Montevideo, the City with the late 20th-Century Modernist Buildings
Uruguay has always been in love with its river and oceanfront, and there is a clear layout of the city’s lifeline connecting to the sea. Montevideo very much identifies itself with this culture. Carnival, tango, folklore is heard and seen in the different areas of the city.
Montevideo’s architecture and climate have often been compared to Argentina’s Buenos Aires, without the crime, as well as the Mediterranean, from the French Riviera to Italy’s famous southern coastal enclaves.
Montevideo does not seem set in the present. Its architecture combines the remnants of Cuidad Vieja’s genteel colonial days with a profusion of late 20th-century modernist buildings and the local architectural aesthetics of low-rise, poured concrete houses with smooth sides that glimmer in the southern Atlantic sun. Aside from the tall, harp-shaped futuristic headquarters of the national telephone company, Montevideo’s architecture adds to the impression of a city forgotten by time.
Largely because it is so far from frequent flight services, people have been too afraid to spend time or money here. This is beginning to change, as tourists and investors realize that Uruguay is a strategic location and has so much potential to restore old historic buildings and neighborhoods so the city can come back to its old glory.
Nowadays there are many excellent restaurants in Old Town, which was put on the international map by CNN’s famous food connoisseur Anthony Bourdain. Also, read Anthony Bourdain’s statement about Uruguay.
Tour by foot the car-free street Florida and visit the famous “Mercado del Puerto” where you will find yourself surrounded by fired-up grills called in Spanish “Parilla” to enjoy all different types of meat and sausages
If you visit Ciudad Vieja, you cannot miss the Teatro Solis, restaurant and bar located in an old colonial-style building and known for its world-class dining. On the other side, find very modern, hip restaurants at the Montevideo World Trade Center such as Asia de Cuba and Gardenia.
On any Saturday, visit Montevideo’s Mercado del Puerto, a wonderful old marketplace where dozens of restaurants — most of which are little more than polished bars — face a hissing, sighing tableau of meat vendors grilling meat, chicken, fish, sausage and red peppers.
Mercado del Puerto is a community gathering place for locals and tourists where early morning sunshine slants through the iron-and-glass roof onto a festive, fragrant and yet urgent scene that hasn’t changed in decades. El Palenque is just one of the dozens of restaurants here.
Here are a few Restaurant recommendations by us when visiting Montevideo.
Almost every town celebrates Carnaval, a weeklong festival that precedes the beginning of Lent. Carnaval overtakes Montevideo with parades, dancing in the street and all-night celebration.
The neighborhood Carrasco, where also the International airport is located, originally was an elegant seaside resort on the outskirts of Montevideo. It eventually became the city’s most exclusive and expensive suburb. All International private schools are nearby. It is a desired area for International Expats and features a wide range of architectural styles.
Montevideo holds a cattle fair in August. In the countryside, gauchos still mount their horses to round up cattle on the vast estancias. The Criolla, or rodeo Uruguayan style, is a great spectacle to see in El Prado.
Uruguay’s tourism growth is translating into impressive infrastructure improvements in and around Montevideo with free tax trade zones like Zonamerica continuing towards the eastern region, which has turned into the epicenter for tourism investment of this region. Zonamerica is fully tax compliant with a tax-free zone for companies and a fascinating place to see how innovative Uruguay has become for International businesses and Technology companies.
Contact us when ready to buy a house or apartment in Montevideo. Montevideo’s most popular neighborhoods are Carrasco, Buceo, Pocitos, Punta Carretas, Old Town and Centro.