Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay in South America. Things to do in Montevideo;
- Plaza of Independence and Artigas Mausoleum
- Estevez Palace
- Salvo Palace
- Pocitos Beach and La Rambla
- Port Market (Mercado del Puerto)
- Peatonal Sarandi
Hotels in Montevideo are good value, you’ll have no problem finding a hotel in your price range. The good news about Montevideo is that it’s a safe city and easy to walk around. If you are unable to walk or have a long distance to travel then taxis are metered and very cheap.
Plaza of Independence and Artigas Mausoleum
The Plaza of Independence is located in the center of the city of Montevideo. In the Plaza of Independence is a huge statue of José Artigas and underneath this statue you can visit the mausoleum of José Artigas known as the Artigas mausoleum. Jose Artigas is a national hero who played a huge part in Uruguay gaining independence from Brazil in 1825. You’ll find many streets and monuments in Uruguay and all over South America named Artigas. They’re all named in honor of the Uruguayan hero Jose Artigas.
Estévez Palace is a notable landmark located on the Plaza of Independence which is worthy of photographing. Two other notable landmarks located in Montevideo’s old town are Taranco Palace and the Solis Theater.
Salvo Palace is located on the Plaza of Independence. It officially opened in 1928 as a lighthouse on top of a building and at the time it was claimed to be the tallest building in South America. Salvo palace was originally topped with a light and used as a lighthouse which could be seen for 100 km. The light was later removed and consequently, the buildings height shrank. Today the building is used for residential purposes but there are a few rooms being rented to tourists for short stays.
Pocitos Beach and La Rambla
Montevideo has its own beach and you can easily walk there from the historic center. You can see the Pocitos beach and the famous Rambla district on the other side of the water (above). Rambla is the promenade behind the beach and has applied for UNESCO world heritage status, however it has not yet been accepted. Rambla is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon people watching whilst enjoying a coffee or cold beverage in one of the many cafes. Did you know there’s also a La Rambla street in Barcelona? Finally, the most famous beach in Uruguay is Punta del Este which is a 2 hour bus ride east of the city.
Port Market (Mercado del Puerto)
If I was to go to Montevideo again and could only visit one place, the place I’d choose would be the Port Market (Mercado del Puerto). Here I ate in a restaurant which had the best steak I have ever tasted. I’ve tried the steak in Argentina but here in Montevideo, just over the water, I would say the steak is better and a hidden treasure of the country. I know all steak restaurants in Uruguay won’t offer brilliant steak so to be sure you should visit the Port Market for your steak. Lastly, Port Market is located close to the cruise port in Montevideo.
If you don’t fancy a steak or visiting the market port then there is a pedestrian street called Peatonal Sarandi where you find lots of restaurants serving all types of food and drink. Milanesas are a popular food in Uruguay and the beers are served in liter bottles.
How to get from Montevideo to Buenos Aires
To get to Buenos Aires from Montevideo there are regular ferry services which take from 2-3 hours. Before leaving Uruguay you could make a trip to the UNESCO world heritage city of Colonia del Sacramento which is less than 3 hours away by bus. Additionally, there are direct ferries from Colonia del Sacramento to Buenos Aires. For my trip to Buenos Aires however, I was on the last leg of my Celebrity Cruise so no need for the ferry service, I could enjoy one more night of cruise food.