Recoleta is Buenos Aires' most opulent and attractive district. Its name translates as ‘to remember’, and its tree-lined avenues with their colonial mansions certainly are nostalgic. The first construction project here was for an early colonial convent, but Recoleta quickly become a gathering place for wealthy aristocrats.
The convent still stands but is now the Centro Cultural Recoleta. The adjoining cemetery has served as final resting place for many famous Argentineans, including Evita. Tourists can visit on a Sunday afternoon for a free guided tour. Today’s tourists visit Recoleta to admire its architecture as well as to enjoy Buenos' Aires most exclusive shopping and dining options. The sightseeing and retailers are on Avenida Alvear. This is also where the finest luxury hotels in Recoleta are found, including Alvear Palace, a collection of historic mansions that now hosts up-market boutiques and lavish hotel suites.
Plaza Francia is a central landmark in Recoleta. It was laid out more than a century ago and features street performers, gardens and a weekend handicrafts market. Other attractions in the area include Palais de Glace, an ice-skating rink turned tango dance hall, and the ever-trendy Buenos Aires Design shopping mall.
Accommodation in Recoleta is mostly upscale, especially near the harbor where the shops and cafés are concentrated. As one of Buenos Aires' defining districts, Recoleta attracts all types of visitors, from commercial tourists to business travelers and even international celebrities. With a selection of affordable hotels in the back of the district, budget travelers can also afford to be based here.