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Blick auf Uruguays Hauptstadt Montevideo, Bild: Michele Ricucci / shutterstock

Montevideo: Uruguay’s capital as a travel destination

Montevideo is one of the most important metropolises in South America and is constantly gaining popularity as a travel destination. The capital of Uruguay is located at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata and has about 1.3 million inhabitants. It is not only the political, but also the cultural and economic center of the country. Montevideo is considered the South American city with the best quality of life. The city has many sights and attractions to offer, some of which will be presented in more detail here.

Culture in Montevideo

Uruguay, Montevideo
The capital of Uruguay: Montevideo, Image: worldroadtrip / shutterstock

Montevideo has a diverse cultural scene with numerous theaters and museums. The Teatro Solis is the most important national stage. In addition to the second largest theater in South America, the Teatro El Galpón, the Teatro Anglo, the Teatro Metro, the Teatro Agadu and the Teatro Alianza Culural are also worth mentioning. Especially for concerts and carnival runs, there is the Teatro Ramón Collazo, which is built as a semicircular arena. In addition, there are numerous museums in Montevideo with important exhibitions and collections. Particularly worth seeing are the National Museum of History in the Ciudad Vieja in the Cabildo and the Museum of Military History in the fortress on the Cerro de Montevideo. In addition, the City History Museum and the Museo del Gaucho y la Moneda attract visitors.

Streets, squares and parks

Starting from the city center, Montevideo is laid out like a checkerboard pattern. The streets usually run at right angles to each other. In between are characteristic blocks of houses in different architectural styles. Avenida 18 de Julio is the city’s main shopping street. It is also bordered by several important squares in the capital. The avenue leads to Plaza Independencia. The Plaza de Cagancha, Plaza Fabini and Plaza de los Treinta y Tres are also nearby. Adjacent to the waterfront promenades, there are some stylishly landscaped parks in Montevideo. In addition to the Parque Rodó, the Parque Arq. Eugenio Baroffio, the Parque Brig. Frucoso Rivera, the Parque de las Instucciones and Parque Dr. Carlos Vaz Ferreira.

Die Plaza Independencia

The Plaza Independencia forms the center of Montevideo and is one of the most famous sights. The square forms the entrance to the old town of Ciudad Vieja. The focal point of Plaza Independencia is the statue of General José Gervasio Artigas. Below it is a mausoleum that can be visited. The size of the square and the surrounding tall buildings as well as the ornate city gate are impressive. The already mentioned Teatro Solis is located on the Plaza Independencia and is the most famous theater in the country. You can not only attend performances there, but also take part in a guided tour at reasonable prices.

The old town of Ciudad Vieja and the Mercado del Puerto

Plaza Zabala in Montevideo
Plaza Zabala in Montevideo, Image: DFLC Prints / shutterstock

The old town with its picturesque alleys is one of the most beautiful sights in the city. The exceptional location on a small peninsula is worth mentioning. You should definitely visit the harbour and the Mercado del Puerto. The pedestrian area consists of Sarandi and Calle Perez Castellano. There is a wide range of restaurants and bars there. Street musicians and the traditional architecture of the old town create the right atmosphere. The stalls in the Mercado del Puerto market hall offer a wide selection of fruits and meat from all over South America. However, Montevideo’s market hall is known for its grill restaurants and entertainment in the form of music groups and dancers.

The port and the Rambla of Montevideo

Ferries, cargo ships and cruise ships drop anchor in the port of Montevideo. In the harbour area there are also some wrecks that can be admired. The architectural highlight is the impressive building of the Navy. On the southern side of the city is the Rambla de Montevideo. It stretches from the Ciudad Vieja along the entire coast of the city. The Rambla is ideal for walks and bike rides.

The sign of Montevideo and Playa de los Pocitos

About eight kilometers from the old town, there is a beautiful stretch of beach in the Pocitos district. On an adjacent meadow is the illuminated lettering Montevideo. It harmonizes well with the backdrop of the beach and the magnificent buildings behind it. One of the most beautiful beaches in Uruguay is Playa de los Pocitos. It can be reached quickly from the center of Montevideo and offers soft sand and a magnificent panorama.

The Cerro de Montevideo

The best views of the city are from Cerro de Montevideo. The 130-metre-high city hill is located in the north of the centre. It houses a viewpoint, a fortress and a military history museum. The Cerro de Montevideo not only offers a panoramic view of the capital of Uruguay, but also of the mouth of the Rio de la Plata and the coast.