Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and has become one of South America's liveliest cities. Spanning just 20km from east to west, and sharing the Río de la Plata river with Buenos Aires, this port city is brewing a culture to match its bigger neighbour's. Take a trip to this thriving city and you'll be rewarded with its relaxed, tranquilo vibe, a varied music scene and chivito sandwiches piled high with juicy steak.
Montevideo hostels range from a bright orange town house covered in murals to a sun-filled atrium surrounded by elegant columns. With locations evenly spread across the city centre, wherever you choose you'll be conveniently placed to explore. Hostels in Montevideo have a casual feel, with spaces to unwind including rooftop gardens and swimming pools. Dorms and private rooms are available, and you'll find free Wi-Fi and breakfast in many hostels.
Montevideo is a collection of distinctive barrios (neighbourhoods), all jostling for attention in this compact city. The Ciudad Vieja (old town) and its museums and galleries have welcomed the new in the form of street art, pedestrian-only walkways and the city's liveliest nightlife. Of Montevideo's 18 beaches and nearly 25km of continuous Rambla promenade, upscale Pocitos is the most popular seaside spot. Neighbouring Parque Rodó is a student area with green spaces and views over the city.
Uruguay's full-bodied red wines and top-quality beef are one of the city's main attractions. Head to the Mercado del Puerto market for an afternoon snack to see you through to Montevideo's late dinners. The city's historic Estadio Centenario stadium in the Parque Batlle neighbourhood hosted the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, and there's nowhere like it for atmosphere on a match day. For music fans there's everything from the folk-fusion beats of the weekly candombe street show to the burgeoning dance scene at its clubs.
Montevideo’s main neighbourhoods can be explored on foot or by bike. For farther-flung areas of the city, there's an extensive bus network operated by Cutcsa. You can fly direct to Carrasco International Airport from Madrid, or from other European cities via a stop in Buenos Aires or São Paulo. A direct ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aires takes just over 2 hours, or an extra couple of hours via the cheaper bus-boat connections. You can catch these from bus Terminal Tres Cruces, east of downtown, to reach destinations in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.