Uruguay is known for its dreamy beaches and its infinite green fields – definitely something to plan on when travelling to this relaxing and pleasurable corner of South America. However, Montevideo is one of the most interesting cities in the continent thanks to its friendly, vibrant atmosphere and its mixture of street culture and colonial architecture. Montevideo can be a wonderful experience… If you know where to go! This is why we have prepared a short but comprehensive list of everything you absolutely need to visit when you travel to the capital of Uruguay. Here’s what to do and what to see in Montevideo!

What to see in Montevideo

What to see in Montevideo: Landmarks and wonderful views

Are you ready to visit Montevideo? This is what we recommend:

  • Fortaleza del cerro: Also known as Fortaleza General Artigas, it’s one of the best viewpoints to see Montevideo, as it is located in its highest hill.
  • A tour around the Old Town: Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja is a beautiful mixture of grey and pastel colours with a vintage feel and colonial architecture. Photography lovers may go absolutely crazy! A good starting point is Plaza de la Independencia, Montevideo’s largest square, which commemorates Uruguay’s Independence hero, José Artigas, considered the ‘father’ of the country. His remains are in the plaza as well, in a mausoleum.
  • Teatro Solís: Did you know that Montevideo’s most important theatre is the second largest in South America? You can go on a guided visit, but we strongly recommend checking the agenda to see one of the excellent plays, operas and concerts they offer.
  • Museum of Fine Arts Juan Manuel Blanes: Named after the renowned Uruguayan artist, if you have to pick a museum in the city, pick this one: paintings by international and local artists (including, of course, Blanes) and a beautiful Japanese garden.
  • La Rambla: Montevideo’s promenade, La Rambla, which has been proposed as a World Heritage Site, is as beautiful as you can imagine. It’s about 10 miles long and there is no better place in the city to enjoy the sun or see the sunset. If you’re looking for some Uruguayan friends, this is the place to go.
  • Beaches: As we were saying, Uruguay is known for its beautiful beaches, and you can find some amazing ones near Montevideo, like Los Pocitos, which you can reach if you walk along La Rambla.
What to see in Montevideo

What to see in Montevideo: Food and entertainment

Montevideo is a beautiful city, but you’ll like it even more if you save some time to experience its atmosphere. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Have a chivito: Did you know that Uruguay is the South American country with more cows per capita? It’s no surprise that meat is so important in Uruguayan cuisine then! You definitely have to try one of Uruguay’s most famous dishes, the chivito sandwich, made with beef, bacon, a fried egg, cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. There are plenty of versions, though, so ingredients may change!
  • Afternoon mate: We tend to connect mate with Argentina, but the Uruguayans are even more avid drinkers of mate tea than the Argentinians! While you walk through the streets of Montevideo you’ll see plenty of locals with their mate container on hand or a thermos under their arm, ready to sip on their drink whenever they feel like it. Drinking mate is a social activity and they have their own social rules on how to share it, so try to befriend some locals to have the real experience. You may need a while to get used to its bitter taste, but it definitely pays off – same as beer! And if you don’t get used to it, you can always add some sugar to it: even some of the locals do it!
  • Visit the Feria de Tristán Navaja: The greatest flea market of Montevideo takes place on Sundays in the discrict of Cordón, in avenue Tristán Navaja. You will find all sorts of gems, from old books to antiques, including vintage clothing and quirky objects.
  • Mercado del Puerto: It is still a market, but restaurants have won over fruit, vegetable and meat stalls. It’s the perfect place to enjoy Uruguayan parrilla of meat and/or seafood, and a great place to socialise and have fun.
  • Experience Candombe: Candombe is one of the most interesting aspects of Uruguayan culture, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see a performance in Montevideo – you can usually catch one on Sunday evenings in the district of Palermo, at around 7. It’s a combination of live music with local percussion instruments called chico, repique and piano which originates in Africa. African slaves brought it to South America, where it blended with Uruguayan culture.
What to see in Montevideo

Now that you know what to see in Montevideo, are you ready for your trip? Don’t forget to tell us about your experience!

 

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Author
At GowithOh, we are an enthusiastic team of self-confessed Europhiles who are passionate about travel. We especially love the variety of city breaks possible in Europe, from the historic UNESCO heritage cities like Prague, to the more cosmopolitan beachside destinations like Barcelona. We love discovering the hidden gems in different cities and sharing them with our fans so everyone can benefit and enjoy the perfect city break in Europe.