Cruise ships dock at the Port of Montevideo. It is about a 5-minute taxi ride to the center of town. Metered taxis are usually available at the pier. Drivers frequently charge cruise passengers a flat rate from the pier to popular destinations.
On occasion ships will anchor off shore and will use tenders to get you ashore.
The old town and central plaza are a short walk from the pier (1 mile) Interesting shops, especially for antiques, along the way.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
With its population of 1,362,000, Montevideo is home to nearly half
of Uruguay's population. The relatively small capital is the nation's
only major city, yet visitors do not come here in search of the hustle
and bustle of a large metropolis. Montevideanos themselves travel to
Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo when they crave big-city excitement. As
Uruguay's cultural, political and economic center, the city boasts
a good number of monuments, museums and impressive architecture. There
are sidewalk cafes, fine restaurants, chic shops, casinos and miles
of clean beaches.
For such a small country, Uruguay boasts an astonishing literary and artistic tradition. Theater is a popular medium and playwrights are very prominent. Uruguayan artists such as Pedro Figari have earned recognition well beyond the country's border. The tango is nearly as popular here as in Argentina.
Historically, the major and most productive part of the Uruguayan economy has been the pastoral sector. Cattle and sheep estancias occupy more than three-quarters of the land, providing grazing ground for over nine million cattle and twenty-three million sheep. Once the gauchos subsisted on wild cattle, but with time the establishment of estancias pushed the cattle back into the interior.
Caution: Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry large amounts of cash ashore with you. Be aware of purse-snatchers in the downtown area.
Palacio Municipal Get a sweeping view of the entire city from the 11th-floor terrace of the City Hall, located on Avenida 18 de Julio.
You can find a guide & driver just on the dock and hire them there.
Unlike other South American Countries, taxis in Uruguay are safe and fairly affordable. Costing about $2 USD per km. All taxis in Uruguay use meters and have fixed costs.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Mercado de Puerto, a street fair open weekends and afternoons where you can sample Uruguayan dishes, is within walking distance of the pier; maps are available at the pier.
Avenida 18 de Julio is Montevideo's main street with restaurants and shops. Leather goods, hand-knit sweaters and gemstones, such as amethyst, topaz and agate, are considered good buys.
Most shops are open Monday to Friday 0900-1900 and Saturday 0930-1300. Large shopping malls are open daily from 1000-2200. Some shops in downtown may close for lunch.
The Uruguayan currency is the peso. Prices are often quoted using the U$ symbol, which may be easily confused with the US$ (US dollar) symbol. 1 U$ (peso) = US$ 0.050 (five cents) 1 U$ (peso) = Euro 0,033 (three cents)
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly used. ATMs may reject European or US credit cards.
Spanish is spoken everywhere. Outside Montevideo and Punta del Este there are few English speakers.
An Internet cafe is located right at the port. Many more in town.
Shopping hours Mon-Fri 0900-1200 and 1400-1900, Sat 0900-1230.
1 Jan New Year's Day.
6 Jan Epiphany.
Landing of the 33 Patriots.
1 May Labour Day.
Battle of Las Piedras.
19 Jun Birth of General Artigas (Día del Nunca Más).
18 Jul Constitution Day.
25 Aug National Independence Day.
Oct Día de la Raza.
2 Nov All Souls' Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
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