30 Best Things To Do In Montevideo, Uruguay - Updated 2022

things to do in Montevideo Uruguay

When visiting Latin America, Uruguay is one of the lesser-known choices for tourists - but it shouldn’t be! You’d be surprised to find out that Uruguay is a very liberal country - both same-sex marriage and marijuana are legal here. In fact, Uruguay is dubbed as “one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world”. They also produce some of the finest undiscovered wines in the world, and it shares the title with Argentina as the origin of the popular dance: tango. Its capital, Montevideo is located at the very southern tip of the country. As the country’s biggest city, Montevideo is a bustling place with a fusion of culture and progress. There are hints of Spanish, Portuguese, and British influences left in their history, yet it is ultimately Uruguayan by heart. Here’s a list of things to do in Montevideo, Uruguay to spark your interest.

1. Marvel at the architectural symbolisms of Castillo Pittamiglio

Castillo Pittamiglio frente
Source: Photo by user Fernando da Rosa used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Castillo Pittamiglio is an architectural wonder located at the heart of Montevideo, Uruguay. It was the former home of architect Humberto Pittamiglio from 1910 until his passing in 1966. The structure is a curious beauty because of the many shapes and the symbolism in and around it. Most of these symbols involve elements of alchemy mixed with Christian ideas. There are odd hallways, empty doors that lead to nothing, labyrinths, and other curious pieces within the structure. It’s a great cultural experience for tourists. After taking a tour of the place, enjoy a meal at their on-site restaurant.

Castillo Pittamiglio

Address: Rambla Mahatma Gandhi 633, 11300 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Castillo Pittamiglio

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 9pm; Sat: 1pm - 9pm; Sun: 2pm - 9pm (closed on Mon)

2. Learn about the country's military history at Fortaleza Del Cerro

Fortaleza del Cerro
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Hoverfish used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built in 1809 and finished in 1839 by the Spaniards, Fortaleza Del Cerro was a military fortress that sits on Rio de la Plata, overlooking the Bay of Montevideo. It was built to defend Uruguay from external threats from the sea, particularly the British who were keen on invading at that time. It then became a National Monument in 1936 and has housed the Military Museum since 1916. The lighthouse on the fortress has become one of the most iconic structures in the country - in fact, it’s one of the symbols on Uruguay’s coat of arms.

Fortaleza Del Cerro

Address: Av José Batlle y Ordóñez, Montevideo, Uruguay

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

3. See a grand performance at the beautiful Teatro Solís

Teatro Solis
Source: Photo by user Leandro Neumann C... used under CC BY 2.0

Teatro Solís is Uruguay’s premier destination for the finest performing arts shows. Opened in 1856, the structure features beautiful neoclassical architecture designed by Carlo Zucchi. It also had its share of reconstruction and rehabilitation and was reopened in 2004, boasting an even more beautiful sight. Teatro Solís was born from wanting a cultural space for the people to share ideas but to feature European influences as well. Today it hosts several plays, operas, concerts, and other performances from both local and international artists alike. Guided tours are also available in limited time slots.

Teatro Solís

Address: Buenos Aires S/N, 11000 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Teatro Solís

Price: 2.39 USD (90 UYU)

4. Take a stroll around Parque Rodó

Parque Rodó

Rodó Park is named after renowned Uruguayan writer, José Enrique Rodó who has a monument located within the park. This place is not just your typical park with gardens - though there are vast areas of those - this is considered a neighborhood as well. There’s a public children’s library housed inside a little castle that sits above an artificial lake. Here you will also find important buildings such as Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Luis Franzini Stadium, the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty Architecture both from the University of the Republic, and the Mercosur building, which is the office of the Mercosur Secretariat of the Mercosur Parliament.

Parque Rodó

Address: Punta Carretas, Montevideo, Uruguay

5. Browse through the art pieces at Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales

Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales (uruguay)
Source: Photo by user Fcr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located within the lovely Parque Rodó, Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales features Uruguay’s largest collection of paintings and art pieces. It was opened and inaugurated in 1911. Here you will find the works of many famous Uruguayan artists such as Rafael Barradas, Joaquín Torres García, Pedro Figari, Juan Manuel Blanes, and more. Aside from the permanent exhibits of said artists, the museum is also open to hosting shows and temporary exhibitions from international artists and the like.

Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales

Address: Tomás Giribaldi 2283 esq. Julio Herrera and Reissig Parque Rodó, Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 1pm - 8pm (closed on Mon)

6. Take a stroll along Plaza Independencia

Montevideo plaza independencia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Entropy1963 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Known as the city’s most important square, Plaza Independencia hosts a number of important buildings in Montevideo. Along its premises is Teatro Solís, Estévez Palace, and the Executive Tower also known as the Office of the President of Uruguay. In the center is Artigas Mausoleum, the final resting place of Uruguay’s national hero, General José Artigas. You’ll get to be in the heart of Montevideo both figuratively and quite literally.

Plaza Independencia

Address: 11000 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

7. Be captivated by the art and beauty of Museo Blanes

Museo blanes
Source: Photo by user Elulene used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Juan Manuel Blanes Municipal Museum of the Arts, or simply Museo Blanes is a municipal art museum in Montevideo. It features primarily the works of one of Uruguay’s most famous painters, Juan Manuel Blanes, as well as many others. The city dedicated this building, which was turned into a museum in 1930, to the renowned painter. Outside the museum, you will find a beautiful Japanese garden, and local folklore also surrounds the place. Legend has it that the wife of a former aristocrat was locked in its tower, presumably died there, and now haunts the building.

Museo Blanes

Address: Av Millán 4015, 11700 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Museo de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 1pm - 5:45pm (closed on Mon)

8. Go on a gastronomical tour at Mercado del Puerto

Source: Photo by user Eduardo Ruggieri used under CC BY-SA 3.0

What was once a public market now sits as a premier destination for foodies visiting Montevideo. A gastronomic experience is what the famous Mercado del Puerto has to offer. Conveniently located by the pier, this spot is home to several famous restaurants that you must not miss, especially those serving traditional Uruguayan cuisine. Aside from the food choices, the building itself is quite unique and definitely worth checking out - its entire facade and clock were constructed in and shipped from England.

Mercado del Puerto

Address: Perez Castellano, Esquina Com Rambla 25 de Agosto de 1825, Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Mercado del Puerto

9. Go for a long walk at Rambla de Montevideo

Rambla de Montevideo
Source: Photo by user todo tiempo pasad... used under CC BY 2.0

“Rambla” is a Spanish word roughly translating to avenue or boardwalk. This particular one in Montevideo is special because it’s so long that it stretches out 22 kilometers (14 miles) across the entire coast of the city. There are a total of 23 sidewalks that intersect with Rambla de Montevideo. All of these are factors that help the city get the title of the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, as well as the prestige of being a UNESCO heritage site. It’s the perfect place to get your daily dose of exercise by walking, jogging, and biking. It’s a long stretch to cover though, so prepare your physical endurance! If you just want to sit around and watch the sunset with a cool drink then that’s fine, too.

Rambla de Montevideo

Address: Rambla S/N, Montevideo, Uruguay

10. Swing by Artigas Mausoleum

Mausoleo Artigas
Source: Photo by user Phil Whitehouse used under CC BY 2.0

Artigas Mausoleum is the final resting place of Uruguayan national hero General José Artigas. He played an important role in freeing Uruguay from Spanish colonial rule. He was exiled to Paraguay where he died in 1850. His remains were brought home to Montevideo and placed in this mausoleum located directly under his monument in Plaza Independencia. The mausoleum is guarded daily by the Blandegues de Artigas, a special national security force.

Artigas Mausoleum

Address: Plaza Independencia 750, Montevideo, Uruguay

Opening hours: 10am - 5:45pm (daily)

11. View the colorful displays at Museo del Carnaval

Museo del Carnaval Uruguay
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fernando da Rosa used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Museo del Carnaval is a unique type of museum in Montevideo because it showcases more than a century’s worth of carnival memorabilia. There are displays of colorful masks and costumes, as well as instruments like drums and trumpets. There are even videos and audio recordings of some of Uruguay’s famous carnivals such as Las Llamadas and many others, all with gallery displays like the Candombe, the Uruguayan Carnival, and the Murga.

Museo del Carnaval

Address: Rambla 25 de Agosto de 1825, 218, Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Museo del Carnaval

Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

12. Stop by Catedral Metropolitana de Montevideo

Montevideo metropolitan cathedral interior
Source: Photo by user Ypsilon from Finland used under CC0

The principal Roman Catholic Church of the archdiocese of Montevideo, Catedral Metropolitana de Montevideo holds the country’s biggest Catholic events. Built around 1790 during the Spanish era, the cathedral boasts beautiful neoclassical architecture and is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, who is also the patroness of Uruguay. It’s an ideal pilgrimage site for Catholics, though everyone is also welcome to admire the beauty and majesty of its structure.

Catedral Metropolitana de Montevideo

Address: Ituzaingo 1373, 11000 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Catedral Metropolitana de Montevideo

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm; Sun: 10am - 12:30pm

13. Hang out at Playa de los Pocitos

Playa Pocitos
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shant~commonswiki used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Located in the barrio or neighborhood of the same name, Playa de los Pocitos is a famous beach in Montevideo. It runs along Rio de la Plata and Rambla de Montevideo. In its backdrop, you will find beautiful and important buildings, including many embassies. The beach is a favorite among young people because of the many things and activities to do. You can go sunbathing, play some beach football or volleyball, go jogging, and many more. After spending the day at the beach, satisfy your hunger in one of the restaurants along the area.

Playa de los Pocitos

Address: Pocitos, Rio de la Plata, Montevideo, Uruguay

14. Admire the exterior of Palacio Salvo

Plaza Independencia y el Palacio Salvo
Source: Photo by user Pablao19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Standing nearly 100 meters (330 feet) tall, Palacio Salvo is an architectural beauty located in Plaza Independencia. The Gothic-style structure was designed by Italian architect Mario Palanti and was finished in 1928. Originally, there was an antenna that made it exactly 100 meters (330 feet) tall but it was removed in 2012, and now it stands approximately 95 meters (312 feet). The initial plan for the building was for it to be a hotel, but it didn’t push through. Now the structure is home to private offices and residences. Unfortunately because of this, it’s not open to the general public - unless someone invites you inside. Otherwise, the architecture can still be admired from the outside if you can find a spot from Plaza Independencia.

Palacio Salvo

Address: Between 18 de Julio Avenue and Plaza Independencia, Montevideo, Uruguay

15. Wander through Jardín Botánico de Montevideo

Jardín Botánico de Montevideo
Source: Photo by user Georgez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re a nature lover who admires flowers and plants, then the Botanical Gardens of Montevideo is for you. These vast gardens are filled with different species of flora for you to discover. It’s also a perfect place for your Instagram needs, as there are many picture-worthy sights here! Apart from the gardens, there’s also a museum within the compound for educational purposes.

Jardín Botánico de Montevideo

Address: Av. Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera 4553, 11700 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Jardín Botánico de Montevideo

Opening hours: 7:30am - 6pm (daily)

16. Catch a football match at the historic Estadio Centenario

Estadio centenario 4
Source: Photo by user Da dinges used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Football is a very popular sport in Latin America - a religion even, for some - so it’s no surprise that Uruguay has its own profound love for the sport. One of its historic monuments dedicated to football is Estadio Centenario. This was the venue of the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, back when Uruguay was the host country. It is also dedicated to the 100-year celebration of Uruguay’s independence. The stadium is historic in the world of sports, as FIFA declared it the only World Football historical monument in 1983. Also within the stadium’s premises is Museo Del Fútbol.

Estadio Centenario

Address: 11400 Montevideo, Montevideo Department, Uruguay

Website: Estadio Centenario

17. Check out Museo Del Fútbol

Football museum Montevideo
Source: Photo by user Ypsilon from Finland used under CC0

While you’re visiting Estadio Centenario, you shouldn’t miss Museo Del Fútbol located within its premises. The museum is a real treat to football lovers and sports enthusiasts in general because you will get to see the history of football in Uruguay and its connections with neighboring Latin American countries. There are trophies, photographs, memorabilia, and other pieces historically significant to the sport.

Museo Del Fútbol

Address: Estadio Centenario, 11400 Montevideo, Montevideo Department, Uruguay

Website: Museo Del Fútbol

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sat - Sun)

18. Go shopping at Feria Tristán Narvaja

Libros en Feria Tristán Narvaja
Source: Photo by user Rodrigo Olivera used under CC BY 2.0

Feria Tristán Narvaja is a popular street market in Montevideo and is only open on Sundays. This is any tourist and shopper’s paradise because of the many things you can find here - and for a bargain! You name it - antiques, books, arts and crafts, jewelry, fresh produce, clothes, music records - you can surely find it here, and you can haggle for a reasonable price. Best to go early in the morning when the people haven’t flocked yet, because when they start to, it can get really crowded.

Feria Tristán Narvaja

Address: Dr Tristán Narvaja 1545, 11200 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Opening hours: Sun: 9am - 4pm (closed on Mon - Sat)

19. Explore Punta Brava Lighthouse

Punta Brava Lighthouse
Source: Photo by user Vince Alongi used under CC BY 2.0

Built back in 1876, Punta Brava Lighthouse has since guided boats entering Banco Inglés, Buceo Port, and Santa Lucía Rivera. It is sometimes called Punta Carretas Lighthouse because of its location. It was only in 1962 when the lighthouse became electric. Since Uruguay borders the ocean, Punta Brava is only one of 28 lighthouses in the country. Once at the top, you’ll get beautiful panoramic views of the ocean and the city of Montevideo.

Punta Brava Lighthouse

Address: Punta Carretas, 11300 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Opening hours: 10am - 1pm, 2:30pm - 6:30pm (daily)

20. See a live performance while having a snack at Mercado Agricola Montevideo

Mercado Agricola Montevideo interior plaza de comidas
Source: Photo by user Fedaro used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mercado Agricola Montevideo, or the Agricultural Market of Montevideo, is one of the largest of its kind in the city. Since the beginning of its construction in 1906, it was rehabilitated and expanded more than once. Finally, in 2013, it reopened with a beautiful facade to welcome the public to a bigger and better market. One part of it remains a traditional market with some of the freshest goods like meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables, as well as some gourmet produce like cheese and cold cuts. Another part has been turned into an entertainment hub for live performances. Exhibitions can also be enjoyed from the food court.

Mercado Agricola Montevideo

Address: José L. Terra 2220, 11800 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Mercado Agricola Montevideo

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

21. Visit the exhibits at Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo on Friday, May 21, 2021

From the name itself, Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo is a public venue for contemporary artists who wish to showcase their work. It’s basically an exhibition space that was built in the old Miguelete Prison. Architect Juan Alberto Capurro turned the former eerie cells into an art space for everyone. The building is now owned by the government, and its main objective is to promote and educate people about art and to find a common area for artists and art lovers to connect. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming exhibits during your trip!

Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo

Address: Arenal Grande 1929, 11800 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 2pm - 6:45pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Tue)

22. Have a fine-dining experience at Francis Restaurant Punta Carretas Montevideo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you want to have one of the best gourmet experiences in Uruguay, head over to Francis Restaurant! Open since 2002, they started out with a Mediterranean menu and adapted more cuisines throughout the years, including Japanese and, of course, native Uruguayan cuisine. They even follow the traditional way of grilling but with a gourmet twist. This establishment is also the first gourmet delivery service in the area. Some of the favorites of past guests include mushroom risotto with lamb, sushi, and Uruguayan-style steak. Desserts like dulce de leche mousse and chocolate tart are a must-try as well.

Francis Restaurant Montevideo

Address: Luis de la Torre 502, 11300 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Francis Restaurant Montevideo

Opening hours: 12pm - 3:30pm, 8pm - 12am (daily)

23. Enjoy the natural scenery of El Rosedal

Parque El Prado- El Rosedal 4
Source: Photo by user Rarrillaga86 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

El Rosedal is a beautiful garden in Montevideo filled with different kinds of roses. Built in 1912, you will find traditional red, white, and pink roses all over the 6,400-square meter (69,000-square feet) garden. There are collections of hybrid species of roses as well. It’s a lovely place for your Instagram needs, an ideal place to go on a date, or simply a place to go for a walk.

El Rosedal

Address: Parque del Prado, Avenida Buschental & Av Delmira Agustini, 11700 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

24. Sample excellent beer at Brown Bear Craft Brewery

Sometimes, less is more. Oso Pardo, the group Brown Bear Craft Brewery belongs to, is known to have simple yet amazing craft beer. Some say it’s even the best in Uruguay. The place is not extraordinary but it boasts a warm ambiance and is perfect for buddies who want to go out drinking. The service is also very hospitable, and it is highly recommended by previous guests.

Brown Bear Craft Brewery

Address: Joaquín de Salterain 1316, 11300 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Brown Bear Craft Brewery

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 7:30pm - 1am; Fri - Sat: 7:30pm - 3am (closed on Sun & Mon)

25. Pay a visit to the stunning Palacio Legislativo

Source: Photo by user Coolcaesar used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Palacio Legislativo is a government office located in Montevideo. It’s where the Uruguayan parliament holds its meetings. What makes it stunning though is its architecture, which is a neoclassical piece of art. Nearly the entire structure is made of marble and took almost 17 years to construct. It’s become a favorite among tourists for its photogenic facade. There’s also a library inside for those who wish to check out some relevant books and documents.

Palacio Legislativo

Address: Av. de las Leyes, 11800 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

26. Have the traditional Uruguayan drink: Yerba Maté tea

Yerba Maté tea
Source: Unsplash

Maté is Uruguay’s traditional drink, much like tea is to Britain and whiskey is to Ireland. Maté tea is so important to Uruguayans that if you ever meet one outside of Uruguay, they will more often than not have a hot thermos with maté inside. The drink is made from yerba maté, a type of dried leaf that comes from a shrub. It is normally served with bizcochos or Uruguayan croissant biscuits and can be found at local street markets.

Maté Tasting

Address: Montevideo, Uruguay

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27. Dance the night away at Lotus Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Lotus Opening 2020

Posted by Lotus Club on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Lotus Club is a popular night club in Montevideo. It’s open every weekend from Thursday to Saturday with a different theme every night. The interior is designed like a classic disco club with lots of colorful features and tones. Past guests have noted that it’s spacious, has clean bathrooms, and stellar drinks. It’s the perfect hang out spot if you’re in the mood to party all night!

Lotus Club

Address: Cr. Luis E. Lecueder, 11300 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay

Website: Lotus Club

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 11pm - 6am (closed Sun - Wed)

28. Enjoy the greenery of Fructuoso Rivera Park

Fructuoso Rivera Park similar scenery
Source: Unsplash

Named after Uruguayan general Fructuoso Rivera, this park is a perfect place to take an afternoon stroll. Located within the suburbs of Montevideo, it’s an ideal family hang out where you can have a picnic, play some activities, or simply relax and unwind. Pets are also allowed here, so bring your furry family members too! There’s a lovely lake that allows you to go duck watching. You can also sit by a tree and read a book. The park is wheelchair accessible, so everyone is very welcome to enjoy the quiet scenery.

Fructuoso Rivera Park

Address: 11400 Montevideo, Montevideo Department, Uruguay

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

29. Enjoy a spectacular sunset view from Playa Ramirez

Edificio del Mercosur 2013 01
Source: Photo by user NaBUru38 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

To cap off your day exploring Montevideo, it’s best to head to Playa Ramirez, a place that is hailed for its sunset views. It’s one of the many beaches located in Río de la Plata but is a favorite of many not only for the sunset but for the activities you and your family can enjoy here. You can simply spend the day just relaxing on the beach while waiting for the sunset. Just like many of the beaches in the city, beautiful buildings surround the area. There are also lifeguards on duty, so safety won’t be a problem while you’re on the beach.

Playa Ramirez

Address: Río de la Plata, Montevideo, Uruguay

30. Catch some Z's in style at Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa (from USD 200)

If you’re traveling to Montevideo with some extra cash, why not go all out and check in at Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa? This luxury hotel is located in the heart of the city and is definitely a sight to see. It’s a five-minute drive from the airport and a twenty-minute drive from downtown Montevideo, which makes its location even more perfect. Relax at their first-class spa and gym, or hang around their indoor or outdoor pools. If you’re lucky, you can get a room with a city view!

Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa

Wifi Available

Address: Rambla Republica de Mexico sn, Montevideo, URY, 11500
Accommodates: 2

Parking Restaurant Pets allowed Room service Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Sauna

Add Montevideo to your bucket list

Montevideo is truly the heart of Uruguay. With a well-preserved, vast, and colorful culture, it’s quite a surprise that it’s not as popular as its Latin American neighbors. There are several activities to do and see in this lovely and welcoming city. Perhaps after going through this list, you’ll consider booking a ticket to Montevideo as soon as possible!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Marga is a self-employed aspiring writer and budding artist from the Philippines. On days she's not writing, she paints and creates art which she later sells at craft bazaars. Marga also has...Read more

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