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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Montevideo

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Montevideo each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

Late January–Shrove Tuesday in February/March: Carnival (local event)

Carnival is the most popular festival of the year in Montevideo, and is also one of the longest such celebrations in the world, lasting for some 40 days. A massive street parade along Avenida 18 de Julio begins and ends the festival, with impressive floats and giant puppets, but two other elements are particularly anticipated by locals and visitors: the 40 different competing troupes of candombé dancers and drummers featured in the smaller llamadas parades each night through the Barrio Sur and Palermo and murga, a type of street theatre with parody, satire, singing and dancing by performers wearing elaborate costumes and make-up, staged in every city neighbourhood and visited by judges in order to select the festival's best acts.

First weekend in February: National Folk Festival (national event)

Held each year since 1973 in Durazno, a city about 168 kilometres (104 miles) north of Montevideo, this is the most important folklore event in Uruguay, also including performances by leading Uruguayan singer-songwriters and groups outside the genre, a cavalry parade and displays of gaucho skills.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

May 18: Battle of Las Piedras Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the battle fought on this day in 1811, considered as a key turning point in the struggle for Uruguayan independence, when troops led by José Gervasio Artigas defeated forces loyal to Spain at this town not far from Montevideo. Celebrations include a long and festive procession through Montevideo to the moving and massive mausoleum holding the general's remains at the centre of Plaza Independencia, where a solemn ceremony is held to remember the father of Uruguayan independence.

Last weekend of September or first weekend of October: Días del Patrimonio (Heritage Days, national holiday)

This festival highlights Uruguay's cultural heritage, focusing in particular on dance, architecture and oral traditions. Museums organize special events and other historic buildings and monuments normally closed to the public open their doors for guided tours.

August 25: Independence Day (national holiday)

Celebrations are held in Montevideo's Plaza Independencia to commemorate the recognition of Uruguay's independence in a treaty signed with Argentina and Brazil on this day in 1825. After the speeches and official ceremonies in the afternoon, the festivities, including a reprise of the Carnival's llamadas but without costumes, often continue on until the early hours of the morning throughout the city.

October 12: Día de la Raza (national holiday)

On this day, Uruguay and several other South American countries pay tribute to the struggles against the European invaders having first arrived on these shores in 1492. Commemorations also mark the beginning of the mixing of peoples – indigenous, European, Asian and African – and celebrate the cultural richness engendered by this process. For the entire day, Montevideo's streets are given over to parades with elaborately costumed participants, candombé dancers and drummers, and folk music performances.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Montevideo

Montevideo has a subtropical climate. Summers are hot, with frequent thunderstorms. Winters are mild, with temperatures never dropping below freezing. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly year-round, although the months at the height of the winter (July and August) tend to be the wettest. Despite the usual lack of extremes, the weather can change abruptly, when the chilly pampero blows in from the south-west, or when the warmer sudestada brings rain from the south-east.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 18/64 28/82 90/3.5 Good period to go Good period to go
February 18/64 27/81 90/3.5 Good period to go Good period to go
March 16/61 25/77 100/3.9 Good period to go Good period to go
April 13/55 22/72 85/3.3 Not the best period to go
May 10/50 18/64 90/3.5 Not the best period to go
June 7/45 15/59 90/3.5 Not the best period to go
July 7/45 15/59 95/3.7 Not the best period to go
August 7/45 16/61 95/3.7 Not the best period to go
September 9/48 18/64 90/3.5 Not the best period to go
October 11/52 20/68 107/4.2 Not the best period to go
November 13/55 23/73 95/3.7 Not the best period to go
December 16/61 26/79 75/3.0 Good period to go Good period to go
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Montevideo Carrasco International Airport

Montevideo's Carrasco International Airport is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) east of the city centre.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Montevideo and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via Avenida de las Americas.
    • Both short- and long-term parking facilities are available (UYU 60 for 1 hour or any fraction thereof, UYU 360 per day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By bus
    • Buses 700, 701, 704, 710 and 711 operated by Copsa connect the airport with the Terminal Suburbana in the city centre, not far from Plaza del Entrevero. The trip takes about 45 minutes and the fare is UYU 32 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis operated by Taxis Aeropuerto, the only company authorized to provide taxi services from the airport, are available at the ranks outside the terminal. The trip to central Montevideo takes about 20 minutes and costs around UYU 1,300.

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GETTING AROUND Montevideo

Montevideo covers a relatively large area. Despite considerable progress made in recent years, its public transport system remains rather disorganized. Municipal buses and taxis are the only ways to get from one district to another.

By bus

Several bus companies operate in Montevideo, serving the entire metropolitan area. The main bus terminal, Tres Cruces, is located north-east of the city centre. A single ticket costs UYU 16.

Note: Buses do not automatically make every stop. Be sure to wave to the driver to signal that you would like him to stop to pick you up.

By taxi

Taxis are a convenient and relatively inexpensive solution for getting around Montevideo. The city's black-and-yellow taxis, most of which are recent models, are all metered. They come in handy at times when the buses are not running. The initial charge is UYU 33.50, then UYU 15.50 per kilometre.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Montevideo, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Ministerio de Turismo del Uruguay

Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.

  • Address: Rambla 25 de Agosto de 1825 s/n (corner Yacaré pedestrian street), Montevideo
  • Telephone: +598 2188 5100
  • Website: http://www.uruguaynatural.com

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Currency and Exchange Rates

EUR 1 = UYU 34,55

UYU 1 = EUR 0,03

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel.

Vaccinations

Booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines are mandatory for visitors to Uruguay.

In addition, the following vaccines are recommended:

  • typhoid, hepatitis A and B

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Drinking tap water in Montevideo is not recommended. It is prudent to drink bottled mineral water instead.

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Administrative formalities

For the complete list of countries whose citizens or nationals need a visa to enter Uruguay, visit the website of Uruguay’s National Directorate for Migration:

For the complete list of countries whose citizens or nationals need a visa to enter Uruguay, visit the website of Uruguay’s National Directorate for Migration: >:https://migracion.minterior.gub.uy/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1280

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Spanish phrases that will make your stay in Montevideo a little easier:

Good day / Good morning: ¡Buenos días!

Good afternoon / Good evening: ¡Buenas tardes!

Good evening / Good night: Buenas noches

Good-bye: Adiós

See you (later): ¡Hasta luego!

Yes:

No: No

No, thank you: No, gracias

Thank you very much: Muchas gracias

I don't understand: No entiendo

Could you repeat that: ¿Puede repetir?

Please: Por favor

What time is it: ¿Que hora es?

Excuse me: Disculpe (to say sorry) / Con permiso (to get past) / ¡Por favor! (to get attention).

Airport: Aeropuerto

Train station: Estación de trenes

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Hospital

Bank: Banco

Telephone: Teléfono

I'm (…): Yo soy (…).

I'm looking for (…): Estoy buscando (…).

How much is it: ¿Cuánto es?

Do you have (…): ¿Tiene (…)

Where can I find (…): ¿Dónde puedo encontrar (…)?

Where can I buy (…): ¿Dónde puedo comprar (…)?

I'd like (…): Quisiera (…).

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Good to know

intl. access code + 598
+ phone number (calls to Montevideo)
-3 : 00
of time difference with
Dublin
Start of daylight saving time: first Sunday in October
End of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March

Banks
Usually open Monday to Friday from noon to 5 p.m.
Government Offices
Typically open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
As is the case for most Latin American countries, tipping is not required in Uruguay. However, to reward good service it is customary to leave a little something extra. In restaurants and bars, the appropriate amount is between 10 and 15 percent of the bill and a bit less if a service charge is already included.