Montevideo ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ

Montevideo, located on the coast is Uruguay’s capital city with a population of 1.5 million people. The name of the country is its geographical position with its full name being East or Uruguay.

The capital’s name comes from 2 different things. At the time, the hills were numbered and Montevideo was number 6. Video is 6 in Roman numerals in Spanish and means East to West while ‘ monte’ comes from the Spanish for ‘mountain’.

Brazil and Argentina were fighting over the land that housed the main port where the Uk were making money. The Uk forged peace between them and created Uruguay with the 1st constitution on 18th July 1830. The Main Street in downtown Montevideo is named after this: 18 Julio.

Uruguay doesn’t have an official religion and over half the population is atheist or agnostic, which is odd for a country within Latin America. I visited in December expecting to see lots of decorations but there were only a few and done subtly.

Interesting fact: Marijuana is legal but strictly controlled. A person can grow up to 6 plants in their house, or join a cannabis club and receive 40 grams a month. The government also grows it in fields and 24 pharmacies in the capital sell it. It’s also legal to sell it in food such as hash brownies.

The best way to see the city is to join a walking tour.

The Rambla

This promenade runs the entire coastline of Montevideo at at 13.7 miles long, it is the longest in the world.

The Rambla offers great views of the city, beaches and the port of Montevideo. The sea is good for swimming and paddle boarding and as well as beautiful beaches there are large open spaces shaded by palm trees where yoga classes are held and concrete courts for rollerskating and skateboarding.

A good way to explore the promenade is to hire a bike and spend a day (or part of) cycling along it.

The sea breeze is refreshing in the summer!

The Rambla
The Rambla
Rambla

Punta Carretas Ligthouse

Found just off the Rambla, this beautiful lighthouse was built in 1878 and is located at the southernmost point in Montevideo and Uruguay itself.

It is 21 metres high with a light range of 15 miles with a flash every 10 seconds and is still used by fishing boats to the entrance of Santa Lucรญa River.

You can tour the inside for 35 Pesos which is approximately ยฃ0.70.

Light house
Light house

Punta Carretas Mall

This building was originally opened in 1915 and started life as the Punta Carretas Penitentiary. In 1971 over 100 prisoners managed to escape and after a mutiny in 1986 the prison ceased to exist.

A decision was made to remodel the property and in 1994 it reopened as a shopping mall and is now home to over 100 stores, restaurants, cafes and services.

Plaza Fabini

A pretty square in downtown Montevideo housing a food court, fountains and shaded benches. It’s a great place to sit and relax, grab a bite to eat and watch the world go by.

Plaza Fabini

Feria del Parque Rodรณ

An artesan market that takes place in beautiful Rodรณ park every Sunday from 08:30 – 15:00. There are some beautifully made handicrafts as well as clothes, artwork and most importantly food!

Top Tip: Visa and Mastercard as well as local currency is also accepted

Plaza Indpendencia

This is a beautiful square at one end off the Main Street (18 Juilo) and is also home to Antigua’s ashes in a mausoleum below the square. The mausoleum is kept guard by soldiers who change every hour. Artigas is known as the symbol of the army and he has a statue in the middle of the square. After being initially successful in the revolution by defeating the Spanish Authorities at the Battle of Las Piedras he then lost subsequent battles and moved to Paraguay until his death.

The plaza itself is beautifully kept with large grassy areas, shaded benches, fountains with several palm trees dotted around. A lovely place to sit and relax with (or without!) a Yerba Matรฉ, which is a traditional Uruguayan drink made from herbs and hot or cold water. You will notice lots of locals carrying thermos flasks and matรฉ cups.

Montevideo
Mausoleum
Mausoleum

Executive Tower

Located on Plaza Independcia and built in 2009, this glass building is the Uruguayan President’s office. Glass was used as it is a transparent material and shows that Uruguay is considered to be the South American country with the least corruption.

Next door is the former office, which is now a museum.

Did you know that the President enjoys surfing?!

Top Tip: The museum is free

Montevideo
Montevideo

Palacio Salvo

Found on the other side of Plaza Indenpendencia is the beautiful building, the Palacio Salvo. It was bought in 1928 and named after its owners who turned it into a hotel. Unfortunately, the Wall Street Crash happened a year later and the hotel was sold and became apartment blocks.

It looks like a wonderful place to live!

Palacio Salvo

Citadel Gate

This is at one end of Plaza de Independencia and leads to the Old Town. It used to be a fortress and only the side facing away from the Plaza.

It is said to the the windiest place in Montevideo!

Montevideo

Teatro Solis

Teatro Solis, built in 1856 makes it the oldest theatre in the city. When it was first built, it was the 2nd tallest building in the city and everyone could see it from their homes. If there was going to be a show a red light at the top was switched on. The light still shines today. If you’d like to see a show, check out the link.

Teatro Solis

Constitution Plaza

Constitution Plaza also known as Plaza Matniz as it is the mother (oldest) of all the squares in the city. It was named in honour of the Spanish Constitution in 1812.

Look closely at the fountain in the centre and you will notice that Constitution and Independence have been spelled incorrectly. This is because it was built by an Italian who didn’t speak Spanish. Constitucion should be constitutiรณn and indipendiente should be independencia.

Montevideo
Montevideo
Montevideo

Plaza Zabala

The statue in the middle of the Plaza is of Bruno Mauricio de Zabala who was a Spanish soldier and governor of the Rio de la Plata and founder of Montevideo and was designed by a Spanish sculpture.

The gardens were designed by a French architect named Eduardo Andrรฉ. However, he wasn’t paid and wanted revenge. Look closely at the surrounding fence as Andrรฉ’s revenge came in the form of art.

This is how Zabala acquired the nickname Penis Square!

Penis Square

City Hall

City Hall is located on the Main Street 18 Julio and has an observation deck with a lovely panoramic view of the city and a collection of old photographs of Montevideo,

Take the entrance at the back and the lift up to the 22nd floor.

Top Tip: Open till 19:00 and is free

City Hall

Mercado Del Puerto

An indoor (outside seating in summer) food market with several difference restaurants all serving traditional Uruguayan bbq in the form of meat, fish and seafood with fantastic local wine.

It is said that the market itself was inspired by Liverpool train station.

Mercado del Puerto

Candombe Dance

This consists of drumming and dancing that stems from African roots with the performers dressed in brightly coloured costumes and can be viewed on different evenings all over the city. Each drum has a different sound.

Top Tip: You can watch the dancing in the Palermo neighbourhood on Sundays at 19:00 or in Parque Rodรณ on Tuesdays at 20:00

Montevideo

Food

Uruguay, like other Latin American countries is famous for its steak and red wine in particular BBQ and Cheviots, which is a large roll with barbecued meat, bacon, fried egg, barbecue sauce and lettuce.

The local wine is Tannat (red) and is light and tastes fantastic. I would recommend bringing home a bottle!

Steak
Chivitos
Chivitos

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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