Poetic, worldly, and jam-packed with historical intrigue, Uruguay’s refined capital is a city of culture, creativity and beachfront bliss. Just shy of half of all of Uruguay’s population calls Montevideo home, and the city is enjoying a resurgence, as its reputation as one of South America’s essential destinations burgeons. Glorious colonial architecture has been repurposed to house cultural treasures - while glassy skyscrapers, modernist museums and twisted artworks spring up regularly across this vibrant, energetic city, which stands across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires.
Recognised as a UNESCO Creative City, there’s rich intellectual history here, not to mention sultry tango - a dance form that the Uruguayan’s claim as their own. With bright and breezy tree-lined streets, and refreshing salty sea breezes cooling its endless beaches, Montevideo is an incredibly liveable seaside city. La Rambla, the long and wide waterfront path, provides a welcome partition from the city’s buildings and is a wonderful place to wander and relax on benches and sea walls.
Having toed and froed between Portuguese and Spanish rule at the height of their colonial powers, the city and country is littered with fortifications and historical relics. Head to the central square Plaza Independencia to see the statue and mausoleum dedicated to José Artigas, who is known as the father of Uruguayan independence, which was achieved in 1825. You’ll also be standing before an iconic Montevideo landmark, the beautiful Palacio Salvo’s impressive tower. Mercado del Puerto is a taste of Uruguayan cuisine, blending mouth-watering influences from Brazil and Argentina – try juicy, fire-seared steaks, and tasty caipirinhas cocktails.