Uruguay’s cool capital city Montevideo calls out with its cobbled streets, wide avenues, colonial buildings, and verdant cityscapes along the waterfront, known as the rambla. Outdoor markets prove a treasure hunt as you explore the local wares and fresh produce. The city also makes for a gastronomic adventure with freshly caught fish, pasta, wines, and desserts, all prepared in the European way.
The capital of Uruguay lies along Montevideo Bay and was built around Plaza Independencia, the former site of a Spanish citadel. Colonial-style structures and tropical palm trees lead the way to Ciudad Vieja, the old town. Modern shops and restaurants tucked away between old buildings amid the bustle of everyday life give you the chance to experience the best of Montevideo’s past and present.
To get social with the locals, share in their tradition of drinking yerba mate. Everywhere you go in Uruguay you see people drinking the strong, herbal tea out of cups that look like gourds, sipping through a long, thick straw. Custom calls for passing around the cup to share. Slurping down a shared mate makes for a quintessential Uruguayan experience.
For the full color and vibrant life of the city, head to Mercado del Puerto. Here you find a 19th century restored building that houses various stalls and eateries to get the best fare Uruguay offers. The port market is home to some of the finest asado (barbecue) in the country. As you take in the savory scents and energetic sounds of the market, you get a true sense of what makes Montevideo alive.