South America Living

Montevideo, Uruguay Travel Guide

Parrilla Expert at Mercado del Puerto

Montevideo (metro population 1.9 million) is likely the most laid-back capital city you will encounter in South America, but don´t think that means boring.   View photos

Fronted by a beach promenade (“La Rambla”), the pace is slow yet full of all the city-like vigor you would expect such as: nightclubs, hostels, five-star hotels, art galleries, casinos (Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza), upscale shopping malls such as the Punta Carretas and the expected stready stream of busses, cars & locals rushing about.

      Best Time to Visit      Where To Eat      Where To Stay      City Map

The city sits on the northern bank of the Río de la Plata (River Plate in British English) – the “river of silver” – and is a 3 hour ferry ride on the popular Boquebus from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The ferry terminal is in the Ciudad Vieja (Old City) district of Montevideo – a short cab ride from hotels and restaurants.

Montevideo is the southernmost capital city in South America and home to murgas (theatre with a mixture of comedy and music) plus Candombe – a popular style of African/Uruguayan drumming and dancing.

Noon Parade at Plaza Independencia

Popular among Uruguayans and tourists also are the Feria Tristán Navaja (weekend market), futbol (4th place World Cup 2010) and chivitos – the steak sandwich with bacon, ham, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, olives, lettuce, egg and garlic mayonnaise that is the national dish of Uruguay.

Meat lovers will not want to miss a trip to the Mercado del Puerto (Port Market in English) near the cruise ship pier. It is a must see not only for the funky architecture but for the massive grills everywhere with huge slabs of beef, sausages galore, chicken, pork… bring your appetite!   Photos & Video – Mercado del Puerto

Not to be outdone by their neighbor to the north – Brazil – Montevideo claims to host one of the longest carnivals in the world beginning in February or March – depending on the year, it can last up to forty nights!. Night after night of partying and dancing in the streets!

The Montevideo Carrasco International Airport (IATA: MVD) is only 15 km (9 miles) from the city. A taxi to downtown will cost approximately $12 USD.

Terminal Tres Cruces is the main bus terminal with busses to all areas of the country (as well as neighboring countries such as Argentina and Brazil) complete with 24-hour restaurants (sit-down parilla & McDonalds) as well as a food court on the second level with restaurants (such as Canton Chino with Asian food), cafes, shops, ATMs and money exchange.

The food court is located on the upper-level and open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information read Travel in Uruguay – Tres Cruces Bus Station.

Best Time to Visit

Montevideo is pleasant year-round with a temperate climate. There is approximately 35 inches of rain annually – spread throughout the year; there is no rainy season. Normally the coldest month in Uruguay is June and the warmest month January.

During the summer (verano in Spanish) months December through March temperatures range between 21 and 27 degrees C (70 – 80 F). During winter (invierno in Spanish) – June through August – it can be chilly. Temperatures at this time fluctuate between 6 and 14 degrees C (42 – 57 F)

Where to Stay in Montevideo


  1. Name: Sheraton Four Points Hotel
    Area: In-between Pocitos & Ciudad Vieja
    Address: Ejido 1275
  2. Name: Punta Trouville ApartHotel (hotel suites & self-service apartments)
    Area: Pocitos Neighborhood
    Address:Francisco Vidal 726


  1. Name: Belmont House Hotel
    Area: Carrascos Neighborhood
    Address: Av. Rivera 6512
  2. Name: Continental Hotel
    Area: Downtown Central Area
    Address: Paraguay 1373, Entre 18 de Julio y Colonia


  1. Name: Hospedajae del Este
    Area: Central
    Address: Soriano 1137
    Website: None. Read a Review
  2. Name: Che Lagarto
    Area: Plaza Independencia
    Address: Plaza Independencia 713
    Website: ttp://

Where to Eat in Montevideo


  1. Name: Ristorante Panini (Italian)
    Area: Ciudad Vieja
    Address: Bacacay 1339 (Bacacay and Sarandí)
    Website: None. Read a Review
  2. Name: Las Brasas (steak & seafood)
    Area: Central
    Address: San José 909
    Website None. Read a Review


  1. Name: Any One of Numerous Parrillas at Mercado del Puerto (Port Market)
    Area: By the Port
    Address: Perez Castellano and Piedras
  2. Name: Bar Hispano
    Area: El Centro (Downtown Central Area)
    Address: San José 1050
    Website: None.


  1. Name: Buffet Atlantida
    Area: El Centro (Downtown Central Area)
    Address: San José 1020
    Website: None. Read a Review
  2. Name: Euskal Erria
    Area: Centro
    Address: San José 1168
    Website: None. Read a Review

Photographs by Molly McHugh, all rights reserved.

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