Like most of Latin America, nightlife starts late in Montevideo, with locals eating dinner around 2200, clubbing at midnight and going home at 0400 or 0500. The city does not have the same breadth or depth of cosmopolitan clubs as Buenos Aires, but it does have a decent local bar and café scene; indeed, bars, cafés and restaurants tend to be rolled into one.
Montevideo also has a rich cultural life, especially considering its size, but bear in mind that many performances are in Spanish only.
Bars in Montevideo
Café Bar Tabare
Originally a watering hole for the local fishermen, Café Bar Tabare opened its doors well over a century ago and rapidly became a meeting place for Montevideo's creative people. If you're after a celebrity endorsement, the renowned singer and activist Caetana Veloso drank here, as did celebrated Argentine musician Charly Garcia. Famed for its innovative take on regional cuisine, the scrumptious grilled salmon with couscous stuffed zucchini and their signature Tabare cake (made with both dark and white chocolate) keep the boho crowd coming back. Book in advance to secure a table.Address: , 154 José Luis Zorrilla De San Martín, Montevideo, 11300
Telephone: +598 2 712 3242.
This hip bar along La Rambla is a favourite among the Montevideo 'in crowd'. There are plenty of tables spilling out onto the pavement, ideal for looking out over the water or watching the crowds stroll by, but to really make the most of the atmosphere, pick a spot inside this dingy little watering hole among the walls covered with old album covers. While the Mexican food is excellent, the music is often as dated as the LPs that adorn the walls.Address: , Ciudadela 1182, Montevideo, 11100
Telephone: +598 2902 4977.
For a hearty dose of Irish hospitality in Montevideo, The Shannon hits all the right notes. One of the most popular bars in the city, this is a great place to meet up with the expat crowd. There's a regular band of Uruguayans who frequent the spit and sawdust of the saloon, most of whom come to swig Guinness and envisage what life is like over in Europe. The bar hosts traditional Irish music most nights.Address: , Bartolomé Mitre Bartolomé Mitre 1318, Montevideo, 11000
Telephone: +598 2 916 9585.
Clubs in Montevideo
Baar Fun Fun
Belying its cheesy name, Baar Fun Fun is one of the best nightspots in Montevideo for live tango music and dancing. Stand near the cramped bar and make like the locals by ordering some sickly sweet uvita (a local wine-based drink) as you listen to live music. Founded way back in 1895, quite a few celebrities (including Canadian rock star Bryan Adams and actor Danny Glover) have come to this tiny bar to get some tango action. Arrive early because it gets crowded.Address: , Soriano 922, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 915 8005.
This trendy, spaceship-style disco, situated in the city's World Trade Center, is a surprisingly friendly club where locals and expats, hipsters and wannabes come to mingle and sweat it out to house and electronic music. The fairly steep entrance fee includes one free drink, but be warned: things don't really get going until after 0200. Be prepared to dress smart as Lotus has a strict dress code, especially for men.Address: , Cr. Luis E Lecueder, Montevideo, 11300
Telephone: +598 2628 1379.
One of the trendiest clubs in Montevideo, Phonotheque opens Saturday nights and welcomes guest DJs from across Latin America and beyond, specialising in a breadth of electronic sounds and styles. Expect the tunes to be spinning until sunrise.Address: , Piedra Alta, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 99 107 177.
Live music in Montevideo
Auditorio del Sodre
Another world class performance space, Auditorio del Sodre, is a vast concert venue whose excellent acoustics and innovative programming have earned it much acclaim. The auditorium has several different presentation spaces which host an eclectic range of concerts, films and modern ballet productions. It also has a charming little café where you can mingle and sip coffee (or something stronger) between performances.Address: , Calle Andes esquina Mercedes, Montevideo, 11100
Telephone: +598 2 900 7084.
Mercado de la Abundancia
Just across the water from tango-crazy Argentina, Montevideo has an abundance of establishments where visitors can either watch dancers glide across the boards from the sidelines or join in and master those sultry steps. One of the best is Mercado de la Abunduncia. Popular on Saturday evenings, the top floor of this historic bazaar becomes a fun, if not slightly gritty, venue for tangoing to a live orchestra. On Sundays it is the turn of professional tango dancers here.Address: , 1312 Yaguaron, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 901 5102.
Created in homage to popular Uruguayan musician Alfredo Zitarossa, this classy concert hall is housed a 1920s building that was once home to the city's Rex Cinema. Sala Zitarossa still has several of the original stained glass windows in place, and ever since the venue opened in 1999, a host of international acts have whirled through its doors. This is the best spot in town to catch world class performances that range from flamenco dancing to reggae shows.Address: , 18 de Julio 1012, Montevideo, 11100
Telephone: +598 2 901 7303.
Classical music in Montevideo
Dance in Montevideo
Theatres in Montevideo
Music and Dance in Montevideo
Culture in Montevideo
Overlooking the monumental Plaza Independencia, Montevideo's oldest and most august theatre venue, Teatro Solís, has been hosting opera, dance and concert performances since 1856. Even the first ever Uruguayan opera, La Parisina by Tomas Giribaldi, opened here in 1878. Completely refurbished in the late 1990s with the help of French architect Philippe Starck, this fabulous entertainment space is the city's cultural heart. You can visit this venue, which still retains much of its Old World elegance, with a backstage tour, but it's best to come and watch world class productions, which are still held here today.Address: , Reconquista, Montevideo,
Telephone: +598 2 950 3325.