Bordering Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is the second-smallest country in South America. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for with stunning coastlines and eclectic culture. Montevideo is the country’s capital, and it is one of the highlights of Uruguay.
From Buenos Aires, it is an easy ferry ride over to Montevideo and takes around 3 hours, making it possible to visit this vibrant city on a day or weekend trip from Argentina. As one of South America’s safest cities, it is a great place to travel time visitors!
10 Plaza Matriz
Plaza Matriz, also known as Plaza Constitución (Constitution Square), is the oldest plaza in Montevideo and houses Montevideo’s oldest public building, Iglesia Matriz, as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral. Plaza Matriz is found in Cuidad Vieja, which was the first part of the city to be built. There are often markets and stalls found on Plaza Matriz, making it the perfect first stop on a trip to Montevideo.
9 Plaza Independence
The most important of Montevideo’s beautiful squares is Plaza Independencia. At one end of the square is the Gateway of the Citadel which separates Cuidad Vieja from downtown Montevideo. Plaza Independencia is also home to a mausoleum and monument dedicated to José Gervasio Artigas who was a military leader in Uruguay’s Independence War and is known as the father of Uruguayan nationhood. The Teatro Solis (Solis Theater) and the Palacio Salvo (Salvo Palace) are also found here.
8 Palacio Salvo
When the Palacio Salvo was opened in 1927, it was the continent’s tallest building, and visitors can get an elevator to the top for stunning cityscape views. This 26-story, 330-foot tall building is one of the most famous buildings in Uruguay and today houses the Tango Museum.
7 Teatro Solis
Teatro Solis opened in 1856, is the largest theater in Uruguay, and was named after the explorer Juan Diaz de Solis, who was the first European explorer to land in modern-day Uruguay. The Philharmonic Orchestra of Montevideo plays concerts at Teatro Solis, and international artists from all over the world come to perform in this beautiful theater. Tickets are very reasonably priced, so it is a perfect way to experience some Uruguayan culture.
6 La Rambla
La Rambla is a pretty promenade that snakes 22km along Montevideo’s beautiful coastline. Known as the longest continuous sidewalk in the world, it is a wonderful way to see some beautiful Uruguayan beaches. Visitors can walk, run, bike, or scooter along the promenade, and there are plenty of spots to spot and sunbathe, admire the view, or fish.
Pocitos is a cute little resort neighborhood known for its beautiful sandy beaches, high-end restuarants and luxury shops. Playa Pocitos (Pocitos Beach) is a wonderful place to relax on a sunny afternoon, enjoying the ocean waves. For some history and culture, the 19th-century Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Plaza Tomás Gomensoro are also found in Pocitos.
4 La Ciudad Vieja
Just west of Plaza Independencia is Montevideo Ciudad Vieja (Old Town). This is a beautiful part of Montevideo, filled with charming old buildings, quaint coffee shops, and small boutiques. It is close by to the ferry terminal, so it makes a great place to start or end your day if you’re arriving from Buenos Aires.
3 Mercado del Puerto
Mercado del Puerto is an excellent place to try the best of Uruguay’s cuisine. With cafes, restaurants, parrillas serving delicious meat and pasta dishes, and the famous Asado BBQ, visitors can try an assortment of tasty treats, including matambre (stuffed meat roll) and grilled morcilla.
2 Prado Park
Prado Park is the largest urban park in Montevideo, and with 2km of walking trails, it is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy some shady spots. It is surrounded by tree-lined streets and beautiful old mansions, and the grounds of the Botanical Gardens are found within the park. The Blanes Museum is also found in Prado Park and has extra walking paths and wonderfully manicured gardens for visitors to explore.
1 Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral
The Metropolitan Cathedral is a must-see on any Montevideo to-do list! Dating back to the 18th century, the delightful church was named a cathedral in 1878 and a Basilica in 1897 and is now a National Historic Landmark and is the city’s oldest building. The beautiful stained-glass windows and domed bell towers make it an eye-catching attraction in the city.