful avenue to go shopping and to appreciate the architecture.
En la Plaza Rodriguez Peña se encuentra el monumento de dicha persona, ubicado en las calles: Av. Callao y Marcelo t. de Alvear.
Rodriguez peña fue Político, comerciante y militar argentino ,inició su carrera militar como cadete en el Regimiento Fijo de Caballería de Buenos Aires en 1795. En 1807 participó de la reconquista de Buenos Aires contra los ingleses. Fue uno de los promotores de la revolución de mayo de 1810, junto con Vieytes, Moreno y Castelli.
In the Plaza Rodríguez Peña is also a monumentin his honour, located at the
intersection of Av. Callao and Marcelo t. de Alvear. Rodríguez Peña was a politician, a merchant and an Argentine military man. He began his military career as cadet in the Fixed Cavalry Regiment of Buenos Aires in 1795. In 1807 it participated in the conquest of Buenos Aires against the English. He was
one of the promoters of the revolution of May of 1810, together with Vieytes, Moreno and Castelli.
En la Plaza Rodriguez Peña se encuentra el monumento de Bernardo de Irigoyen, ubicado en las calles: Av. Callao y Paraguay.
Bernardo de Irigoyen fue Abogado y político argentino, nacido en Buenos Aires. Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores con Avellaneda (1874) y con Roca (1872) y Ministro del Interior (1877). Dos veces candidato derrotado a la presidencia de la República. En 1896 presidió el Partido Radical. Intervino con equidad en las cuestiones de límites con Chile, Brasil y Paraguay. Gobernador de la provincia de Buenos Aires (1898).
In the Plaza Rodríguez Peña is the monument of Bernardo de Irigoyen, located at the intersection of Av. Callao and araguay. Bernardo de Irigoyen was a lawyer and Argentine politician born in Buenos Aires. He was Foreign Secretary with Hazel Grove (1874) and with Rock (1872) and Secretary of the Interior (1877). He was twice defeated for President of the Republic. In 1896 the Radical Party had the majority. It justly intervened in border disputes with Chile, Brazil and Paraguay. He was elected overnor of the province of Buenos Aires (1898).
La Galeria 5º Avenida se puede encontrar ropa usada y reciclada, tiendas de tatuajes, aros y muchos mas, es una galeria antigua muy original.
At the Galeria 5º Avenida, you can find all sorts of used clothes, tattoo and earring parlours, and much more but, it is a very original old gallery.
Recoleta is one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. It is a nice area with some beautiful buildings, parks and of course Recoleta Cemetery. The area also has some interesting shops, restaurants and galleries. Many affluent hotels are in Recoletta as well as seeral foregn embassy buildings.
Outside of the walled city is a huge area bursting with life. Street Artists vie with Street Sellers to attract your attention. This is the Plaza Francia and bright flowers and ornate handmade crafts cover a huge area. Now just step a few feet past this explosion of colour, inside the walls, and enter the CITY OF THE DEAD. Not a town, but a City full of buildings, tree lined avenues and side streets packed with people. The past residents of Buenos Aires. In fact the Social Elite of Argentina. A veritable Who's Who of rich businessmen, politicians, artists, and the other Aristocracy of this Latin land. It is a cold, grey and austere city. Yet, it is compelling to walk its tombed streets.
No cemetery on earth is like it. There are not single graves, but mausoleums rivalling modern office buildings. Many are multi-story and enough have doors and windows so that you can see the stairs leading not just down, but often up. Many of these buildings are marked only by the family name on the outside. The local culture of life and death is enshrined here. Many plaques only have the date of death, not birth.
Also, it is a Latin American tradition for females to keep the family name even after marriage. So you will find the city's most well known resident in the mausoleum marked 'FAMILA DUARTE'. The larger avenues are peppered with statues to the great, the good and the powerful. In many societies the powerful are humbled in death and little remembered. Here, they keep their status and grandeur. The marble and stone buildings a final acknowledgement of family wealth.
Wander to the left and chase a few of the resident cats to find what you came to see - the final resting arrangements of Evita Perón. Actress, Champion of the sick & poor, wife to a President and Politician in her own right. Separated only in death, she is buried in the Duarte family crypt. Her husband is strangely not even in Recoleta.
And now flee through the gates - you are suddenly back in the Plaza Francia with all of its vibrant activities of life.