Montevideo Uruguay is the country’s capital city and main base for visiting tourists. A compact and eclectic place, it well reflects Uruguay’s general prosperity; in fact, the residents of Montevideo were recently listed as enjoying South America’s highest quality of life. Visiting here is just as fun as living here: There are plenty of historical sites to see, excellent accommodation options, and a vibrant shopping and nightlife culture. Uruguay may be a relative newcomer to the international travel market, but Montevideo is way ahead of its time.
Getting to and from the city is quite simple. The Montevideo Carrasco International Airport is basically the only airport in Uruguay that tourists fly to, so if there is a flight, it’ll fly here. Flights come from all over South America (Brazil and Argentina are particularly well connected), from Australia and New Zealand, and from Europe, where they frequently depart from Madrid. Most long-haul flights stop off to pick passengers up in Buenos Aires, but it’s so close to Montevideo Uruguay that you hardly notice the extra leg of the journey. Buses arrive in the capital from other domestic destinations should you need transport from elsewhere in the country to Montevideo.
Montevideo travel invariably centers on sightseeing by day and bar-hopping by night. The Plaza Independencia in Montevideo, near the Ciudad Vieja, is a good place to start for the former. It contains the mausoleum of Jose Artigas, the famous Uruguayan hero, as well as the Casa Gobierno (the government's seat of power), and the Palacio Salvo. The palace was once the tallest building in South America, today you can still take an elevator up to the top floor for great city views. Aside from offering these high-profile sites, the Plaza Independencia in Montevideo is a lovely place to relax; while it’s in the heart of town and surrounded by high-rise buildings, the Plaza is lined with palm trees and shaded benches, making it great for hours spent people watching.
Not far from the Plaza Independencia in Montevideo is the Solis Theatre, which invariably proves another highlight of Montevideo travel. Opened in 1856 but recently renovated, it’s the oldest theater in Uruguay. When ballet, operatic, or orchestral performances aren’t taking place, guided tours are available to show you around the building’s marvelous interior.
Montevideo accommodations are diverse, ranging from budget hostels to top-notch luxury hotels. Generally speaking, backpackers like to stay in the heart of Pocitos district, which is full of character and close to the beach in Montevideo Uruguay, while high-end travelers tend to stick to hotels close to the Plaza Independencia. Whichever group you belong to, Pocitos is worth exploring, as it shows Montevideo in its old and new guises. Where the barrio borders the beach, Pocitos is all high-rise apartment blocks, yet walk inland for just a few blocks and you hit more eye-pleasing streets full traditional homes and kids playing in the streets.
The last word about Montevideo travel should go to its food. Meals here come huge and meaty—and normally for an extremely reasonable price, too. So when it comes to planning your itinerary, make sure to leave enough room for a fair chunk of delicious cuisine.