The capital impresses with stunning nature, small parks and long avenues. Besides a beautiful coastline and lots of beaches, there are several cultural activities to be done in Montevideo. For example, visit museums such as the Crime Museum, the Aviation Museum, the National Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Zoological Museum – many of which have free entry.
The city’s symbol is the Palacio Salvo, an Art Deco building worth seeing. On the Plaza Independecia, the marketplace, you will also see the equestrian statue of Artigas – the national hero who fought for independence. Underneath the statue is the mausoleum with his remains. Enter the old town, Ciudad Vieja, through the old city gate and explore the best cafés, shops and restaurants. The Puerto Mercado is next. In the market hall, you can do some shopping. Our tip: The best view over Montevideo is from the city hall’s 22nd floor and it is for free.
Stay overnight in El Viajero Downtown for €11 in an eight-bed dorm.
Punta del Este
For about 9 euros, you can take the bus to Punta del Este. Here you have a great opportunity to learn to surf or improve your skills. Many of the hostels located here are in the direct vicinity of the beach and offer many leisure activities.
From there it is easy to go surfing. Afterwards, you can visit the 45-meters high lighthouse, or Punta del Este’s landmark: a half-buried hand called Los Dedos. Isla Gorriti is especially great for water sports enthusiasts, since you can dive to the sunken sailing warship, Agamemnon. On the other side lies Isla de Lobos, where you can watch sea lions from the ship. Until the early morning hours, a vibrant party scene begins at midnight.
Spend the night in Tas D Viaje for about €12 in a ten-bed dorm.
Take the bus to the next city for about €21. This small fishing village is famous for not having electricity, running water or cars. You have two beaches to choose from, the smaller one right around the corner or the Playa Sur, which lies over a hill. The lighthouse next to the village is a meeting point for sea lions and their babies. Enjoy a candlelight dinner at night; quite romantic!
An eight-bed dorm in Hostel Lobo costs about €20 per night.
Go to this surfer paradise for about €11 by bus. The small village is located on the Atlantic coast and only has about 1,000 inhabitants. It is a mere 40 kilometres from the border town Chuy to Brazil. Fishing is still the main activity here and there are four really beautiful beaches. On the right side lies the Playa de la Viuda, on the left Playa de los Pescadores, Playa del Rivero and the about five km long Playa Grande. Enjoy a wild party at night on the beach or discover the town’s few restaurants and bars. Also remember to visit the small supermarkets and shops.
You can stay in the Hostel Vente al Diablos for about 11€ per night in a ten-bed dorm.
Colonia de Sacramento
Continue by bus for about €30 to the small town of Colonia del Sacramento. It is located at the Rio de la Plata and is Uruguay’s oldest city. On the opposite shore, only 50 meters away, you can see Argentina. The city has many colonial buildings which are still in good condition. One of the most important sights is the historical city centre with its cobblestone pavement and city wall.
The former bullring, Plaza de los Toros, is also near-by. Playa Ferrando is a beautiful beach with barbecue areas to prepare the famous asado (grilled meat). Uruguay has a lot to offer even if it is mostly beach, sports, and culture.
Stay at El Viajero for about €10 in a ten-bed dorm.
Afterwards, return to Montevideo by bus and spend the night in El Viajero for about €11 in an eight-bed dorm. Explore all the items on your bucket list you haven’t crossed off yet and fly back home with great memories.