Compared to other cities in South America, Montevideo is relatively small. You can walk from side of the city to the other in a few hours. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of different areas to choose from when it comes to picking where to stay in Montevideo.
Where to Stay in Montevideo
There are actually 62 neighbourhoods in the district of Montevideo, however for the purposes of this blog post we’ll just run through the ones that you are most likely to want to stay in as a tourist visiting Montevideo Uruguay.
Despite being close together, each Montevideo neighbourhood does have a different feel to it. So from the old town, to the new town and posh areas to the more affordable areas, here’s the rundown how to choose the best place to stay in Montevideo for you.
Best For: Architecture and History Lovers
Ciudad Vieja is the oldest Montevideo neighbourhood and has undergone a lot of renovation over the years. Directly adjoined to the port, Ciudad Vieja (or Old Town in English) was once the entry point to the city.
It was where everything was traded from the cross continent cargo ships that docked there. Including African slaves. Who were sent north to Brazil’s coffee plantations or west to Argentina’s agriculture and livestock farms.
The main market in Ciudad Vieja, Mercado del Puerto was actually constructed in Liverpool, England. It has a distinct look and at it’s centre you’ll find a huge British style clock. These days it’s full of restaurants with big open parrillas where you can enjoy a big tasty Uruguayan steak.
Being the original part of the city, it was once completely walled. But the only part that remains today is the Ciutadella, the city gate. Beyond that was once just fields. Hence you can get a real sense of just how much the city has grown from this area of Montevideo.
It’s also where the president of Uruguay works and the home of Montevideo’s most important square, Plaza Independencia. At the centre there’s a statue of revered General Artigas. The history is complicated. But essentially, he kicked off the revolution that ultimately lead to Uruguay’s independence. His mausoleum is located underneath. You can visit it for free.
Ciudad Vieja is the home of the most beautiful buildings in Montevideo. Namely the Teatre Solis, Palacio Salvo and Catedral Metropolitana de Montevideo. Built either during the Spanish colonial period or in the decades following independence. If you like your pretty architecture this Montevideo neighbourhood is for you.
Where To Stay in Ciudad Vieja
Budget: Montevideo Lounge Hostel – just 10 minutes walk from Mercado del Puerto and 5 minutes walk from Plaza Independencia, this well loved hostel in smack bang in the centre of Montevideo old town. There’s wifi, a bar onsite and an excellent breakfast included.
Mid-range: Don Boutique Hotel – these spacious rooms come with wifi, tv and air conditioning as standard. Plus there’s a panoramic rooftop complete with an outdoor pool. There’s free parking and an onsite restaurant serving an a la carte breakfast.
Luxury: Alma Histórica Boutique Hotel – housed in a seriously elegant building, rooms in this sophisticated hotel come complete with air-conditioning, a mini bar, toiletries and TV. You’ll be less than 500 metres from the waterfront with private parking or airport shuttle service.
For more place to stay in Ciudad Vieja, check availability and prices here.
Cordón and Centro
Best For: Budget Travellers and Craft Beer Fans
A central neighbourhood, Cordón is situated around the main route in and out of Montevideo, 18 de Julio Avenue. Every sunday the Montevideo neighbourhood of Cordón hosts the huge street market, Feria de Tristán Narvaja. It’s the cheapest place to buy just about anything. But even if you’re not shopping, fascinating to wander around.
If you’re into your craft beer, this area of Montevideo will be a great option for you. There’s quite a few dotted around but our favourites were ‘The Montevideo Beer Company’ bar in Sinergia Design Food Hall (Colonia 2235) and the Brown Bear Craft Brewery (Joaquín de Salterain 1316).
There’s not much going on around this area of Montevideo sightseeing wise. But it’s central. So not far from Ciudad Vieja or any of the other Montevideo neighbourhoods. And conveniently located right next to Tres Cruces bus station. There’s lots of hotels, so it makes it one of the cheapest areas to stay in Montevideo.
Where To Stay in Centro Montevideo
Budget: Habemus Hostel – this colorful and friendly place comes with a terrace, a garden, a shared lounge, wifi access and seriously great backpacker reviews. It is centrally located, with air conditioned rooms and a continental breakfast is included.
Mid-range: Ciudadano Suites – conveniently located right across from the main bus station, this hotel has 24-hour front desk and luggage storage. Each room has a wifi, a private bathroom and tea/coffee making facilities. A buffet breakfast is served each morning.
Luxury: Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza – large rooms with wifi, coffee machine, mini-bar, TV, bathtub and stunning views over the Rio de la Plata. There’s also a gym, indoor swimming pool and spa. Complimented by a cocktail bar and restaurant serving Uruguayan specialties.
For more place to stay in Centro, check availability and prices here.
Parque Rodó and Palermo
Best For: Culture Seekers and Younger Travellers
Packed full of charm and character, Parque Rodó is one of the best places to stay in Montevideo, Uruguay. Built around the huge leafy green park of the same name, this Montevideo neighbourhood is also boarded the shallow waters of popular Rameríz beach.
Parque Rodó has a large lake at it’s centre, which you can explore by pedal boat. And although the whole area is busy it never really feels crowded because the park is so massive. Due to the location within of several Montevideo university buildings, the area tends to attract a younger crowd – particularly come nightfall.
There’s plenty of pubs and clubs spread out around this part of Montevideo. Our favourite being Montevideo Beer Company at Bulevar España 2614. There’s also a Sunday street market held inside the park which sells all manner of things.
Similar in feel to its neighbour of Parque Rodó, Palermo is a closer to Ciudad Vieja and has less of a nightlife scene. But still retains the culture and character of a happening neighbourhood. Bordered by a portion of the rambla, it has a really great view of the cityline.
Where To Stay in Parque Rodó
Budget: MedioMundo Hostel – this place has comfortable air conditioned rooms with wifi access. Plus a shared lounge and kitchen with attached patio and BBQ facilities. It has a 24 hour reception, a onsite bar and breakfast is included in the price.
Mid-range: ibis Styles Montevideo – on the edge of Parque Rodó, this tastefully decorated hotel has a 24 hour front desk, private parking or airport shuttle service and an onsite restaurant serving a buffet breakfast. Each room has private bathroom, a closet and air conditioning.
For more place to stay in Parque Rodó or Palermo, check availability and prices here.
Best for: shoppers and sunset seekers
Montevideo’s most southern neighbourhood, the area of the city is bordered by the rambla and the Punta Carretas lighthouse at the tip. Centrally located between both Pocitos beach and Ramíez beach, Punta Carretas is solid option for where to stay in Montevideo.
Just to the right of the Punta Carretas tip, which is also known as Punta Brava, there’s a long grassy area and it is the best place in Montevideo to watch sunset. Parque Villa Biarritz is also in Punta Carretas. And every Saturday holds a big street market which sells pretty much everything.
There’s more shopping available at Punta Carretas Shopping centre too, which interestingly is a refurbished prison. The main streets of Ellauri and 21 de Septiembre are where you’ll find lots of restaurants and cafes. It’s a pretty middle class area with lots of new developments popping up all the time.
Where To Stay in Punta Carretas
Budget: Rambler Punta Carretas – extremely clean rooms with comfy beds, air conditioning and hot showers. This hostel has barbecue facilities, a garden, shared lounge a ping pong table and a 24 hour front desk. Breakfast is included in the price.
Mid-range: Vivaldi Hotel Loft Punta Carretas – one of Montevideo’s top pick, this hotel boasts elegant rooms with modern amenities and an outdoor rooftop swimming pool. All in tranquil surroundings on a stunning part of coast close to lots of green spaces and the best beaches.
For more place to stay in Punta Carretas, check availability and prices here.
Best For: Beach Bums and Runners
Named after it’s long curved sands, if you are coming to Montevideo primarily for beach time, Pocitos is likely going to be the best Montevideo neighbourhood for you. Predominantly characterised by the multi-storey apartments lining the bay, there’s one building that will stand out. Castillo Pittamiglio with it’s unusual ship facade is museum of alchemy.
Which kind of sets up the whole feel of Pocotis. Initially it appears to be all packed in residential high rises. But as you move back from the Río de la Plata and poke around a little, you’ll discover lots of open space, green parks and beautiful grand old renovated houses. It’s actually in the second oldest neighbourhood in the city so all it not at it first appears.
The rambla is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world and stretches 22km around the whole bay. So if you’re after somewhere to exercise during your trip, staying close to the Rambla is a good option for where to stay in Montevideo. It is however the busiest part of Montevideo and gets particularly crowded during summer months.
Where To Stay in Pocitos
Budget: Destino26 Hostel – this 1930 refurbished house offers private and shared rooms with wifi and breakfast included. There’s a shared kitchen and common lounge area with TV. Plus and garden and onsite bar.
Mid-range: Punta Trouville Hotel – all rooms feature air conditioning, cable TV, a kitchenette, a minibar, and a balcony. The private bathrooms include hairdryer and toiletries. A daily buffet breakfast is served the terrace and enjoys panoramic sea and city views.
Luxury: Hyatt Centric Montevideo – all of the elegant rooms are air conditioned and come complete with a TV, work desk and safety deposit box. A kitchenette and living room are available in some rooms. The hotel boasts an indoor swimming pool and onsite spa.
For more place to stay in Pocitos, check availability and prices here.
Best For: Luxury Travellers and Fine Diners
An exclusive Montevideo neighbourhood, Carrasco is where the elite hangout. Property wise, it is the most expensive area of Montevideo to live in and it shows. A city law prohibits construction of buildings more than three floors high and it’s the greenest part of the city.
The prestigious Carrasco beach stretches along the coastline with plenty of options for fine dining and upmarket boutique shopping. There’s also and huge casino with a posh hotel attached. So it has its own thing going on but isn’t the place to experience Montevideo proper.
Being so close to the airport but quite far from other neighbourhoods, visitors to Montevideo who stay in Carrasco, tend not to venture out into the rest of city much.
Where To Stay in Carrasco
Mid-range: Pedro Figari Boutique Hotel – 4 star seafront hotel in an upscale neighbourhood, tastefully decorated with classic style furnishings. Each room includes air conditioning, cable TV and comes with a daily large buffet breakfast.
Luxury: Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa – enjoy celebrity treatment with world-class service at the most prestigious hotel in Montevideo. Featuring spa and gym facilities, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, just 5 minutes from the airport.
For more place to stay in Carrasco, check availability and prices here.
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