If you visit Montevideo, you will fall in love with the city. It’s not only the capital of Uruguay, but also its cultural heart and soul. Everyday you’ll find a new activity, another treasure to discover. It has beaches, markets, monuments, interesting tours and sights. It’s colorful, artistic, bohemian and rich in its cultural heritage. Learn all about this Latin American city and visit as soon as you can.
Read on and find out about the top 10 things to do in Montevideo, Uruguay.
1. Port Market (Mercado del Puerto)
Underground artists, regional producers, local foods and interesting souvenirs, you’ll find all that and more in the big Port Market of Montevideo. During the weekend, it’s full of people, but that brings it more alive. During the week you can visit without being troubled by the crowd.
Among the gastronomy options, that are many, you will see the parrillas everywhere. If you want to taste the best of Uruguay, don’t miss out on trying some grilled barbecue. It’s going to be one of the best of your life. It’s a perfect place to spend a few hours looking for cool gifts, either for someone back home or just for yourself. The market has been running for more than 100 years and it’s still waiting for your visit.
Port Market (Mercado del Puerto)
Address: Pérez Castellano, Montevideo, Uruguay
Website: Port Market (Mercado del Puerto)
2. Tristán Narvaja Flea Market (Feria de Tristán Narvaja)
This market is even more picturesque. It’s huge and on the street. You will find antiques, books, clothes, furniture that you will have to figure out how to take back home with you, food, local fruits and vegetables brought straight from the countryside to the market by the producers… Anyway! There’s a lot going on in the Tristán Narvaja Flea Market. You’ll even find rare objects that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
The market takes place every Sunday during the day. The best recommendation is to start early in the morning, stop for a while to have lunch and continue until your legs or your pockets ask you to stop.
Tristán Narvaja Flea Market
Address: Tristán Narvaja, Montevideo, Uruguay
Website: Tristán Narvaja Flea Market
3. Old City (Ciudad Vieja)
Spending a day strolling around the streets of the Old Town of Montevideo is mandatory if you visit the city. The history at every step, the many sights and monuments, important buildings and history will keep you occupied and interested for many hours.
Some of the most recommended places to go here are the Salvo Palace (landmark of Montevideo at the corner of Avenida 18 De Julio and Plaza Independencia), the Sarandi walking street (with many stores, art galleries, historical buildings, artists and craftsmen showing their work on outdoor benches and more), the Constitucion and Cabildo Square (for a historical stop), the Zabala Square (the little Paris in Montevideo) and the Taranco Palace (the first theatre in Montevideo built in 1910). There’s a lot to see so make sure you clear a whole day or at least a few hours for this tour.
Old City (Ciudad Vieja)
Website: Old City (Ciudad Vieja)
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4. La Rambla
Walk on the shore of the famous River Plate that separates Argentina and Uruguay. The coastline known as “La Rambla” is a charming walk to enjoy the sun, do some sports like running or biking, and even fishing. It’s also a good opportunity to meet locals and get them to share with you a traditional Mate, a drink that you simply have to try in Uruguay.
Website: La Rambla
5. Beaches of Montevideo
The beaches of Uruguay are the biggest attraction in the country for family and surfers specially. The Montevideo beaches might not be the most famous, but if you visit the city you can make the time to enjoy them. There are a few options that are the most recommended like the Ramirez beach, Pocitos or Malvin beach. Bring sunscreen and an umbrella and chill in the sand.
Beaches of Montevideo
Website: Beaches of Montevideo
6. Solís Theatre (Teatro Solis)
In Montevideo you should visit one of Uruguay’s most important theaters. The Solís opened its doors in 1856 and since then it’s been renowned and preserved. It’s where the most important artistic events take place. It’s located in the Old Town of the city and just passing by to appreciate the architecture of the building is an interesting visit. If you can catch a show, you’ll be even luckier. You can even book a tour with an expert guide to discover all the secrets hidden in the walls.
Address: Buenos Aires 678, Montevideo, Uruguay
Website: Solís Theatre (in Spanish)
7. Santa Lucia River Wetlands (Humedales de Santa Lucia)
The nature in Uruguay is unique in the world and a good way to explore it is to visit the wetlands. This ecosystem area covers more than 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) and it’s a natural park where you will appreciate a varied flora and fauna. It’s a different experience to be outdoors and share with family or friends. Explore the nature of this world in Montevideo’s surroundings.
Santa Lucia River Wetlands
Website: Santa Lucia River Wetlands
Feel the beat of the candombe rhythm. From the African heritage in Uruguay was born this amazing music and dance style that will get to your heart and feet very quickly. You will find open “calls” on the streets every weekend where the sound of the drums will call you to dance and join the party.
The most common neighborhoods of Montevideo to find this music are: South, Palermo, Cordón, Diving, Malvin and many more. Candombe was declared by the UNESCO as a world’s cultural heritage.
9. Independence Square (Plaza Independencia)
It’s one of the main attractions of the Old Town, but for its importance it was saved till now. The Independence Square connects the old part of the city with the new one and is where the 18 de Julio Avenue, the most important in Montevideo, starts. Everything is around the square, from the Solis Theatre to the Salvo Palace and the Ciudadela Gate. All history of Montevideo’s beginning is around you. With a guided tour you will leave Uruguay knowing all about its capital. And it’s also a nice spot to be outdoors.
Website: Independence Square
10. Montevideo’s Hill (El Cerro)
Go up to the military fort known as Fortaleza General Artigas, at the top of the hill El Cerro. Explore the construction from the year 1811 and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the city. It’s a visit that it’s not hard to accomplish and you will learn a lot about Montevideo’s history.
Fortaleza General Artigas
Address: Av José Batlle y Ordóñez, 12800 Montevideo, Uruguay
Website: Fortaleza General Artigas
It's hard to leave Montevideo after exploring so much
You will discover that Montevideo is both a unique city, but at the same time it has everything you could possibly wish from a city in the world. Explore its architecture, the amazing cultural heritage, the delicious food and the music. The local people are very friendly and will be happy to introduce you to their costumes, and of course, share with you some Mate.
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