In the 1920s, the Old Town – Ciudad vieja – was considered the most elite area. Over time, the local aristocracy became too noisy and crowded there, and they began to move closer to the east.
According to usaers, Ciudad vieja is located inside the central area (Centro). In the Old Town itself, the architecture of the colonial period has been preserved, there are also many bars, restaurants and discos, this is the epicenter of the nightlife of the capital. Outside the historical part in the city center there are shopping malls, business centers and other high-rise buildings. To the east is another central area – Cordon, where the National Library, the University of the Republic, the Ministry of Health and other administrative buildings are located.
If you look at the map of the city, the more western the district, the poorer, the closer to the east, the more elite and richer. To the east of the city center, a 10-minute drive, are the expensive areas of Pocitos, Nuevo Pocitos, Punta Carretas and Rambla. They are known for their beaches, trendy restaurants, discos, nightclubs and high property prices. In the east, not far from the airport, there is the Carrasco district – a kind of Uruguayan Rublevka, the most elite residential area of Montevideo. There is not much to do here, except to look at expensive houses, and there is practically no public transport here. Local residents do not need it – everyone has their own cars.
The least prosperous area is Cerro in the western part of the city. Initially, immigrants from Europe settled here, and now it is the poorest quarter in Montevideo. It is located on a hill and is worth a visit for the beautiful panorama of the city and the Army Museum in the fortress of General Artigas. However, robberies and theft are not uncommon here in broad daylight, so it’s better not to go here without special need, and even more so not to settle here. See justinshoes for flora and wildlife in South America.
Transport in Montevideo
Public transport in Montevideo is buses and taxis. In the early 2000s, there was a project and several attempts to build a metro in the city, but things did not go beyond one station.
Bus routes cover all areas of the city and run quite often. There are no default stops for Uruguayan buses – the driver needs to wave to stop. The fare is 26 UYU within the central area of the city and 29 UYU for a trip to outlying areas. The city center is bounded by 18 de Julio street. Detailed information about routes and timetables on the official Montevideo bus website. The site is only available in Spanish, but the navigation is intuitive.
Taxis in Montevideo stop right on the street, a free car can be recognized by the inscription libre on the windshield. A trip within the city center will cost approximately 200 UYU for 10 minutes. Increased fares are valid in the evening and at night, on Sundays and holidays, and the fare may also be increased due to traffic jams, while all extra charges are summed up. It is not necessary to tip the taxi driver, but it is customary to round the amount up.
Rent a Car
In Montevideo, there are large world-famous aggregators Avis, Hertz, etc., as well as many local rental offices. Booking a car in advance on the aggregator’s website will be about twice as expensive, but also safer. You can rent a car from local private companies for 30-40 USD per day. If you speak Spanish, you can use the site of private announcements [ Mercado Libre ], there are many offers even in the low season and prices are lower.
The conditions for renting a car in Montevideo are standard: you must be over 23 years old, have a driver’s license (Russian-style is fine) and a driving experience of at least 2 years, as well as a deposit. For this, large rental offices take bank card details and freeze a certain amount on it (usually no more than 200-300 USD for an economy class car), while private companies can take a cash deposit.
Parking in the city is paid and free. Paid ones are located in the center and cost about 20 UYU per hour. You can pay for parking at any newsstand, for this you need to give the number of the car, get a check and put it on the windshield. If you have a SIM card from a local telecom operator, this can be done in the Montevideo Parking application: in this case, you do not need to print a ticket, the traffic police checks this data online. From 18:00 to 10:00 parking is free everywhere.
Gasoline costs about 65-70 UYU per liter, you don’t need to get out of the car at the gas station – employees fully serve customers, refuel the car and even wash windows.
In Montevideo you can rent a car with a driver. This service is called Remises, the service costs 550 UYU per hour, this amount includes a 10 km trip around the city. Detailed information about tariffs and conditions on the official website (in English).
The beaches of Montevideo
In the Montevideo region, the fresh waters of the Rio de la Plata and the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean mix. The sea here is restless, so surfers have chosen these places. On the entire coast near the Uruguayan capital, there are many board rentals and surfer schools where you can learn how to catch a wave.
A calm beach holiday is also popular here, and depends primarily on the weather: on calm days, you can swim and sunbathe everywhere. The beaches in Montevideo are wide, sandy, mostly free. Private beaches are usually small and belong to expensive hotels.
There are several beaches in the capital, the most popular and crowded is Ramirez. There are many bars and discos on its territory, and sometimes you can sometimes see orange jellyfish here. Another popular beach near the center is Positos, where the sea is often calm and there are many good fish restaurants. The least crowded of the capital’s beaches are Buseo and Carrasco in the eastern part of the city.
All beaches in Montevideo have cabanas, toilets and showers, sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented at nearby cafes.