7 Things to do in Montevideo – Continuing with the series about this fascinating country! I’m worried that it’s a bit boring to you, but I’m loving it and I’m trying to have a diary to remember when I leave the place
I know I have written 7 Reasons to Visit Montevideo – but it included architecture and pace of life… and not really What to do here. It’s such an underrated city to visit and when people decide to come here they get astonished! It was chosen as the city with the highest quality of life in South America. Last week I met an adorable retired American couple that is moving to the city. We met 3 times already and I hope we meet many more! It’s a city where people still have time to each other and I like it. There are many things to do, many for free! More than 7 things for sure – I am every day discovering something different and nice. But let’s start with 7 things today
1. Explore Ciudad Vieja (Casco Viejo, Old District). The Old Town of Montevideo is not extremely big and it’s new, in European terms (from 1726) It’s easy to discover it on foot. It is so cozy, sweet and with that vintage charm that I so much like. I’ve been there now many times, already. There you’ll find the Plaza Independencia, home for the Presidential building, the mausoleum for the national hero, Artigas, Palacio Salvo (one of my favorite buildings in the world), the main theater and the gate of the old city (Ciudadela), as well as great bookshops, churches, markets, -visit Mercado del Puerto, good for typical food -, museums and coffee shops! I love it!
2. Watch the sunset at La Rambla promenade – and walk along it at night, too. It’s so beautiful to see the place, with the many buildings, all lit up! It’s a safe city and you can walk well along the Rambla. The Rambla has many benches, so you can sit down and admire the beautiful landscape. Many people jog and cycle and it has a different atmosphere than in the morning.
3. Drink Mate tea. Uruguayans drink a lot of mate tea. And if you think you can prepare it, wait! There’s a special way to prepare it. You’ll see many people in the city with a hot water bottle, gourd and metal straw (bombilla), drinking it from time to time.
4. Montevideo’s beaches – the city has a very long Rambla – promenade, and so, it means it has many beaches. It is not very hot now (last week I even had to wear a coat), but I saw on a sunny weekend many, but really many people on a beach. It was a lovely view, seeing people socializing and enjoying the beach.
5. Admire and photograph the many monuments at squares and parks, that the city offer. Just that, as simple as it sounds. There are really many parks and the monuments are really beautiful.
6. Churches, visit the many many churches of the city – The city has many Roman catholic churches, very artistically ornamented. The Metropolitan Cathedral dates back to the Spanish colonial era, 1740. Inside the cathedral there are graves from many important figures in Uruguay, even tombs of soldiers who died protecting the city during British invasions of the River Plate in 1806-1807.
7. Visit the many Museums of the city – So many, that if you come to stay for a week, it will be impossible to visit all. There are some that I would recommend to choose, if you have a short period of time here. I will write more about them later. A recommended one is the (Joaquín) Torres García Museum. He was a Uruguayan famous artist, who lived most of his life in Spain and France. The museum is spread over seven floors and it holds educational workshops.