Crossing the Rio del Plata from Buenos Aires by ferry, it’s easy to get to Montevideo in Uruguay. An excellent trip if you visit Argentina and got some spare days left.
We took the ferry to Colonia and proceeded our trip by bus since that was a cheaper option. But you may as well take the fast ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo (Buquebus, Seacat Colonia) and enjoy a great weekend in Uruguay.
Although not to be compared with Buenos Aires (Montevideo is smaller and has a different vibe), Montevideo is a cool city and there’s plenty of cool things to do.
Watch this awesome video of our highlights in Montevideo!
Our top 5 for Montevideo in Uruguay:
Rent a bicycle at Orange Bike to cruise along Montevideo’s coastline. You’ll be surprised by the excellent state of the cycling lanes along the coast, taking you to nice beaches and along cool street art. Orange Bike is a nice shop with excellent service; if you get a flat tire on the way you can call the shop to pick you up and/or get your tire fixed. The bicycles are very comfortable and of quality by the way!
> Orange Bike website
Address: Perez Castellano 1417 bis, Montevideo
Eat some of the best steaks you’ve ever had at Mercado del Puerto in downtown Montevideo. Although very touristic and overpriced at some establishments, you can’t leave Montevideo without experiencing this meat paradise.
One of the best places to eat and the most famous restaurant at Mercado del Puerto is ‘Estancia del Puerto’.Tip: right across the mercado, the artisans fair is great for its beautiful arts and crafts!
Visit the Sunday market ‘Feria de Tristan Narvaja’ and use your bargaining skills to buy yourself some cool vintage artifacts, vinyls, furniture and much more. This street market stretches out over several streets like Ferrer Serra and Cerro Largo. It’s best to arrive early at 9:00 a.m. for it gets very crowded after 11:00.The Sunday market at Rodo Park is also great to visit!
Shop at Punta Carretas shopping mall, the place to be in Montevideo when it comes to buying clothes and other cool stuff. The building used to be a former jail but you wouldn’t tell when walking through the mall.
Montevideo is full of colorful graffiti and street art and we enjoyed walking through the old town and taking pictures of these art forms. Spot some cool street art behind Mercado del Puerto and along the coast line of Montevideo.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Stay at Chez Mario et Solange, a very friendly French/Uruguayan couple who love to share with you their best insider tips for Montevideo. Their guesthouse breaths creativity and we loved the cool design of the rooms and hallway. Breakfast is included and we enjoyed the home made sweets and lots of fruits and healthy cereals. The guesthouse has a kitchen and a rooftop terrace.
WHERE TO EAT
Eat some excellent slow food @ la Fonda Restaurante Familiar. The restaurant is located in the old town in one of the most lively streets of Montevideo: Perez Castellano.
The restaurant serves several craft beers which are quite good! The food is delicious and prepared with organic products. You can choose to sit inside or outside at their cosy terrace.
Address: Perez Castellano 1422
La Fonda del Puertito for grilled meat and fish.
HOW TO GET THERE
Tip for cheaper ferry tickets from Buenos Aires to Montevideo:
Go to the Buquebus terminal at Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires and ask for the Seacat Colonia desk (there;s only one!). If you buy your tickets at Seacat Colonia you’ll get a much better price. The travel time is around 4,5 hours: you travel by ferry to Colonia first and then by bus to Montevideo. If you want to take the fast and direct ferry to Montevideo you should order at Buquebus. The trip takes about 2 hours but is far more expensive than the normal ferry/bus combination.