Women's International Shipping & Trading Association

Places to visit in Montevideo, the capital city

August 30, 2023


Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, is a center of business, events and culture. In the city lives approximately 50% of the population. The Uruguayan capital harmoniously combines modernity and tradition. Here you can see ancient architectural treasures such as the:  Cabildo, Catedral, Iglesia Matriz and Puerta de la Ciudadela; styles such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco and also modern avant-garde constructions such as the Communications Tower.


Traveling its 22 km of coastline on the Río de la Plata is one of the unmissable possibilities offered by Montevideo, that never turns its back on the Río de la Plata.

For a long path, from Capurro to Carrasco, extends the “Rambla” Montevideo Promenade, which was conceived as a balcony towards the sea, for true enjoyment of the city’s coasts.

Its various paths have special beauty, whether on foot, by bicycle or by car, in addition to beautiful beaches, it is possible to appreciate the urban architecture that surrounds them.

 There are old and modern buildings along the “Rambla”. Squares and sports spaces, and various neighborhoods too.

The city also has many green spaces, parks and gardens that provides multiple outdoor options.

On the other hand, in the city’s museums, cultural centers, houses of culture and exhibition halls it is possible to appreciate the art of a wide range of artists internationally known,  such as Juan Manuel Blanes, Rafael Barradas, Pedro Figari, Joaquín Torres García, José Cúneo and Ignacio Iturria, Pablo Atchugarry, among others.

Some History and places of interest we can find in the Old City and in Montevideo in general:

 Montevideo was founded between 1724 and 1730, by the governor and captain of the Río de la Plata, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala. Its first settlers arrived from Buenos Aires and Canary Islands. Initially the city was walled around its entire perimeter. The “Puerta de la Ciudadela” was the land access gate.

Then, in 1833 the new layout for the New City is projected, which starts to be fully executed from 1861; the New City is projected with wide and tree-lined streets where sumptuous and large shops were located.

In front of Puerta de la Ciudadela is Plaza Independencia, which is the most important square in the city of Montevideo. This square houses in its center the monument and mausoleum of General José Gervasio Artigas, a national leader who played a fundamental role in the Revolution of the Banda Oriental to become independent from the Spanish domination.

Palacio Salvo is located on the corner of Plaza Independencia and Av. 18 de Julio, at the beginning of the City Center. The original idea came from the Salvo brothers, merchants who wanted to build the first 5-star hotel in Montevideo, an action that could not be carried out. The Palacio Salvo was inaugurated in 1928, with an eclectic style and 95 meters high, becoming the tallest building in Latin America at the time. Currently, in the building, there are homes, offices, cafes, gift shops and the Tango Museum. In that property, before the construction of Palacio Salvo, a patisserie called La Giralda took place, where the famous tango “La Cumparsita” was played.

Palacio Estévez is on the South side of Plaza Independencia, also called the Edificio Independencia, it is a historic Government Palace of Uruguay, which is used for protocol purposes by the Executive Power and the President of the Republic. It is currently used as the government’s protocol headquarters and houses a museum, with an exhibition dedicated to the constitutional presidents of Uruguayan history.

And a few meters from the Executive Tower is the Solís Theater, located in this hinge space between the Old and the New City. The Solís Theater was inaugurated in 1856, and since then it has been a witness and protagonist of the country’s history.

Plaza Matriz is located in the Old City, between Peatonal Sarandí and Juan Carlos Gómez Streets; history is breathed in this square. The Iglesia Matriz, El Cabildo and other historical buildings are found surrounding its mythical fountain, one of the most beautiful monuments in the city.

Palacio Taranco, is a building that the Ortiz de Taranco family built a hundred years ago, and its history dates back to the middle ages. Currently home to the Museum of Decorative Arts, visiting it is reliving the splendor of that shiny time.

Mercado del Puerto, is one of the points with the largest concentration of tourists in the capital. Its gastronomy represents the most deeply rooted traditions of Uruguay. “Asado” is the predominant dish and most restaurants have barbecues, but there are other options. Cultural shows and crafts are also protagonists in the environment.

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