Recoleta can easily be considered as one the best neighbourhoods to visit in Buenos Aires as it has great historical and architectural landmarks and is considered the cultural centre of the city. On the weekend, the neighborhood is also home to the Recoleta Market filled with a huge variety of one-of-a-kind jewelry and knick-knacks [second only to the San Telmo market].
Some of the sites to see in at the Recoleta market – great crafts, mate cups and empanadas!
The best part about Recoleta is that many of the main attractions of the neighborhood are located within walking distance, allowing travelers to take a beautiful sunny afternoon stroll without worrying about metros and/or taxis.
If possible, head over to Recoleta on a Saturday and/or Sunday afternoon and start off by browsing [and possibly purchasing] some items from the market – the prices on rhodochrosite jewelry, the Argentinean national stone, are lower than the San Telmo market but remember to be skeptical when the vendor swears that the jewelry is made from silver. The market also has some great and affordable street meat vendors who serve scrumptious empanadas and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Above: There is a strange amount of cats lingering around the cemetary & me standing in front of the grave of Eva Peron
Below: The different beautiful angels and sculptures in the Cemetary
The market is located right beside the famous Recoleta cemetery whose walls contain the graves of Eva Peron, past presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners and the grand-daughter of Napoleon. In 2011 the BBC hailed it was one of the world’s best cemeteries and in 2013 CNN also listed it as one of the top 10 most beautiful cemeteries in the world. Entrance is free and the cemetery itself is wonderfully eerie – as I took picture after picture of the expertly crafted and realistic sculptures, I at times felt as if many of them were watching me. It certainly gave me goosebumps.
The Floralis Generica
After exiting the cemetery, it is only a short five minute walk to three other renowned landmarks at the Plaza de las Naciones Unidos: Floralis Generica, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Facultad de Derecho building.
The Floralis Generica is quite the structure and is made out of steel and aluminum – it was donated to the city of Buenos Airesby the Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano. Originally the structure mimicked the movements of real flowers by opening and closing its petals depending on the time of day. Unfortunately the electronics that enabled the flower to open and close were disabled in 2010 to prevent damaging the sculpture. Right beside the Floralis Generica is the law building of the Universityof Buenos Aires, inaugurated in 1949. The architecture of the building outside and inside is quite magnificent and a quick peek inside will not disappoint.
Although pictures are not allowed, I did manage to sneak in a couple of great shots at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Across the street from the law building is the Nacional Museum of Bellas Artes. This museum is also free and among the Argentine and European artists, travelers will find paintings by: Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Vincent van Gough, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet.
If your legs aren’t aching at this point then a 15 minute walk can take you to the Malba Museum located in the Palermo section of Buenos Aires. The Latin American Museum of Buenos Aires [MALBA] has an impressive permanent collection and a constant stream of new and exciting temporary exhibitions. The museum houses over 200 works from the private collection of the founder, Eduardo Constantini, and it the pieces are positioned in a way to span the entirety of the 20th century – from social and political arts [30s], surrealism [40s] to pop art [60s / 70s].
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Avenida Figueroa Alocorta 3415
Thursday to Monday [and holidays]: 12h00 – 20h00.
Wednesday: 12h00 – 21h00
Students with ID card:ARG$20 [USD$4]
Avda. Libertador 1473.
Tuesday to Fridays: 12h30 to 20h30
Saturdays and Sundays: 9h30 to 20h30