How to Spend 1 Day in Montevideo
Uruguay’s laid-back capital is a vibrant city filled with rich history and culture. From the eclectic architecture of the downtown district to the breezy beaches and seductive dance halls, there’s plenty to keep you busy all day. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in Montevideo.
Morning: Explore the City Sights
Kick off your visit to the Uruguayan capital with a comprehensive tour of its main sights. Private and group tours take visitors to such landmarks as the Centenario Stadium, Pocitos Beach, Independence Square, the Cabildo, and the Metropolitan Cathedral, while providing enlightening information about each. Tours typically included hotel pickup and drop-off and are available in the morning and afternoon. Alternatively, if you prefer to explore independently, you can rent a bicycle and head out on a self-guided tour of the city or book a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour that lets you get on and off where and when you please.
Afternoon: Winery or Market Lunch
After a busy morning of sightseeing, you’ve earned a relaxing afternoon enjoying the best of Uruguay’s food and wine scene. Booking a trip to the nearby family winery of Bodega Bouza lets you skip the hassle of driving or figuring out bus timetables. Excursions typically include a guided tour of the surrounding picturesque countryside and tastings of several different wines accompanied by cold meats and cheeses, followed by lunch. If you’d rather remain in the city proper, head for the Port Market (Mercado del Puerto) in the Old City (Ciudad Vieja) for a typical Uruguayan parrilla (grill). The market features a pavilion of restaurants with open fires cooking varied cuts of meats and sausages.
Night: An Evening of Tango
Montevideo vies with its neighbor Buenos Aires for the right to call itself the birthplace of tango. Dive into this crucial element of Uruguayan heritage with an evening visit to a milonga (dance hall). Montevideo’s tango hot spots range from small underground clubs to larger, tourist-friendly venues where you can enjoy dinner with the show. For a rounder experience of traditional Uruguayan culture, book an evening at El Milongon, which hosts a show of more than 35 artists performing Uruguay’s dance and music, encompassing everything from tango to folk dance and Afro-Uruguayan music.