Recoleta is one of the most expensive neighbourhood’s in all of Argentina. It’s Buenos Aires‘ Upper East Side. The buildings are impressive. The people are rich. The shops are designer. The streets are clean. There is an embassy on every corner, and a Merecedes in front of every grand hotel. In short – this place has money.
Recoleta is the first neighbourhood I chose to live in while in Buenos Aires. From what I had read online there are three neighbourhoods where you would want to be as a foreigner: Recoleta, San Telmo and Palermo. All of which offer very unique viewpoints to explore the city from. The best rate (surprisingly) for a clean, fully furnished, short term rental I found in Recoleta, hence moving there.
Every time I left my apartment I would walk around in awe of the beautiful buildings that make up the barrio. It’s one of only two neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires where you will not find graffiti covering the walls, and garbage littering the streets. The other neighbourhood being Puerto Madero.
The main attractions of the neighbourhood are its fantastic architecture, the famous Recoleta Cemetary (where Evita was laid to rest,) its designer shopping, the Museo de Bellas Arte, and its beautiful parks. I was frequently surprised at how great my options were when leaving the front door of my apartment. Do I want to walk through some of the most beautiful city parks in the world? Or do I want to people watch, window shop, and gawk at architecture? Not bad options, I’d say.
Recoleta is a great place to live, but it does have its downsides. I think the average age in the neighbourhood is hovering around 74, which makes for a bit of a quiet area. There’s not many restaurants or bars, and the ones that are in the area are very expensive (and filled with 74 year olds.)
I have moved into a new place in Palermo since coming to Buenos Aires. I loved my time in Recoleta, but as a friend of mine has told me “I didn’t come to Buenos Aires to be in a pensioner’s town.”
Stay in Recoleta if. . .
You want to be somewhere central in Buenos Aires. This neighbourhood is almost directly in the middle of Palermo and San Telmo, the two main party neighbourhoods.
You are a five-star hotel aficionado. The Hyatt Palacio Duhau, Alvear Palace, Hotel Club Frances, are all spectacular palaces (literally,) which call Recoleta home. You will be treated like a star. Guaranteed.
You want a place with clean streets. Only Puerto Madero will have cleaner streets. Puerto Madero is essentially the modern rich part of town. If you want to feel like you are in the USA, with the security, cleanliness, and order of a western country, then Puerto Madero is the place. If you want “Old World” flair, with a Latin flavour, then Recoleta is the place.
You are a designer label fan. You will find almost any label you want within the confines of Recoleta.
Don’t stay in Recoleta if. . .
You are young and want to be in the heart of the party. If the nightlife is what you’re craving. This is not the place. Palermo is the heart of the party. And San Telmo is a close second. Both offering unique twists on the Buenos Aires nightlife scene.
You are looking for a variety of options in your restaurants. If this is the case, go to Palermo or Puerto Madero. Those two neighbourhoods have the most options for international cuisine.
Stuffy places drive you nuts. If flash cars, expensive clothes, and a bit of excess annoy you. Don’t come to Recoleta. You will find salons that cost $150 for a massage, and Salvatore Ferragamo adorned dogs (kidding, I think.)
I’ve laid it out for you. Decide accordingly. Enjoy Buenos Aires!