Start the day at the stunning Ateneo Grand Splendid bookshop (av. Santa Fe 1860) in the immaculately preserved former Grand Splendid theatre and cinema. It's considered by many to be one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Two blocks from here is Galería Bond Street, a shopping centre popular with fans of rock, metal, and Japanese culture. There are more mainstream shopping options on Avenida Santa Fe itself.
Walk along Av. Callao to Calle Guido, then turn left and walk another two blocks to Recoleta Cemetery, an extravagant labyrinth of the dead, in which Evita's tomb is the most visited. Beside the cemetery is the Basílica Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Once you've finished here, walk along Avenida Alvear, Buenos Aires' most elegant and Parisian street, and the heart of the affluent Recoleta neighbourhood. Within just 100 metres, you'll pass Secretaría de Cultura (Av. Alvear 1661), Palacio Maguire (Av. Alvear 1681), Palacio Duhau (now the Park Hyatt hotel at Av. Alvear 1661) and the Vatican's papal nunciature (Av. Alvear 1637). There are more opulent buildings around the small square on the next block: the Jockey Club (Av. Alvear 1345) and the mansions Palacios Ortiz Basualdo and Palacio Pereda, which currently function as the embassies of France and Brazil respectively.
For lunch, choose one of the hotel restaurants near by, either Elena at Four Seasons (Posadas 1086), Gioia, on the terrace at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt (Posadas 1350) or traditional French cuisine at the Hotel Alvear's La Bourgogne (Ayacucho 2023).
Walk along Av. Callao to Av. Las Heras and take a bus (line 60, 37 or 59) to our next stop, the Botanical garden (av. Santa Fe 3951). Take a moment to relax and enjoy the greenery at this huge park, with its 6,000 species of plants, its herbarium and five greenhouses – one of them is notable for its Art Nouveau style – and marble sculptures. The house in the garden often hosts art exhibititions.
Leave through the back of the garden, at Las Heras and Lafinur, and stroll along this tranquil block until you reach the Evita Museum (Lafinur 2988). Here you can learn about the life and work of Argentina's most famous First Lady, Eva Perón. The museum also has a nice patio cafe, ideal for afternoon tea.
As the son goes down, get dressed up then head to the Colón Theatre (Cerrito 628). You've already seen it from the outside, but it's worth trying to get a ticket for an opera, ballet or concert in order to enjoy the venue's acclaimed acoustics and sumptuous interior decor.
- There are free guided tours of Recoleta Cemetery in Spanish.
- Every Thursday, the city tourist board offers free guided walking tours of Recoleta: The Paris of South America.
Recoleta neighbourhood also has its share of nightlife, in keeping with its elegant style. The Pony Line bar is based at the Four Seasons (Posadas 1086), and not far away, you'll find Florería Atlántico (Arroyo 872), an acclaimed "secret" cocktail bar hidden behind a florists.