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Things to see in Montevideo

Tourist Offices

Uruguay Tourism Ministry

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +598 2 604 0386
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1400 (Dec-Feb); Daily 0800-2000 (Mar-Nov).

Website: http://www.uruguaynow.com

The Uruguay Tourism Ministry publishes an English-language guide and gives out free maps of Montevideo as well as information about other areas of Uruguay. There is also a municipal tourist information centre (tel: +598 2 916 8434) at Explanada Municipal. It's open Monday to Friday from 1000-1600, and 1000-1800 on weekends.

The recently launched Uruguay Now website (www.uruguaynow.com) provides a wealth of information about the city's events and activities in English.

Attractions

Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales (National Museum of Visual Arts)

At the heart of the Parque Rodo quarter, with its park dedicated to Uruguayan writer Jose Enrique Rodo, this lovingly curated museum is home to the country's most significant collection of Uruguayan visual art. Opened in 1911, the Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales' most important collection includes work by the modernist painter Pedro Figari (whose unique style influenced many Latin American artists) and the celebrated portrait artist, Juan Manual Blanes. There are also several exhibition halls housing national and international exhibitions throughout the year, as well as an art library with over 7,000 books that draws scholars from around the globe.

Address: Parque Rodó, Tomás Giribaldi 2283 esq. Julio Herrera y Reissig, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2711 6124.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1400-1900.

Website: http://www.mnav.gub.uy
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

La Rambla

Benefiting from legislation that prevents any buildings being erected that block La Rambla's stunning sea views, the city's panoramic promenade is the best place in town to amble and enjoy the sunshine. Backed by a string of white-sand beaches, it's a great place to sit with a picnic and watch locals taking their afternoon stroll. Hugging some 20km (12.5 miles) of the city's coastline, this striking promenade is also the ideal spot to relax with a drink as the sun sets over the Río de la Plata.

Address: , La Rambla, Montevideo,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museo Torres García

Born in Montevideo, the artist Joaquín Torres García went on to study in Spain alongside Picasso and Gaudí, and his own work draws strongly from both artists. This museum, dedicated to the artist himself, was created by his wife Manolita Pina Torres after her husband's death in 1949. It has three floors packed with his cubist and abstract art, as well as artefacts and writings related to his life. A further four floors are used for educational activities and art workshops, and there is a basement theatre that hosts regular plays by national and international playwrights.

Address: , Sarandí 683, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 915 6544.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.torresgarcia.org.uy
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museo del Gaucho y de la Moneda (Gaucho and Money Museum)

Housed in a 19th-century mansion near to the Plaza Independencia, this quirky little museum is devoted to cowboys and coins. It offers interesting displays relating to the gaucho (South American cowboy), including items of their distinctive clothing and the fine silverwork used to engrave mate (a South American caffeine drink) cups. There is also a collection of ancient South American coins and an exhibition on the history of Uruguay's currency. Most of the information is in Spanish, but guided are available in English if you contact the museum several weeks in advance.

Address: , Avenida 18 de Julio 998, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 900 8764.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1700.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Mercado del Puerto (Port Market)

Although prices on this historic market have been rising due to the influx of wealthy passengers from increasing numbers of cruise ships docking at the port close by, this elaborate iron structure, which was once the city's trains station, is still home to the most atmospheric area of Montevideo. Dating back to 1868, the market is filled with local crafts, food stalls and restaurants, and every afternoon and at weekends, musicians and other performers join the throng. Take a big appetite with you to savour one of the huge racks of barbecued meat offered by the market's Parilla restaurants, as you sit in comfort and watch the crowds flow by.

Address: , Piedras 237, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 600 6211.
Opening times:

Daily 1100-2200

Website: http://www.mercadodelpuerto.com.uy
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Plaza Independencia

As the centre of the city's power, Montevideo's main square is home to several of the city's most venerable buildings. Those worth visiting include the imposing, colonial-style Estevez Palace, which was owned by the Estevez family, before it was acquired by the government in the late 19th century, and the Artigas Mausoleum, the last resting place of Uruguayan hero Jose Artigas.

Address: , Plaza Independencia, Montevideo,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Pocitos

An upmarket suburb bordering the green and pleasant Parque Rodo, the Pocitos barrio is renowned for its historic architecture as well as its wide swathe of sandy beaches, including the Playa Pocitos. The beach is a popular with the city's sport lovers who come to play football or participate in a range of nautical sports. Historic buildings of interest include the ornate Casa Darnaud, home to the Russian Embassy, and the Escuela Brasil school building. When the sun goes down, this bustling neighbourhood comes to life with its upscale bars, classy restaurants and lively nightlife.

Address: Pocitos, , Montevideo,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museo del Carnaval

Montevideo's fun and feisty carnival, said to be one of the world's longest, only comes round once a year. Luckily, this museum gives an excellent overview of the colourful annual event, which is like a scaled down version of the crazy Rio Carnival. If you aren't lucky enough to join in the 40 days of festivities, this museum is jam-packed with costumes, masks, floats from past parades and an evocative photographic exhibition documenting the evolution of celebrations. This stop off provides an excellent and evocative tribute to the carnival, which has been running for more than 100 years.

Address: , Rambla 25 de Agosto de 1825 218, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 915 0807.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1100-1700 (Jan-Mar); Wed-Mon 1100-1700 (Apr-Dec).

Website: http://www.museodelcarnaval.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes

Founded in 1930, this national art museum is dedicated to the work of realist painter Juan Manuel Blanes. An illustrator for one of the city's leading newspapers, Blanes began working as a portrait painter in the late 1850s and his depiction of celebrated personalities (including Argentine war hero General Jose de Saint Martin) as well as terrible national events, such as the Yellow fever epidemic in the 1870s, earned him nationwide acclaim. Housed in a 19th-century villa, the museum also displays work by other important Uruguayan artists.

Address: , Avenida Millán 4015, Montevideo, 11700
Telephone: +598 2 336 2248.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1200-1800.

Website: http://www.blanes.montevideo.gub.uy
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museo Romántico (Romantic Museum)

Housed in an opulent merchant's residence built in 1830, this fascinating museum is the fitting site for an eclectic collection of artefacts that evoke the life and times of the local elite who lived here in the 19th and 20th centuries. Filled with period furnishings, clothes and personal effects of the city's high society, the Museo Romantico offers a fascinating insight into a time when Montevideo enjoyed a period of growth and expansion from 1830 and 1900.

Address: , 25 de Mayo 434, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 915 5361.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1430.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No