Modern Montevideo expanded outward from the peninsular Ciudad Vieja, the Old City, still noted for its narrow streets and mix of elegant colonial and art deco architecture. El Prado, an exclusive enclave a few miles north of the city center, is peppered with lavish mansions and grand parks. When you remember that these mansions were once summer homes for aristocratic Uruguayans who spent most of the year elsewhere, you'll get some idea of the wealth this small country once enjoyed.

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  • 1. Mercado del Puerto

    Ciudad Vieja | Market/Bazaar

    For Montevideo's quintessential lunch experience, head to the old port market, a restored 1868 building of vaulted iron beams and colored glass...Read More

  • 2. Museo del Gaucho y la Moneda

    Centro | Museum/Gallery

    This museum is in a rococo 19th-century mansion near Calle Julio Herrera y Obes, four blocks east of Plaza Independencia. Here you'll find articles...Read More

  • 3. Playa de los Pocitos


    This stretch of sand is the city's most attractive beach, and surprisingly tranquil. Throughout the day you'll see locals running, biking, strolling...Read More

  • 4. Plaza Independencia


    Connecting Cuidad Vieja and the Centro, Independence Square is the heart of Montevideo. All that remains of the original walls of the Spanish...Read More

  • 5. Teatro Solís

    Ciudad Vieja | Arts/Performance Venue

    Named in honor of the discoverer of the Río de la Plata, Juan Díaz de Solís, the 1856 Solís Theater is famed for its fine acoustics. Informative...Read More

  • 6. Bodega Bouza


    Argentina and Chile grab all the attention in discussions of South American wines, but Uruguay has a number of impressive wineries of its own...Read More

  • 7. Casa de Fructuoso Rivera

    Ciudad Vieja | Historic Home

    Once the home of General Fructuso Rivera, Uruguay's first president, this neoclassical Rivera House from the early 1800s was acquired by the...Read More

  • 8. Casa de Lavalleja Museum

    Ciudad Vieja | Historic Home

    This Spanish neoclassical home was built in 1783 and later became the home of General Juan A. Lavalleja, who distinguished himself in Uruguay...Read More

  • 9. Club Uruguay

    Ciudad Vieja | Historic Home

    Uruguay's most prestigious private social club, founded in 1888, is headquartered in this eclectic, three-story neoclassical national monument...Read More

  • 10. El Cabildo

    Ciudad Vieja | Government Building

    The original City Hall is where the Uruguayan constitution was signed in 1830. This two-story colonial edifice houses an impressive collection...Read More

  • 11. Iglesia Matriz

    Ciudad Vieja | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    It's officially the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Phillip and St. James, but it is known to Montevideans as the Matriz ("head...Read More

  • 12. Museo de Bellas Artes

    Prado | Museum/Gallery

    Known locally as the Blanes Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts is housed in an elegant colonial mansion that once belonged to Uruguay's foremost...Read More

  • 13. Museo de Historia del Arte (MuHAr)

    Centro | Museum/Gallery

    In the Palacio Municipal (an ambitious name for this unremarkable brick city hall) you'll find the Museum of Art History, which has the country...Read More

  • 14. Museo de la Memoria

    Prado | Museum/Gallery

    The question still pains Uruguayans who remember the era: How did South America's strongest democracy dissolve into 12 years of brutal military...Read More

  • 15. Museo del Carnaval

    Ciudad Vieja | Museum/Gallery

    Move over, Rio. Montevideo's annual Carnaval celebration may be more low-key than that of its northern neighbor, but it lasts for a full 40...Read More

  • 16. Museo del Fútbol

    Prado | Museum/Gallery

    Other countries have their history," Helenio Herrera, Uruguay's most famous soccer coach once said. "We have our fútbol." Indeed, fútbol —that...Read More

  • 17. Palacio Legislativo

    Prado | Government Building

    Almost 50 different types of native marble were used in the construction of the Legislative Palace, the seat of Uruguay's bicameral legislature...Read More

  • 18. Palacio Taranco/Museo de Artes Decorativas

    Ciudad Vieja | Castle/Palace

    Built in 1907, the ornate Taranco Palace in the Ciudad Vieja is representative of the French-inspired architecture favored in fin-de-siècle...Read More

  • 19. Parque del Prado

    Prado | City Park

    The oldest of the city's parks is also one of the most popular. Locals come to see El Rosedal, the rose garden with more than 800 different...Read More

  • 20. Parque Rodó

    This park has a little something for everyone with two amusement parks, a number of decent eateries, and the National Museum of Visual Arts...Read More

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