Montevideo, Uruguay cruises

Montevideo is Uruguay’s historic and vibrant capital city, home to nearly half the nation’s population. With its diverse and energizing metropolitan environment, Montevideo boasts an array of attractions and activities to explore.

Montevideo port guide

Montevideo Bay has long provided protection to ships thanks to its natural shape. Today, this makes for an ideal location for the port, serving as a gateway for both trade and tourism.

Welcoming guests from all over the world, Montevideo is a welcoming city with a calming atmosphere and Latin American charm - as well as being Uruguay’s cultural, political, and economic center.

Montevideo is peppered with historic monuments, museums, and architecture alongside chic shops, casinos, fine dining, and miles of sandy beach.

Here is our guide on everything you need to know about exploring the port city of Montevideo.

Top landmarks and sights in Montevideo

Palacio Salvo

Palacio Salvo is one of the most important and treasured buildings in Montevideo. Standing at 330 feet tall, Palacio Salvo was once the tallest building in Latin America. Originally intended as a hotel, it has never served that purpose and today is home to offices and apartments.

Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral

The Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic church of Montevideo, located in the neighborhood of Ciudad Vieja. It is the city’s oldest public building, having been completed in 1804. Famed for its domed bell towers, this cathedral is the burial place for some of the country’s most notable figures.

Gateway of the Citadel

The Gateway of the Citadel is one of the few remaining parts of the Spanish citadel that was torn down in 1829. The wall once surrounded the oldest part of the city and took the Spanish military more than 40 years to complete. At one time the wall housed 50 cannons, but today all that remains is the stone gate.

Constitution Plaza

Constitution Plaza is the oldest city square in Montevideo. Since 1726 it has played host to many official events and celebrations, both civil and military, as well as organized bullfights. Over the years the city has developed around the plaza, and it’s now surrounded by important buildings such as the Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral.

Things to do in Montevideo

Puerto Market

Puerto Market is a street fair open during afternoons and weekends, showcasing traditional Uruguayan dishes. Originally operating as a market, today Puerto Market is set within a grand 19thcentury market building filled with bustling restaurants and bars. The majority of these are devoted to traditionally prepared beef, lamb, and chicken.

Solis Theatre

Opened in 1856, Solis Theatre has hosted world-renowned conductors, composers, and performers as well as launching the careers of many Uruguayan actors, singers, and musicians. From the outside, the theater displays a beautiful example of neoclassical, Old World architecture.

Museo Juan Manuel Blanes

A museum of the arts in the Prado district of Montevideo, Museo Juan Manuel Blanes holds artworks dating from the beginning of the nation, in the early 1800s, to the present day. The permanent collection housed within an old mansion displays the works of Uruguay’s most famous painter, Juan Manuel Blanes. The museum is free to enter and behind the museum, you will also find the Japanese Garden of Montevideo.

Pocitos Beach

A long, clean, sandy beach, Pocitos Beach is known for its impressive boardwalk, panoramic views, and water activities. It’s a wonderful spot for both visitors and locals alike to escape the bustle of the city, where you can spend time enjoying the warmth and relaxing, or perhaps swimming and trying a few different water sports.

Eating and drinking in Montevideo

Uruguay’s cuisine is undeniably meat-based, with beef, chicken, pork, and lamb considered a staple in most homes. Historically, livestock and meat production were the country’s leading export, with cattle introduced to the land even before European settlers. For this reason, high-quality and delicious meat has long been associated with Uruguay.

Throughout Montevideo meat is often barbequed, grilled, or roasted over an open fire. This method is locally referred to as Asado; a term that describes the technique of barbequing meat at a social event, which is a cultural tradition.

The chivito is a national dish in Uruguay and is described as a sandwich of sliced beefsteak, cheese, ham, tomato, mayonnaise, and olives. Occasionally, a chivito may also include bacon and egg. This creation is commonly eaten by locals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and is a must-try for anyone wanting to sample some authentic cuisine here.

Getting around, Montevideo transport

The port is located a short drive from the center of the city. From here, metered taxis are available, however the old town and central plaza are within walking distance. Montevideo itself is easily walkable with detailed walking routes and plenty of plazas, fairs, and street art to admire on foot – especially in the historic center. Buses, bike rentals, and car rentals are widely available in the city center.

Montevideo port facilities

The port facilities at Montevideo are modest. Here you’ll find a taxi rank and an internet cafe.

Montevideo quick tips


The Peso is the local currency in Montevideo, Uruguay. Card payments are widely accepted however there will likely be a foreign transaction fee. It is recommended to carry cash for small shops and family-owned businesses. You’ll find ATMs throughout the city, or you may also be able to buy currency on board your ship.

Tipping is not compulsory in Uruguay but is expected in hotels and restaurants for good service - the average amount is 10% of your bill.


Montevideo has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers. Generally, the climate in Montevideo is mild and warm throughout. Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 28°C during the summer, while the winter months reach lows of 7°C.