4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo Uruguay

May 26, 2015
4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo Uruguay

During my time at Abilene Christian University, I had the opportunity to study abroad with ten of my classmates and visiting faculty in Montevideo Uruguay. I chose to study abroad in Uruguay because I wanted to embrace my Latin American culture and improve my Spanish.

The atmosphere of Montevideo is similar to New York City because there are high-rise buildings, and the locals rely on taxis and walk. I mostly walked or took a bus. A bus ride costs 23 Uruguayan pesos (US 95 cents), and taxis are more expensive. I was not comfortable enough to explore Montevideo alone, so I always had company with me because it made me feel safe. If you’re planning a trip to Montevideo, here are the sites I recommend visiting:

4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo Uruguay

Plaza Independencia

Plaza Independencia is the main plaza because it has the Gateway of the Citadel, and the mausoleum of Jose Artigas, Uruguay’s national hero. The Gateway of the Citadel divides Ciudad Vieja (the old city) and downtown Montevideo. The former and current presidential offices are located there. Palacio Salvo is an iconic building at the intersection of Plaza Independencia and 18 de Julio because it used to be the tallest building in South America. To get to Plaza Independencia, I walked on 18 de Julio, a street with several shops, bakeries, and restaurants.

4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo Uruguay

Ciudad Vieja

Ciudad Vieja is the oldest part of Montevideo. I shopped at one of the markets on Sarandí, which is a pedestrian sidewalk that has a variety of souvenirs such as flags, t-shirts, mate gourds, and magnets. The locals enjoy spending time at Plaza Matriz, the oldest plaza in Montevideo, which also houses an antique market.

Some other things to do include: visiting Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral, is a gorgeous and tranquil religious site; exploring Puro Verso Librería, a cute bookstore and restaurant on Sarandí, and attending an orchestra concert at Teatro Solis, the oldest theatre in South America, which is located next to Plaza Indepencia. I paid cost 170 pesos (US $7.02) for a concert. Also check out Mercado del Puerto, on the intersection of Piedras street and Pérez Castellano, which has numerous restaurants and grills with delicious Uruguayan meat.

4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo Uruguay

Palacio Legislativo

The Legislative Palace is a beautiful old building I got to visit while I was studying Uruguayan government and politics. Check out the Great Hall, the House of Representatives, the library, and the historical Uruguayan paintings. In the main entrance of the building are the Uruguayan flag and the flag of Jose Artigas. The Legislative Palace has beautiful marble, light fixtures, stained glass, mosaics, and granite.  I recommend taking a taxi to Palacio Legislativo to avoid walking in the sketchy neighborhoods nearby.

La Rambla

La Rambla is a long avenue by the coastline of Uruguay where locals walk, drink mate, ride their bikes, or relax on the beach. There is a line of palm trees and several condominiums. A couple of places close by are Punta Carretas (mall) and Parque Rodó (park). La Rambla is a good place to go for a walk or run. If travelers visit La Rambla at sunset, they can capture great photos. La Rambla is also well lit at night.

4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo Uruguay

Safety Tips

Montevideo is considered a pretty safe city. I made sure that I was aware of my surroundings, especially at night because there are some low-lit areas. I held my purse closely to avoid pick pocketing. When I was shopping, I did not take large amounts of money.

When I needed to get money at the ATM, I was careful with my debit card, and I had a friend join me for safety. It is ideal to always keep a map on hand because some of the streets look alike.  I would not recommend wearing high heels because some of the sidewalks are beat up. I almost tripped over broken sidewalk pieces a couple of times while wearing tennis shoes.

Overall, living in Uruguay was a positive experience. I improved in my Spanish, gained a new perspective, and engaged with friendly Uruguayans.

 Photo credits for 4 Stunning Sites in Montevideo, Uruguay by Cameron Custer and Pixabay.

About Cameron Custer

Cameron Custer was born and adopted in Asunción, Paraguay. Cameron lived there with her parents in an apartment for a few months before she came to the United States. Cameron’s family’s international experiences have influenced her to explore the world, and broaden her world perspective. Traveling is her passion, she has been to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America. In her sophomore year at Abilene Christian University, she studied abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay to improve her Spanish, and immerse in Latin American culture. All these global influences have intrigued Cameron to pursue an international business career. You can follower her blog called “My Love of Travel” (my loveoftravelchc.blogspot.com)

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