Where to live in Montevideo, Uruguay Part 3 of 4: The Old City and Centro--Historic architecture and cultural events

Plaza del Entrevero in Montevideo's Centro (also called Plaza Fabini)

This post, covering Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja and Centro, is Part 3 of a four-part series on Montevideo communities that offer a high quality of life.

In Ciudad Vieja and Centro, you find the city’s early architecture and the most in the way of cultural events. 

Ciudad Vieja and Centro 
Apartments in renovated period buildings
Historic plazas and architecture
City's grandest performance theaters 
Good restaurants 
Highest number of professional and government offices
Area of Montevideo most visited by travelers

Ciudad Vieja

Ciudad Vieja
“Ciudad Vieja” translates to Old City. It's the 8-by-12-block neighborhood that once was the entire city of Montevideo as it was founded in 1730.

Here, you find the city's earliest architecture, original plazas, monuments, museums, and art galleries. You also find a broad selection of good restaurants and the city's two large performance theaters: the Solís Theatre and the Sodre.

Throughout Montevideo's history, Ciudad Vieja remains an important business district. It's the location of the Port of Montevideo, the main branches of most banks, and a high concentration of logistic, professional, and financial service offices. Each weekday, more than 100,000 office workers commute to Ciudad Vieja. 

The nightlife here is limited compared to other parts of the Montevideo. It includes theater events, the night clubs on Bartolomé Mitre Street, and a few restaurants that stay open late for dinner--mostly on Ciudad Vieja's east side.

In other areas of Ciudad Vieja, things are generally quiet, both at night and on weekends. So, if you want to see Ciudad Vieja when it's lively, come during a weekday.

In decades past many vintage buildings in Ciudad Vieja were left empty as the population shifted to new suburbs, like Pocitos. However things are changing. And Ciudad Vieja is experiencing a gradual revival as more and more buildings are restored. 

Pedestrian Street in Montevideo's Ciudad Vieja
In Ciudad Vieja the most popular places to live are units in restored apartment buildings on plazas and the Sarandi pedestrian street.


Centro was the first addition to Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja. The architecture in Centro is a mix of Eclectic, Art Deco, and modern.

 Together, Ciudad Vieja and Centro make up Montevideo’s cultural center. It's also where you find the largest concentration of professional offices, hotels, live performance theaters, museums, galleries, and tourist attractions. 

Apartments on the main avenue in Centro
The most popular places to live in Centro include apartments on high floors on Avenue 18 de Julio near plazas, as well as apartments on streets up to a few blocks south of Av. 18 de Julio.

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