Presentation of the destination
Montevideo is located on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata and it is the capital city of Uruguay, South America. A charming city that was founded in 1724, it grew from the mid 19th century to expand eastwards of the Ciudad Vieja or Old City to form the Centro. Montevideo presents to the visitor a bohemian atmosphere that is deep in culture and tradition. A country that has won the FIFA World Cup twice, Montevideo has a museum dedicated to its victory. This city revels in the sounds of the candombe during the night, the Afro-Uruguayan music echoes from every corner of the cobbled street.It enjoys a subtropical type of climate that does not vary much in temperature. The beaches beacon the visitors throughout the year. A beautiful city with lively tango bars, music wafting through the air and a charming colonial architecture. The currency used is the Uruguayan peso.
Points of interests / things to see
An iconic building in the Ciudad Vieja or Old City, Mercado del Puerto was a railway terminal that was converted into a market. With an arching glass covered roof and intricate ornate metal work, it has a distinct European architecture. A bustling place with music wafting through the air from a live guitar and tamboril player to the voices of vendor selling their wares of fresh produce and local handicrafts. An amazing atmosphere as the sun hits the floor through the glass roof, and highlights the smoke rising from the many wood fired stoves that emit delicious aromas of seafood, vegetables and different meats being grilled expertly.The Mercado del Puerto is part of the local culture. There are over twelve restaurants that serve authentic Uruguayan food and though the ingredients are similar the taste of each restaurant is unique. The sizzling sound, and delicious smells of steaks, kebabs, seafood and sausages invites the visitor into the restaurants. Though small, the dining experience is divine! Flavors are enhanced with the open wood fire on grills, enjoy your meal with a typical Uruguayan hard cider called Sidra or a Patricia brand beer with the view of the streets and the waterfront in the corner.
The Plaza Independencia is located at the end of the Ciudad Vieja and the Centro district, one of the most important streets in Montevideo. The main sculpture at this plaza is the large bronze equestrian of Jose Gervasio Artigas (1764-1850). He was a military leader and in 1811, he commanded a patriot army fighting for independence against the Spanish Royals.The Artiga Mausoleum is just below the statue. The stairway leads to the mausoleum directly below into a chamber that holds his ashes in a decorative funeral urn. A sober atmosphere with security guards ensuring that a silent decorum is maintained. The walls reflect the life and times of this great hero. He died in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1850 when he was exiled from this country. He remains were placed at this mausoleum in 1977.The Torre Ejecutiva or the Executive Tower is on the left of the plaza and this is an important building as this is the president's office. Visitors are allowed to look around the building, but a security check is necessary. There is a beautiful bronze sculpture of horses on the first floor. The ornate Ciudadela gate separates Ciudad Vieja from downtown and lets the visitor pass from the old to the new area of Montevideo.
The famous musical theater Teatro Solis in Montevideo is located in the Plaza Independencia. It has presented many cultural events, since its inaugural in 1856. It is home to many popular artists from around the world. This neoclassical building was constructed in 1842 and most of the raw material was imported from Europe. It had a unique feature of a red lantern positioned on the roof, this was lit whenever performances were taking place and it could be seen around the city. Today, it has an electric light installed and the tradition still continues.During renovation of this 19th century building, architects have managed to install new features like the lighting that blends with the antique ambiance of the décor. The foyer has eight marble columns that was shipped in from Carrara, Italy. The magnificent Empire style Baccarat chandelier of crystal was created and cut in France, but it was assembled in Birmingham, England. A big theater, it can hold an audience of 1500 people. There are four majestic balconies that are above the ground floor, aesthetically decorated with red velvet seats and gold trimmed panels. The ceiling is painted with the names of 11 famous composers and playwrights. A beautiful ambiance to watch a performance.
The Plaza Matriz is a square with beautiful trees lining the cobblestone pathways that lead from Sarandi. The fountain at this park is famous as this is the location that the first Constitution of Uruguay was proclaimed in 1830. It has a festive atmosphere with many boutiques, stalls, cafes and restaurants nearby.Explore the antique stalls and browse through the beautiful collections of trinkets with by local artisans. These antique dealers sell their products in an open air market. There is an eclectic mix of vintage nicknacks, ceramics, clothing, old silver and even antique jewelry. A lively atmosphere as you are expected to bargain and strike a deal with the sellers. There will be young musicians along the pathways who entertain the shoppers with classical pieces by Brahms and Mozart, many toss some pesos into their violin cases.The Puro Verso is a beautiful building that was constructed in 1917, this was built for an optician, but today it is a charming bookstore. This is a protected national historic site and there is a restaurant upstairs. Enjoy a traditionally Gnocchi that is the staple dish at the end of the month, when funds are low. A delicious dish made of potato dumplings, spinach and cheese.
A beautiful city, Montevideo is rich in culture, heritage and architecture. The Independence Plaza is the main attraction of this city as it stands as a barrier between the new and the old developments. The Palacio Salvo, this tall building is 100 meters in height and it reflects Gothic and Art Deco styles, sculptures in stone of sea creatures grace the arcade.El Prado is the location of the three soccer stadiums and home to the Prado Park. Explore the residential areas of Carrasco. Pocitos and Punta Gorda. Amazing views of the sea await the visitor, the Rambla is a promenade created in 1920 that connected many neighborhoods and made the facilities available to all income levels. There are many shops along this route that sell interesting handicrafts.A short walk away is the Plaza Zabala with a beautiful square honoring the first Governor of Montevideo, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala. A charming neighborhood with houses from the early 1900s and several heritage buildings. The Castillo Pittamiglio is an intriguing red brick building commissioned by eccentric architect Pittamiglio with staircases that lead to nowhere and odd shaped rooms. Explore the tower and the bridge on this property. The Palacio Legislativo is an interesting architecture and home to many artworks. It is also the Legislative Palace of Montevideo.
The carnival at Montevideo is colorful and fun and it is one of the longest festivals on this continent. The pride of Montevideo, there is a museum dedicated to the history of the carnival in this city. The Carnival Museum is located close to the port and it showcases the interesting and colorful costumes, instruments and vehicles and floats from the past carnivals and gives an insight into the African origins of this festival. On display are the award winning costumes worn by the murgas or the groups of musical performance artists.Address:218 25 de Agosto de 1825 PromenadeMontevideoUruguay
Dancing and live music is a part of the culture and traditions of Montevideo. The tango is a beautiful dance form and a visit to this city is incomplete without visiting a tangueria or a tango club. The Baar Fun Fun is located in Ciudad Vieja and it was opened in 1895. An authentic tango club, you will enjoy the tango music, dancing and the shows. Enjoy the performances of the Candombe musicians and their African drum music is mesmerizing, visitors are taken back in time to the 18th century, when the Africans were brought to this continent as slaves.A drink called Uvita is popular here, it is a sweet wine based drink with secret ingredients.
Montevideo has a beautiful and mild weather throughout the year and its beaches are a great destination. The beaches on this coastline has crystal clear waters with golden sands. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the watersports activities and sport on the beach as well. The Pocitas Beach is perfect for windsurfing, sea canoeing and beach volley. The Buceo beach is much quieter, but a little further from the city center. Most of the beaches are walking distance in this city. The Ramirez beach is the nearest in Montevideo and there is an entertaining amusement park. Relax and sip a Mate on the sands.
The Iglesia Matriz is also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral. The oldest church in Montevideo, it was constructed between 1759-1804. This beautiful church has a unique feature, it has two clocks on its bell towers. Notice the sculptures of Jose Belloni depicting the Virgin Mary with the patron saints of Uruguay, Saint Philip and Saint James. The first service was held in 1804 and the flooring was not even complete! In 1905, black and white marble slabs from Belgium were installed. There are graves of famous local inhabitants like the archbishops and bishops of Montevideo, the first President of Uruguay and even rival political leaders.
Vacation rentals in Montevideo (Montevideo Department)
How to get there ?
Montevideo's airport is the Carrasco International Airport. There are only two international airlines outside Latin America that serves this airport. The American Airlines flies direct from Miami and Iberia connects Madrid to Montevideo. The airport is about 15 kilometers from the city center of Montevideo. Outside the arrival gate, there are taxis that will take you to your hotel. They run on the meter and they are trustworthy. Many of the hotels provide shuttle service from the airport.A scenic way to reach Montevideo is by the ferry. There are high speed ferries between Argentina and Montevideo. Ferries connect the Tres Cruces bus station and the old city to Buenos Aires and the trip is about three hours. Another option is take a ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia and then board the bus to Montevideo.Around the cityThe best way to explore this city is on foot. The old city with all the attractions and the beaches are within walking distance, but certain beaches like the areas of Punta Pocitos will be easier on a bus or a taxi. The bus system is quite good, but not hygienic. They are regular and you pay when you enter the bus. Bus number 121 runs from the old city to Pocitos and punta Carretas.
Hotels in Montevideo (Montevideo Department)