When you arrive in the capital of Uruguay, the juxtaposition of the old with the new, the residential with the industrial and the quiet with the bustling comes as a refreshing surprise. The neoclassical buildings that vie for attention with the skyscrapers dotting the downtown area are just one facet of the vibrant spirit--and variety--that pervades the city. Much like its name, Montevideo has different sights and sounds to offer with each turn of the camera lens. Capture the scenes while you're here but don't forget to immerse yourself in the moment as well.
Neoclassical architecture abounds in Ciudad Vieja (Old City). The Casa Rivera and the Museo de Artes Decorativas should not be missed while you're in the area. At the heart of the district is the Plaza Independencia, with its palm-lined streets, and the somber Mausoleo Jose Artigas. Below the 30-ton statue of the country's hero, beneath the street, a 24-hour guard keeps watch over his remains. Turn east from Plaza Independencia and you'll find the Palacio Salvo, while the Puerta de la Ciudadela can be found to the west of the plaza. Museumgoers will enjoy the collections of the Museo de la Historia del Arte and the Museo del Carnaval, which documents Montevideo's 100-year embrace of Carnaval. The Torre Antel offers splendid views of the city from the top. And make sure you take an evening to walk along and admire the sunset from the 22-kilometer Rambla along the coast.
Parillas, chivitos, milanesa, gnocchi, dulce de leche and churros--all are specialties of Montevideo that you should not miss during your visit. Many reasonably priced local restaurants can be found along Mercado del Puerto and in Mercado de la Abundancia. In the streets leading to Ciudad Vieja, you'll discover numerous charming sidewalk cafes.
The specialty shops and markets of Montevideo offer shopping with that unique South American flair. For leather, paper and other crafts, head to the Mercado de los Artesanos. The family-owned Montevideo Leather Factory can make a custom jacket for you in a day. Paintings, ceramics and sculptures are available at the Acatras del Mercado. The Feria de Tristan Narvaja has antique trinkets, jewelry and other crafts. Sweaters, scarves and blankets are available at Manos del Uruguay. If you want the mall-shopping experience, however, the Punta Carretas shopping mall is located in Pocitos.
Costa Rica, Montevideo, Uruguay
Carrasco, Montevideo, Uruguay