Things to do in Ciudad Vieja
Plaza Matriz (Plaza Constitución)
This is the oldest square in Montevideo. The Sarandi Penthouse and Sarandi 202 are located one block from this square.
With its peaceful fountain and lovely trees, you can take shelter there and people watch. It is home to an antique market everyday of the week. Locals like to sit in this square drinking their mate or have a seat on one of the cafe terraces and enjoy a coffee, ice cream or a cold beer.
Many of our guests stay at our apartment and attend Spanish school at Academia Uruguay, which is located only a block from our Sarandi apartments.
Plaza Independencia (Spanish for Independence Square) is the name of Montevideo's most important plaza. It separates Ciudad Vieja from downtown Montevideo, with La Ciudadela one side and the beginning of 18 de Julio avenue on the other.
The center of the plaza is dominated by the Artigas Mausoleum which is located underneath the statue of Artigas.
Many important buildings, such as the Solís Theatre and the workplaces of the President of Uruguay (both the Estévez Palace and the Executive Tower) are located by this square.
One of the characteristic buildings located by the square is Palacio Salvo. This square was designed in the 1830s by Carlo Zucchi, inspired in the Rue de Rivoli, Paris. Three decades later it was redesigned by Bernardo Poncini.
Local Farmer's Markets (Ferias)
Ferias are a deep part of Uruguayan culture. Traditionally, most Uruguayans do their daily shopping at these markets. Fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, fish, cheese and even daily household goods can be found at these markets throughout the city (everyday day except Monday, when we recommend to check out Mercado Agricola, the MAM, which is a indoor covered market). There is a market two blocks from the apartments every Tuesday and Friday.
The Plaza Zabala apartment overlooks this lovely square. With open windows you may hear the variety of birds chirping on a sunny day. This square has been newly restored with well kept gardens, a children's playground and exercise equipment. It is a meeting place for all types of folks in Montevideo from families with kids to elderly couples to tourists.
This Plaza now takes its name from Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, founder of the city. The street surrounding the square is named as Ring Durango, in honor of the town Vizcaya of Durango, where Zabala was born. On its south side, Palacio Taranco, once residence of the Ortiz Taranco brothers, is now the Museum of Decorative Arts. And we have to mention, the apartment is only a half block to one of Montevideo's best restaurants - Jacinto!
Mercado del Puerto
The Mercado del Puerto or “port market” is the city's most famous area for parrillas ("barbecues"). The open-aired building which houses the market was built in 1868. While originally a venue for fresh produce, it is now filled with parrillas. The structure was built in the style of a nineteenth-century British Railway station. It is listed among "The Best Markets" in South America by Frommer's. A must see while in Montevideo.
There are many restaurant options in the market, but we really enjoy Don Garcia which is a family run restaurant frequented by locals. It was a local Uruguayan friend who first recommended us here and we haven’t dined anywhere else. The steak is always expertly cooked to your specified temperature. The Don Garcia chicken (which is a halved chicken stuffed with ham, cheese, olives, red peppers, it is incredibly moist and delicious). The sweet breads are a treat along with the grilled bread topped with parsley, garlic and butter. But no matter where you eat at the market, you’ll stare in awe at the grand spectacle and the absolute seriousness and expertise of grilling beef here in Uruguay.
Our apartments are located in the heart of the Old Town Montevideo "Ciudad Vieja", so you can walk to all of the cultural and historic sites of the city, including Teatro Solis. Check online or ask at the ticket counter for show options, many shows are subsidised and cost less than $10 US. Concerts, live music, museums, galleries, historic sites, shops, restaurants and bars are all within steps from the apartments' front doors.