Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital and home to half of Uruguay' entire population. It has a very laid-back vibe and is lined by a long stretch of beach. More inland, the city is full of culture, with a well preserved old town and lots of spots to seek out. Check out our recommendations below.
This is great place to just take a stroll with the beach on one side and the city on the other. On a hot day, the beaches in Montevideo are great to visit too!
A trip to Montevideo isn’t complete without visiting the city’s main plaza. From here, you can visit most of the old town’s attractions, such as Teatro Solis and Palacio Salvo.
This is the second biggest theatre in the whole of South America and is of course, important to Uruguay. It mainly hosts opera shows but concerts can also be watched in this 1500 capacity theatre.
Museo del Carnaval
Uruguay hosts the longest carnival in the world so this museum is a great opportunity to learn all about its carnival history and customs. Visit here to check out some of the fabulous outfits and instruments used!
El Puerto Market
Once home to a fruit and veg market, this is now a great place to find a restaurant to rest in and soak up Uruguay’s culture. You may also catch a few locals playing chess on the street!
Experience a Candombe
Candombe is a music and dance piece involving drums being played along the streets, which was first brought over to South America by African slaves. Have a hunt or ask a local about any playing whilst you are there, otherwise if you are in Montevideo on a Sunday, you can experience one at 7pm in the Palermo district.
Great for a delicious pit stop whilst exploring the city, Piwo Helados has amazing ice cream in many different flavours. Highly recommended!
Colonia del Sacremento
Stepping into Colonial Del Sacramento’s old town is like stepping back in time. From the second you enter the time capsule through the old original gate and step out onto the original cobbled streets and look around at the buildings with their cracks that tell a thousand stories, you know that Colonia del Sacramento is special. This is a place that is best enjoyed by just naturally strolling around but we will help steer you in the right direction with our suggestions…
Outside of the old town is a somewhat strange attraction but definitely worth seeing. Where else are you going to see the biggest collection of pencils in the world? The collection museum is full of trinkets collected by Mr. Emilio Arenas Florin, most impressively the pencil, perfume bottle and matchstick box collection. There’s also a cute shop with different spreads and cheeses to try.
Hire a Golf Buggy
One of the ways to explore the cobbled streets of the old town is by hiring a golf buggy. Some of them even look like vintage cars! Definitely a fun way to enjoy Colonia.
Original City Gate and Wall
Upon entering the old town of Colonia, the first thing you will see is an old gate and walls where the moat used to be. Once past the gate, you can go up to the top of the walls to experience the view the soldiers would have had next to the cannons.
There is a lighthouse in the middle of the old town; it’s very cheap to enter so head up to the top to enjoy the views of the town and sea.
Colonia is home to the oldest church in Uruguay so it’s worth popping into Iglesia Matriz for a quick look around.
Stroll around old town
The old town of Colonia doesn’t need much instruction; the best thing to do is just take a stroll around the streets and discover the charm of this town for yourself. One street we would recommend going you down though is La Calle de los Suspiros, which means street of sighs – named this as the street was once full of prostitutes and all you could hear is the sound of men sighing. Here you can also find the Gallery of Sighs too, which has the original thatch ceiling.
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