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Get THE architecture guide to Montevideo


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Montevideo has stunning architecture. I always tell people to take a walk along the main avenue, 18 de julio – not for the street itself but to keep looking up – the architecture is Belle Epoque, Art Deco, modernist.

Even the Montevideo police HQ is an absolute Art Deco gem!

A couple of years ago I discovered this little gem – the Architectural and Urban Guide to Montevideo – buried on the local government website*.

In English and Spanish, the guide is beautifully designed and perfect for curious travellers and photographers. It includes almost 400 buildings and spaces organised by neighbourhood.

The translation into English is a bit clunky – well, it was not helped by the fact that the original text is heavy-going, academic terms and phrases abound- but the maps and building descriptions are concise and easy to follow.

There’s useful historic background, dates, and gorgeous photography. There such good detail you could even use it as your guide for visiting the various neighbourhoods in Montevideo throughout your stay.

Get your copy of the Architectural and Urban Guide to Montevideo here.

Check out the architecture of Montevideo

Montevideo is a city made for B&W Stunning black and white shots by resident Mark Villeneuve

Kami’s blog post on Montevideo Some absolutely gorgeous photos of buildings and lots of public spaces. You can see how Montevideans make the most of their parks and the rambla.

Montevideo landmarks and architecture on Wikipedia Quite a good starting point for any visitor. I would recommend them all except for the World Trade Centre (really? Come on…) and Parque Batlle (unless you are going to Parque Centenario Football Stadium, the park itself is not particularly attractive). Parque Rodo and El Prado are much lovelier parks.

Want to stay in an architecturally-lovely hotel?

The Guru recommends architectural gems for every budget.

$$$$$ Sofitel, Carrasco (from 274 USD)
$$$$   Alma Historica Boutique Hotel, Ciudad Vieja/Old City (185 USD)
$$$     Casa Sarandi, Old City (75 USD)
$$       Hotel Palacios, Old City (47 USD)

Rates for a double room are approximate. For exact prices, check hotel websites.

Palacio Salvo in Montevideo by Mark Villeneuve
The iconic Palacio Salvo on Montevideo’s Plaza de Independencia in the Old City by Mark Villeneuve


* The guide was produced by the Municipality of Montevideo (the IMM) and the southern Spanish state of Andalusia, together with the Faculty of Architecture of the UDELAR, the public university. The first edition dates from 1992. You can download specific sections rather than the whole guide from the Montevideo government website [in Spanish].

Thanks to Mark Villeneuve for allowing me to use his photos. 


  1. […] Aires, Montevideo is worth much more than that. The city boasts one of the best collections of art-deco buildings anywhere in the world, has a lively arts scene including a great theatre and live music […]

  2. Michel Rheaume

    September 11, 2015

    Bonjour Karen,
    Thank you for the link to the architecture guide. Would you know of a tour guide operator similar to Graffitimundo in BA or suggest an area where we would be more likely to see these?

    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      September 12, 2015

      Hi Michel, there is street art all over Montevideo so you will be able to see it anywhere and everywhere. However there is a tour. I have been planning to go on it and check it out in the next few weeks. If you sign up for updates, you’ll see when I write about it!!street-art-tour/c9. All the best – Karen

      • Welshwitch in Uruguay

        December 21, 2015

        Hello again, it turns out this tour is no longer offered. I am talking to a great tour operator and encouraging her to start something. I’ll post here as soon as there is news!


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