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

Montevideo Weather

20°C

Local time Montevideo

Currency

$U

Travel to Montevideo

Flying to Montevideo

Carrasco International Airport serves a number of destinations in Europe and the Americas, including Madrid, Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Paris. There are no direct flights to Montevideo from the UK. The quickest routes involve flying with Air France via Paris or flying with British Airways to São Paulo and catching a connecting flight with GOL Linhas Aéreas.

Flight times

From London - 17 hours (including stopover); New York - 13 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles - 15 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 13 hours 45 minutes (including stopovers); Sydney - 19 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

Travel by road

Uruguay has an extensive system of paved highways and the roads into Montevideo are generally in good condition. Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years old. An International Driving Permit or licence from your home country is required.

Speed limits are 45kph (28mph) in built-up areas and up to 110kph (68mph) on motorways, although these aren't always well enforced.

The main motoring association, the Automóvil Club del Uruguay (tel: 1707, in Uruguay only; www.acu.com.uy), can provide further information on driving in Uruguay. 

Emergency breakdown services

Automóvil Club del Uruguay (tel: 1707, in Uruguay only; www.acu.com.uy); Car Up (tel: +598 2628 1555).

Routes

From Argentina, there are road crossings at Paysandú and further north, but it is simpler to take a boat across the River Plate's estuary from Buenos Aires with Buquebus (www.buquebus.com). There is a direct crossing to Montevideo and a shorter crossing to Colonia del Sacramento with bus connections on to the capital.

The ruta interbalnearia (inter-beach route) runs from Chuy on the Brazilian border all the way to Montevideo and is a pretty coastal drive, popular with tourists.

Coaches

TTL (tel: +598 2401 1410; www.ttl.com.uy) runs coaches between Montevideo and Brazil. These buses and those from other parts of Uruguay arrive at the city's Tres Cruces bus station. A full list of operators and timetables is available online: www.trescruces.com.uy.

Time to city

From Porto Alegre (Brazil) - 10 hours; São Paulo - 23 hours; Rio de Janeiro - 28 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Uruguay is devoid of long-distance rail services, with only one commuter service operating from downtown Montevideo. The line goes north from Montevideo's Estacion Central Station to Florida with a journey time of approximately 90 minutes. The service splits at the sleepy town of 25 de Agosto with one branch heading north-west to San José.

Operators

Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado (www.afe.com.uy).

Travel by boat

Ferries from Argentina arrive at Montevideo port in the old town.

Ferry operators

Buquebus (tel: 130, in Uruguay only; www.buquebus.com) ferries connect Montevideo with Buenos Aires, Argentina (journey time - 2 hours 15 minutes).

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Featured Hotels

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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.

Four Points

Cheaper and more central than its elder brother the Sheraton Montevideo, this hotel scores highly in all categories, although the competition is hardly fierce. There is a small indoor pool and spa, while guest rooms are modern and clean, if lacking inspiration. A full complement of business facilities makes this hotel a popular choice for those visiting the city for work.

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.