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Walking tour - Recoleta

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Walking tour - Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Recoleta is the crème de la crème of Buenos Aires. Wide, quiet avenues are graced with tall, green trees, and exclusive shops line the streets. Some of the most posh restaurants, pubs and clubs are in this neighborhood, and even fruit tends to be more expensive here. For a look at the porteño good life, you will want to come explore this glitzy neighborhood, as many of the city’s most famous monuments and sights are located here. To see it all in one day, use the following itinerary for a walking tour you won’t soon forget.

Start: Alvear Palace Hotel

End: Cementerio de la Recoleta (Plaza Francia)

Time: 4 hours (more if enjoying the museum)

Tip: Go on a weekend afternoon to enjoy the large crafts market in Plaza Francia, in front of the cemetery.

Start your day at the Alvear Palace Hotel, the most impressive - and perhaps most famous - hotel in Buenos Aires. Have a ridiculously luxurious breakfast or lunch, or simply explore the opulent hotel after drooling over the fabulous menu. Take the elevator up, but don’t miss the marble spiral staircase on the way back down.

From the hotel, walk down Avenida Alvear towards the large green plaza surrounding the Recoleta Cemetery. Head to the right, past the cemetery where you will find Buenos Aires Design, a collection of fine home-furnishing stores, with some interesting offerings. Continue across the plaza towards Avenida Presidente Figueroa Alcorta, cross the footbridge and walk along the busy avenue passing by the Facultad de Derecho. This immense building is where law students of the Universidad de Buenos Aires study.

Passing the facultad, you will come upon the Plaza Naciones Unidas, home to a massive metal flower, called the Floralis Generica. This impressive sculpture opens its petals every morning, and curls them back up every evening.

Head back across Av. Presidente Figueroa Alcorta, and find yourself alongside the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, a three-story museum with a grand collection of classical European art, a sculpture terrace, an entire floor dedicated to Argentine art, and various temporary exhibitions. Take a few hours to wander around inside, or save that for a rainy afternoon.

From the museum, cross Plaza Francia and head down Avenida Pueyrredón, until you hit Avenida General Las Heras, one of the most important streets in town. Turn left, and find yourself passing by the Facultad de Ingenieria, another impressive part of the Universidad de Buenos Aires. This gothic building looks more like it belongs in a major European city, but it is where engineering students call home.

From here you will walk up Azcuénaga street, until you hit the walls of the cemetery again. Follow the walls along towards Village Recoleta, a posh shopping mall. Round the corner of the cemetery to the left. If you are in need of a break, head just opposite the cemetery for a café con leche at La Biela Café, or any of the other fine restaurants that line the street there.

As the grand finale to your exploration of Recoleta, first peek inside the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Pilar, a beautiful church just next to the entrance to the cemetery. Finally, head into the sprawling cemetery, snapping photos of the hauntingly beautiful tombs and sarcophagi of Argentina’s elite.

For more information about the sights listed above, please see this Buenos Aires travel Guide.

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