Uruguay’s capital city Montevideo is home to almost two-thirds of the country’s population. Located on the southern shore and only a three-hour (173 miles) ferry ride from Buenos Aires via Rio de la Plata, Montevideo is laid-back and cultured.
In Montevideo, you’ll find a good mix of culture, art, and even beaches. It is close to renowned Uruguayan wineries and here are five ways to enjoy the city.
1. Indulge in steak
Argentina may be known for its beef, but neighboring Uruguay proves to be “the only country in the world with a completely computerized traceability system” quoting from a BBC article titled, Uruguay’s world first in the cattle farming. That means you’ll know exactly where your beef is from and where the cow was raised.
The steak in Uruguay is by no means inferior. It’s one of the best in the world and is served in restaurants throughout Montevideo. Stick around for lunch or dinner if you’re visiting Mercado del Puerto. Join the crowd at one of the grilling stations and have a feast of traditional Uruguayan asado (barbecue).
2. Explore the flea markets
Almost every neighborhood has a weekend market where vendors sell cheese, cooked food, fruits, vegetables, and antiques. The most extensive weekend flea market is the Tristan Narvaja Sunday market along Tristan Narvaja. Here you can see what the locals shop for and enjoy a treasure hunt for souvenirs and antiques.
Try the chorizo (spicy pork sausage), buy a block of cheese and buy a mate gourd (the most popular souvenir from Uruguay) to take home.
3. Experience La Rambla
Take a walk at La Rambla in Pocitos or Punta Carretas neighborhoods. La Rambla is a 40-kilometer promenade along the shores of Rio de la Plata. Stop by one of the cafés or restaurants. Locals like to hang out with friends and family at the Rambla. Some have their thermos and mate gourd in hand, which is typical in Montevideo. You may have an opportunity to try mate (tea) if you know the locals.
4. Learn about the Uruguayan carnival
Montevideo celebrates carnival for 40 days – the longest carnival celebration in the world. If you time it right, you may join in the carnival that runs from January to March.
This year, the Inaugural Carnival Parade was on January 25. Check out the murgas performances or the neighborhood shows (tablados) and street parades (llamadas). Better yet, visit Museo del Carnaval Montevideo and learn about the Uruguayan carnival traditions and origins.
5. Visit the wineries
The majority of Uruguay’s wineries are in Canelones about 30 miles north of Montevideo. Day trips are available from Montevideo to Canelones, Maldonado, and Montevideo wine regions. Uruguayan Tannat is the most popular and common wine in the country. You’ll also find merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
— Bodega Garzon (@BodegaGarzon) January 22, 2018
We suggest a wine tasting tour to Bodega Garzon and Bodega Bouza.
Before you leave for Montevideo, here are three travel tips to help you plan your trip
1. Find airlines flying to Montevideo and the best airfares.
2. Check out the hotels.
3. Currency converter, USD to Uruguayan Peso.
Have you been to Montevideo Uruguay?