Uruguayans are passionate about soccer, and have been counting the days until the FIFA World Cup kicks off. If you want to see what devotion to the sport truly looks like, visit Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city, in the next few weeks. When Uruguay plays a game, Montevideo’s streets empty, people stop whatever they are doing and, if Uruguay scores, the “goal” yells can be heard from everywhere. Here are the best places to go to watch the World Cup in Montevideo so you can experience this passion first-hand.
IMPO is a national organization in charge of all official communications in Uruguay, as well as promoting cultural and public interest activities. Located on 18 de Julio, Montevideo’s main avenue, the building has a giant screen that can be seen from the esplanade of Intendencia de Montevideo (the building of the municipal government), where every soccer match that Uruguay plays is broadcasted. During the World Cup, crowds of people gather to watch here. It’s free and open to the public.
Most bars and cafés in Uruguay have a TV – and soccer is the main reason why – and will tune into Uruguay’s matches and most of the championship’s games. Almost any busy bar is sure to be one of the best places to watch the World Cup in Montevideo and, if Uruguay is the team playing, get ready to experience how Uruguayans truly live and breathe soccer. As many of Uruguay’s matches are early in the day this year, the right place will be any bar that is open early in the morning for coffee or lunch.
For those in Ciudad Vieja, be it working locals or tourists visiting the historic neighborhood, La Pasionaria Cocina offers an ideal option. The gourmet restaurant shows all of Uruguay’s matches while putting on a delicious buffet breakfast. There’s no better way to start the day than with a good breakfast and, hopefully, Uruguay’s victory! Don’t miss the charming bookstore and gift shop inside the establishment, too, offering a plethora of artistic creations made by local designers.
In this World Cup, Uruguay’s first three matches are early in the morning, between 9am and 12pm, when most people will be at work. The competition is so important in Uruguay that some companies will start their business after the match and others will gather to watch the match together in the office before focusing on work. Either way, it’s a great experience to watch the World Cup with colleagues, and refreshing to have some fun at work, too! And, if Uruguay wins, you’ll be spending the rest of the day in the happiest workplace in the world!
Uruguayans adore soccer as much as they love spending time with loved ones. Usually, friends and families get together to share a meal and watch the game together. In a country where Nacional and Peñarol are the main soccer teams and the biggest rivals, often dividing friends and families, the World Cup Uruguay team is the only team that all Uruguayans support equally. Traditionally, an asado is prepared to enjoy during the match. This year, Uruguay’s matches are early in the groups stage, so the asado will probably be a great option for after the match, for those who won’t have to rush to work afterwards.
This year, the national phone company Antel has the right to broadcast all 64 of the World Cup matches through the app Vera+. This way, while on a bus, sightseeing in Montevideo, in a hostel, or in a park, people can watch any match they want on any device, whether it’s a phone, tablet or PC, as long as it has an internet connection.