1. Solis Theater, 2. Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral, 3. Andes Museum 1972, 4. Plaza Independencia, 5. Salvo Palace, 6. Castillo Pittamiglio, 7. Prado Park, 8. Carnival Museum, 9. Pocitos beach, 10. Mercado del Puerto. Montevideo has many parks, including Park Battle, Park Prado, and Park Rodo, all of which offer small attractions that range from artificial lakes to open-air exhibitions to space for sports and entertainment. Museums and art galleries also dot the city and are a great way to learn more about a city that's always growing while still holding tight to its roots. Here is a list of the top 10 best Places to Visit in Montevideo.
- Solis Theater
- Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral
- Andes Museum 1972
- Plaza Independencia
- Salvo Palace
- Castillo Pittamiglio
- Prado Park
- Carnival Museum
- Pocitos beach
- Mercado del Puerto
Sols Theatre is one of the most famous and well-known theaters in Montevideo, the capital city of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Formerly, the theater building’s entire capacity was 1,100 spectators, and the structure itself is a historic and significant landmark in the city. It was built in 1856 by the Italian architect Carlo Zucchi and is located near to the Plaza Independencia in Montevideo’s Old Town. It was first operated as a private enterprise, which ended operations in 1947 and was later sold to the Montevideo City Council.
The Sols Theatre is now owned by the Government of Montevideo, which launched a massive reconstruction project of the entire theater in 1998, which was completed in 2004, and can now accommodate 1,256 spectators who want to enjoy a cultural show. This beautiful edifice received two columns created by the French designer, Philippe Starck, after a six-year renovation, yet the ghosts of Caruso, tango singer Carlos Gardel, and others still appear to occupy this famed location.
The Neo-Classical architectural style surely adds something unique to the aesthetic of the theater, and given that Uruguay was in a civil war between 1839 and 1852, the fight between the Blanco and Colorado groups would last until 1870, when the Sols Theatre was erected. The name was inspired by Juan Daz de Sols, a Spanish navigator who sailed up the River Plate in 1516, becoming the first European to touch foot in what is now Uruguay. The first Uruguayan national opera performed at this exquisite theater was Tomás Giribaldi’s La Parisina, which opened on September 14, 1878, and there have been numerous events held on the theater’s stage since then.
Google rating: 4.8/5.0
Address: 3QRX+WHR, Reconquista S / N esq, Bartolomé Mitre, 11000 Montevideo, Uruguay
Phone: +598 1950 3323
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Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral
The Catholic Church of Montevideo is housed in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Montevideo. It is located beside Constitution Plaza in the historic Old City, immediately in front of the old Cabildo Montevideo, a colonial government house. The first brick church was built in 1740, during the Spanish colonial period. The foundation for the current cathedral structure was set down in 1790.
The Cathedral was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception in 1804 and celebrates the city’s patron saints, Saints Philip and James. The building’s architectural style is Colonial Neoclassical, as designed by architect Tomas Toribio. The facade of the building was finished in 1860. There is one main altar, several side altars, memorials, graves, exquisite tiled flooring, and graceful chandeliers inside the Cathedral. A statue of Our Lady of the Thirty-Three can be found on one of the side altars. She is known as the Liberator of Uruguay and the Patroness of Uruguay.
There are eight prominent people buried within the Cathedral’s walls. These are clerical, military, and political people from many denominations. The Cathedral inspired the eminent Paraguayan classical guitarist and composer Agustin Pio Barrios to write a musical piece. It is considered his masterwork and is divided into three movements: Andante Religioso, Allegro Solemne, and Prelude.
Google rating: 4.7/5.0
Address: Ituzaingó 1373, 11100 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay
Phone: +598 2915 7018
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Andes Museum 1972
The Andes Museum 1972 is located in the Old City of Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city. It is a museum dedicated to the narrative of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which was involved in a plane catastrophe in the Andes in 1972, involving a group of Uruguayan rugby players, their friends, and relatives who were on their way to Chile when the plane crashed. Some of them were members of the Old Christians rugby club. The tragedy killed 29 people and prompted survivors to resort to cannibalism in order to survive for 72 days in subzero temperatures. The museum also includes movies and documentation from survivors telling their own stories.
Notwithstanding the sad tragedy, the museum emphasizes a message of hope and recalls the remarkable courage of the two survivors who finally sought rescue long after the search had been called off by hiking for 10 days away from the wreckage and over the snow-covered Andes. As stated in the museum visitor’s book, many people from all over the world visit this museum since it is a social studies object. As a result, there is graphic and textual information available in both Spanish and English.
Address: Rincón 619, 11000 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay
Phone: +598 2916 94 61
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Plaza Independencia is one of the best places to visit in Montevideo. Originally designed in 1937, Montevideo’s main square is a green space that also holds a mausoleum and monument dedicated to José Gervasio Artigas, a military leader who fought hard for Uruguay and Argentina during the Independence War in the early 1800s. The mausoleum is accessed through a staircase that goes underground and holds an urn with Artigas’ remains, as well as some plaques commemorating his life and military efforts.
Some of the most important buildings in Montevideo are located around the plaza, including the 18th-century Puerta de la Ciudadela (City Gate)–all that’s left of the fortress walls that once surrounded Montevideo. The Estevez Palace, now home to a museum, as well as Palacio Salvo, also sit just across the street from the plaza. The 33 palm trees on the plaza are a tribute to the 33 men led into action during the Independence War by Juan Antonio Lavalleja y de la Torre (who would later become Uruguay’s president).
Google rating: 4.6/5.0
Location: Montevideo, Uruguay
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Inaugurated in 1928, PALACIO SALVO emerged as a bizarre beast in the city landscape, delighting and irritating architecture buffs for decades. The building, designed by the Italian architect Mario Palanti, contains everything you could want, from a cinema to a hotel. The palace was originally topped with a lighthouse with a parabolic mirror of 920mm and a range of roughly 100 kilometers, but the light was eventually removed in favor of an antenna, giving the 27-story building its eventual height of 100 meters. With this addition, it was previously thought to be the tallest building in South America, but the antenna has since been removed, reducing it to nothing more than a beautiful architectural exhibition.
Initially intended as a luxury hotel, the palace was never completed and now serves as a very ornate collection of private apartments and offices. The vast majority of rooms in the gothic palace vary in condition and are claimed to be occupied by a diverse clientele. Wandering about the building, you may come upon a three-million-dollar music studio, a radio station, and women of the night doing business. Palacio Salvo is a living creature and a must-see for anybody visiting Montevideo. Because tourists are not permitted to enter the edifice (though you may be able to locate someone kind who will invite you), simply viewing the palace from Plaza Independencia is worth a visit.
Address: Palacio Salvo, Pl. Independencia 848, 11100 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay
Phone: +598 2900 1264
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This modern structure imitating a castle appears significantly different depending on where you stand. Pittamiglio Castle is only a reddish-brown castle tower from the street, with a large reproduction of the Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture seated on the bow of a half ship hanging from the tower. Modern residential buildings flank the entryway. Once inside, the castle has twenty-three towers and fifty-four rooms, as well as a number of weird architectural characteristics, such as impossibly tight corridors, doors that lead nowhere, and oddly shaped rooms.
A museum, a restaurant, and an exhibition space are currently housed inside what was formerly architect Humberto Pittamiglio’s home, which he bequeathed to a friend in his will with the stipulation that it be restored to him “when he came back.” While the structure itself is intriguing, there are also fascinating traditions associated with it, ranging from allegations of alchemy and being a hiding spot for the Holy Grail to stories about the architect being involved in witchcraft and demonic rites. Guided tours of the building are an excellent way to learn more about all of these amazing aspects while also gaining access to all of the rooms.
Address: Rbla. Mahatma Gandhi 633, 11300 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay
Phone: +598 96 205 734
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The largest of Montevideo’s six major public parks is Park Prado. It was founded in 1873 and encompasses an area of 106 hectares in the barrio of Prado. The Miguelete Creek flows through the Miguelete neighborhood and park in the city’s northern outskirts. Beyond the Botanical Gardens sits the Presidential House. Rosedal, the rose garden, is surrounded by the avenues Agraciada, Lucas Obes, Joaqun Suárez, Luis Alberto de Herrera, Castro streets, and José Mara Reyes. The park features four pergolas, eight domes, and a fountain, as well as 12,000 roses brought from France in 1910.
The Prado houses two museums. The Juan Manuel Blanes Museum, which opened in 1930, is housed in a Palladian villa that has been designated a National Historic Monument since 1975 and features a Japanese garden. In 1902, the Professor Atilio Lombardo Museum and Botanical Gardens were founded. The Prado also houses the National Institute of Physical Climatology and its observatory. Across the Miguelete Creek from the Blanes Museum, in the Paso de las Duranas district, is a smaller park area known as Prado Chico (Little Prado), which is considered an extension of the Prado Park.
Address: 4QVV+5CV, 11000 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo, Uruguay
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Montevideo is well-known for having the world’s longest carnival. It lasts from January through March and includes rehearsals, stage preparation, parades, and 40 days of activities in a succession. Nobody can be unaffected by the sound of the drums and the murgas’ music. This is why the Carnival Museum was established in the storehouses at 218 Promenade del 25 de Agosto de 1825, near the port market. The venue is adequately equipped to show guests that carnival is more than just a festival. It’s a way of life in this town.
As visitors enter, they are greeted by a beautiful foundation depicting a chronological image of carnival in Uruguay from the period of the colony to the present. The circumstances that inspired this creative expression are depicted on large wavy notice boards. A cobblestone road runs through the museum’s interior, making it the first museum in the world to have an actual street inside of it. This is significant since the carnival in this case is a street and community event.
Visitors learn in this vivid way that the immigrants who created Montevideo in the 18th century brought with them much more than just basic necessities; they also brought their customs, fashion, and values. Each notice board explains the carnival’s deep origins in African culture in this country. It appears that Africans who arrived in Uruguay as a result of the slave trade carried rhythms and languages with them, which were eventually incorporated into traditional carnival events, regaining their original meanings.
Address: Museo del Carnaval, Rambla 25 de Agosto de 1825 218, 11000 Montevideo, Departamento de Montevideo
Phone: +598 2916 5493
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Pocitos beach is one of the best places to visit in Montevideo. Pocitos, a resort suburb best known for its beach, is one of Montevideo’s most popular neighbourhoods and a popular summer vacation in Uruguay. Pocitos beach is bounded on one side by the sea and on the other by the Rambla (a large avenue with the world’s longest continuous walkway). Year-round activities include biking, running, or having a mate (a traditional herbal drink served in a hollow calabash gourd) with friends, as well as relaxing on the large length of sand in the summer.
During the year, Playa Pocitos hosts several maritime events and is surrounded by high-end restaurants, luxury boutiques, and gorgeous hotels and short-term residences that overlook the lake. Pocitos also has a variety of historically significant buildings, including the 19th-century Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Plaza Tomás Gomensoro, which provides a green break on hot days with a shaded pergola and lots of benches to rest on.
Google rating: 4.3/5.0
Location: Pocitos in Montevideo
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Mercado del Puerto
The well-known Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo is one of the greatest gastronomic and cultural references in the region and an almost mandatory point of visit for anyone who wants to soak up the true Uruguayan feeling. Located in the old town of Montevideo, directly in front of the port, in Ciudad Vieja, the Mercado is one of the best tourist experiences in the city. With streets full of artisans and troubadours, with numerous restaurants, among which offer, according to tourists and locals, “the best meat in Uruguay” and a market to buy souvenirs, it is a necessary stop to discover.
In the Market you can get a wide variety of food, from red meat to fish soups. Empanadas for breakfast and coffees for mid-afternoon, you can get everything here. If you want a true tourist experience, don’t forget to stop by the meat restaurants of the Market. One of the most recommended places is La Chacra del Puerto, where the service is excellent and they are generous with the portions of food they serve their customers and you can eat the typical Uruguayan grilled meat. Other restaurants such as La Parrillada el Quatro, El Peregrino and La Parrillada La Maestranza are also excellent options for meat lovers.
Google rating: 4.0/5.0
Address: Pedestrian Perez Castellano / Rambla August 25, 1825 | Old Town of Montevideo
Phone: 928 47 02 08
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