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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Uruguay > Montevideo

Montevideo Weather

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Local time Montevideo

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Shopping in Montevideo

For such a small city, Montevideo offers a wealth of shopping opportunities. The larger shopping centres sell brand name items as well as woollen wear and locally produced ceramics; while the wide range of ferias (markets) in the capital peddle crafts, clothes and antiques.

Key areas

Woollen textiles and wood crafts are good buys that also reflect Uruguay's rural heritage. The shops around Plaza Independencia sell all types of leather, including rabbit, but do check the quality of both the material and the workmanship.

Manos del Uruguay (www.manos.com.uy) is a not-for-profit cooperative with outlets throughout the city. It combines contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship.

Markets

The Feria de Tristán Narvaja is a bustling Sunday street market that sprawls for several blocks, starting at the corner of Avenida 18 de Julio and Calle Tristán Narvaja. You'll find everything from second-hand clothes to souvenirs to live animals (and much more) on sale.

The Villa Biarritz Fair, until 1500 on Saturdays in Parque Zorilla de San Martín-Ellauri, is an atmospheric market selling local produce and handicrafts. Mercado de los Artesanos, at San José 1312, is another decent crafts market, open most days except Sunday.

Shopping centres

Punta Carretas Shopping (www.puntacarretas.com.uy) at José Ellauri 350 was once a prison but is now the city's largest shopping centre. It houses fashionable shops, a multiplex cinema and restaurants.

Montevideo Shopping Centre (www.montevideoshopping.com.uy) on Avenida Luis Alberto de Herrera was the city's first shopping mall, with 180 shops to suit most tastes and budgets.

Opening hours

Shops in Montevideo are generally open Monday to Friday 0900-1900 and Saturday 0900-1300. Small shops tend to close at lunch and on Saturdays. Larger shopping malls and supermarkets are usually open all week, including evenings.

Souvenirs

There are plenty of souvenirs to shop for in Montevideo, including highly-polished, semi-precious stones, leather goods and wood craft items. Yerba mate (a South American caffeine drink) mementos, such as delicately engraved bombilla straws (drinking straws), are particular favourites.

Tax information

Non-Uruguayan residents can obtain a tax refund by requesting tax receipts when making purchases. Items must be purchased with a credit card. Upon departure, the receipts must be validated at Uruguayan Customs. The refund will then be made to the credit card.

Featured Hotels

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Hotel Oxford

Recently renovated, but still with old-fashioned touches, this cheap Montevideo hotel is a popular bolthole for business travellers on a budget, though its city-centre location is good for tourists too. The restaurant is basic, but there are plenty of other dining opportunities nearby.

Hotel Plaza Fuerte

In the interesting, old part of Montevideo, this great-value hotel was built in 1913 and is a national monument. Each room has its own décor scheme and all are spacious, while some of the suites have gigantic Jacuzzi baths.

Hotel Palacio

With a great old-timey feel, this ageing classic is a favourite for travellers on a budget. Touches like original tile work, brass bed heads and a few sticks of antique furniture add to the appeal. Rooms at the front have small balconies but can be noisy, while those at the back have good views over the plaza.

La Baguala

A slice of paradise set within 400 acres of privately-owned land, this hotel will see to nearly every need, from a spacious outdoor pool to its own private beach, à la carte dining options to entertainment for the little ones with a fully equipped games room. Breakfast is complimentary and rooms come furnished with flat-screen TVs, safety deposit box and minibar.

Caballo Loco Hostel

Centrally located, just a few metres from Plaza Cagancha in Montevideo's historic centre, this hostel offers between four and ten bed shared dorms. Basic and a little drab, the facilities are extensive and include a bar, cafe, bike hire, laundry service, free Wi-Fi and a communal kitchen.

Cala di Volpe

Guest rooms in this modern hotel, right on the waterfront, are tastefully decorated with dark wood fittings and white walls. Light, modern cuisine is on offer in the restaurant, and the pool and spa have pleasant views over the river.