Montevideo City Guide
OVERVIEW: The capital of Uruguay and its largest city. It's often overlooked by tourists who see it only as a "mini Argentina." While this is true in many respects, Montevideo is actually much better suited than Buenos Aires for laid-back travellers with slightly bigger budgets.
WEATHER: Mild subtropical climate (10-21 °C). Cold in the evenings and wet in the winters.
SAFETY: Montevideo is safe. No major issues here. The worst you'll run into are pickpockets and/or bag snatchers but even these are rare and only a concern in the old town and on some beaches. Violent crime isn't common.
MUST DO: Cuidad Vieja (Old Town). Montevideo is best experienced by walking, and a stroll around old town is a good way to recharge. Or, see a soccer match at Estadio Centenario.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN MONTEVIDEO: $600 rent puts you in the centre of Montevideo. Renting in Pocitos will run you a bit more.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $15.00
NIGHTLIFE IN MONTEVIDEO: 7/10
Bars and clubs are mostly near either old town or Pocitos. Nightlife in Pocitos tends to be a bit more lively and the crowd a bit younger (university-aged). Bars and clubs don't really start to get going until around 1 am, so have something left in the tank. There are plenty of bars around Pocitos near the World Trade Centre to choose from, and as long as you're dressed nice, you should have no trouble getting in.
I recommend: Lotus. Where the pretty people go. You need to dress nice to be let in. White tourist status doesn't apply here because everyone in Montevideo that's hanging in Pocitos will be white. That being said, hooking-up in Montevideo shouldn't pose anymore of a challenge than Argentina. Burlesque is a solid choice for something less house-musicy.
BOTTLE OF BEER: $2.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN MONTEVIDEO: 6.75/10
Not awful, but assuming you are a typical-looking Caucasian tourist, you will have no novelty factor here. Physically, at least. Girls in Montevideo are similar to what you'd encounter in Buenos Aires, except a bit shyer and more down to earth (if I must generalize). They're not cold, although it might seem that way upon first trying to approach. Just don't come on too strong, and at least pretend to have a legitimate reason for talking to them and you should not have a problem hooking up here in Montevideo.
***ONLINE DATING: Latin American Cupid allows you to talk with girls and set up dates before you arrive in the country. For this reason, I recommend it.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN MONTEVIDEO?: 7.5/10.
Same genetic stock as Argentina, but a more underdeveloped fashion sense will make girls in Uruguay seem less attractive than their neighbours. Still, on the whole, very impressive - Girls in Montevideo are hot.
If you want to meet women in Uruguay, you will need to speak some Spanish. The Pickup Spanish program is the only course of its kind, designed specifically to teach you Spanish for meeting Latinas in Latin America.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.00 Loaf of Bread= $2.00 Eggs= $2.40 Water (1.5L)= $1.25 Cigarettes= $4.00
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: A great place if you are a location-independent worker who makes at least $30,000 a year. Personally, I wouldn't try to subsist off teaching English in Montevideo unless you have access to additional income.
TAXI: $3 or so. Zone-based system.
NOTES: I feel as though Montevideo never gets the credit it's due. Yes, it's more expensive than Argentina and the nightlife is a bit tamer, but it's a much more livable city and aside from a slight inflation problem, they have their shit together both economically and socially. If your budget allows, and you prefer a more refined bar/nightlife environment, this would be an ideal place to spend a few months, make some contacts, and enjoy some of the world's finest steak and vino.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10
*More city guides from Uruguay here!