What to do in Montevideo
What to do in Montevideo, a guide to the best places to visit in this beautiful city.
But first, let’s see a little about the history of this great, small, country!
Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is the official name of the country, the second smallest in South America after Suriname. Its name comes from Guaraní, a language spoken by more than 12 million people. A consensus has not yet been reached as to the meaning of the word Uruguay. Some theorists think that it means “river of the country of urú”, for others, “river of the snails”.
Its capital is Montevideo, a territory where the first settlers arrived in 1726. Today, it is a quiet city and here we are going to give you a practical guide of what you can do and how to make the most of your visit in this beautiful country.
Prepare your eyes to see what to do in Montevideo…
Independence Square (Plaza de la Independencia)
One of the most important squares in the city. It was made in 1837 by Carlo Zucchi, as part of the city expansion project.
On one side is the Puerta de la Ciudadela that marked the entrance to a military fortress built during the colonial period. In the center of the square, is the sculpture of Artigas, who was a very important military man in the War of Independence of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.
Around the square, there are thirty-three palm trees that pay homage to the Thirty-Three Orientals who participated in the liberation crusade.
At the corner of Avenida 18 de Julio is the Palacio Salvo.
You can enjoy its history on our Free Tour Old City.
In 1928 it was the tallest building in Latin America at 105 meters high, surpassing its twin brother the Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires.
Built by Mario Palanti and inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, it is one of the most iconic buildings that you can find on the sides of Plaza Independencia.
With a historicist aesthetic that mixes Art Deco and academic architecture. The interesting thing about the mixture is that it is built with the most used materials at the time: iron and concrete.
Due to the global COVID-19 situation, guided tours are suspended. The contact number for more information is (+598) 99 949 931 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is called that way by the people of Montevideo, because it is part of the oldest part of the city. Today, we can think of it as the downtown commercial area. In it, there are banks, headquarters of very important companies, bars to have a drink and places to go out to dance at night.
One of the peculiarities of this area is that it is full of art. Museums, galleries and exhibitions of contemporary popular art. The architecture, as in all Latin America, is a particular and rich mixture of styles from the European academies with its colonial touch.
What places do you have nearby? The Solís Theater, The Torres García Museum, The Taranco Palace and many others.
The street that most recalls the colonial era is the cobbled Sarandí. It joins the Plaza Independencia with the boulevard. The artisan fair gives a bohemian and cozy touch to the tour.
When the conquest came to this area, it was the coast that bordered the Río de la Plata, at the moment, the widest river in the world. Today, with more than 30km long promenade, a road route was established that connects the capital of Uruguay with the inland beach area.
It is usually one of the places where locals and visitors go for a run or drink mate at all hours of the day. It is so important to the people of Montevideo that it was proposed to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
If you want to see one of the calmest and most beautiful sunsets in the city, prepare your mate and go to the rambla.
It is the most important theater in Uruguay. It was inaugurated in 1856, with a capacity of 1500 people. Designed in the first instance -like the Plaza Independencia- by Carlo Zucchi. The style chosen by him was the predominant one at the time: Neoclassicism. But since his project was too opulent in both structure and budget, he was not the one who finished it. It would fall into the hands of Francisco Javier Garmendia who carried out the last works.
Its façade is reminiscent of the Carlo Felice Theater, but this is common, given that neoclassicism is characterized by the use of particular elements rearranged in new designs.
If you are interested in taking a guided tour you can do it here.
Have lunch at the Market
The Mercado del Puerto is one of the main gastronomic attractions. Also, there are craft shops, musicians and painters.
Saturdays are the most lively days since, by Plazoleta Proa, the Fair of handicrafts, souvenirs and antiques is located.
The best shopping in the city is Punta Carretas Shopping.
The funny thing about this place is that it used to be the main prison in the city.
Here you will find brands that are not found in Argentina.