Uruguay‘s capital is a very manageable city, and it is easy to find the different sides of the city. We list the best things to do and see in Montevideo, from a walk along the Rambla and a day at the beach to a classic tourist city tour.
Walk along the Rambla
La Rambla is about 10 miles long, and it separates the city from the sea. It is possible to walk from the suburban parts of the city into the old town without any interruption. This walk is a perfect way to take a break from everyday life, to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. It is also a great place to spark up conversations with locals, and learn more about their culture, as it is a very important meeting point for Uruguayos.
Teatro Solís is the most important theatre in Uruguay, and the second-biggest theatre in South America. The main hall of the theatre offers space for 1,500 people and is used for performances of operas, but also theatre events and concerts.
This building, constructed from steel, was originally a market for fruit, vegetables and meat. Today, it is still called the ‘Harbor Market’, but there are not quite as many market stalls and stands. Instead, the Mercado del Puerto, hosts a good range of restaurants. The majority of them offer the speciality ‘parrilla‘, a grill for sausages, meat and seafood.
No visit to the Uruguayan capital is complete without a trip into the heart of the city. The Old Town is a place full of history and attractions, and the ideal starting point is the Plaza Independencia. From there you can reach the Teatro Solís, Palacio Salvo, and will see the remains of the city walls and town gate, which is the beginning of the original Old Town.
This museum opened in 1930 and is named after the famous Uruguayan artist Juan Manuel Blanes. The building itself is reminiscent of the classic Italian villas built in the Renaissance style. The Museum of Fine Arts keeps paintings by Blanes, but has displays of other national and international artists. Don’t miss the surrounding Japanese garden.
Uruguay’s traditional drink is yerba maté tea. It is made from herbs from the mate bush, over which you pour boiling water. The original way to drink it is to use a maté container, filled up with the herbs and hot water, and drink it through the so called ‘bombilla‘, which works like a straw.
Fortaleza Del Cerro is a fort which is located on the highest mountain in the city. It was built in the 19th century to protect the population and the port. Today, it is a popular destination to enjoy the beautiful view over the city and learn more about Montevideo’s history.
Every Sunday, in the district of Cordón, you will find one of the most typical flea markets in Montevideo. More exactly, you will find the biggest and most popular market in the street of Avenida Tristán Narvaja, after which the market is named. Go for a stroll at the Feria de Tristán Narvaja where you will find antiques, books, used technical equipment, music and rare objects.
Originally, the Candombe, music and dance performance, was brought to South America by African slaves, and is still practised today. Today, the Candombe is declared as intangible part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO and is still presented on Sundays at 7pm in the district of Palermo in Montevideo.