Argentina versus Uruguay


Its been a few years since I have been in Montevideo and I have to say that this time I liked it a lot . The issue I had in the past was that I stayed in Ciudad Vieja which has a very different vibe to the wealthy upmarket neighbourhoods of the city . In the neighbourhoods of Carrasco . Pocitos . Punta Carretas would put Recoleta to shame today.
All very clean neighbourhoods , with beautiful plazas, stunning beachfront and incredible array of restaurants ( not much international food but meat does taste much better in Uruguay ) Carrasco Montevideo is very chic and laid back at the same time and was my favourite neighbourhood of Montevideo . The economy here does not seem to be affected by crisis as Argentina, shops and restaurants were more full of people . . It is certainly dearer than Buenos Aires with restaurant prices, taxi prices, being 25% or more . Property prices seem exceptionally high and I have heard that in the upmarket neighbourhood of Pocitos that the Forum building can fetch US$ 10,000 a metre . This value would be very hard to achieve in Buenos Aires even for the Le Parque Building of Figeroa Alcorta .

I am curious to ask the members what their opinion is about living in Montivideo full time and how it compares to Buenos Aires ?

Thank you in advance
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I like Montevideo a lot- but it is expensive, and, well, kinda quiet. I would get bored there, long term. A week or so is enough for me.
The restaurants are getting better every year- try the Tapas at Toledo.
I also really enjoy the architecture, and the art museums and exhibition spaces.
What other city has restored not one but TWO prisons into both a Mall, and a Museum?
I always make sure to buy a shirt at El Horneo- most things in Uruguay are made in China, but El Horneo has Urugayan fibers made into traditional Urugayan mens clothing- very retro. I like the 4 pocket mens shirts that look like Filipino guayberas, myself.


Uruguay has an uptick in crime, and not just a slight one, a major rise in murder rates because of the robberies. it's the young unemployed, self-entitled, emboldened generation with ideas on how to take away from others...


I usually go every summer for a week or ten days, and have not found it particularly dangerous. Of course, I had my workshop in South Central LA for ten years...
But minimal street awareness in the downtown areas of Montevideo is not a bad idea- leave the rolex and Nikon at home, and you will probably be fine.
In the country, its incredibly mellow- people are very sweet, and it does not feel dangerous to me at all.
and on the beach, it is quite common to see young ladies in bikinis hitchhiking- which would be considered suicidal in every beach town I have ever been to in the USA.
I am sure there is crime there- there is crime everywhere. Dont leave your computer in a rental car. Dont flash wads of cash, and dont wander around drunk as a skunk, and I doubt you will have problems in Uruguay.


Active Member
I’ve been to different parts of Uruguay, different times of year, probably 7 or 8 times. The first time I went to Montevideo with friends from BA, they introduced it by saying, “it’s a very nice city.” I concur. It’s nice, but kinda zzzzzz. Maybe a good place to retire if they sort out the crime wave? I’d still take BA any day.


I have friends in BA who have been going to Montevideo for at least 30 years, and they tell me, every year, they expect it to get discovered, and improved, and hipsterized- and, every year, its the same sleepy burg where most things close at 7 at night and the streets are empty. Its population is a million people, but it reminds me of US towns of 40,000 in terms of street life.
It is, slowly, getting better and more interesting- but a good example is there is ONE decent club that does late night electronic dance music- and its open one, sometimes 2 nights a week, for maybe 9 months of the year. In BA, there are at least 2 dozen options 365 days of the year.

Pierre Smith

The vast majority of people who travel abroad don't live in those areas with all that crime. Most Americans traveling abroad want to avoid dangerous places abroad even more than they want to avoid (and do avoid) dangerous places in the US. Example: I live in San Francisco, I see a cheap flight to St. Louis. I don't have a plan to visit St. Louis but a weekend away would be nice and I like to visit new places. I do some cursory research and discover that St. Louis has the higher crime rate in the United States. I decide not to go. Are there nice parts of St. Louis? Maybe. Nice people? Probably. Good food? Almost certainly. But why bother if I can go somewhere safer with all of those things too.

Anyway, this attitude is the main reason that there's very little tourism (relatively speaking) to Brazil from the US among people without a Brazilian heritage. No matter how safe some areas might be, the well known ultra high levels of crime in many parts of Brazil trigger that feeling of "well, I'll just go somewhere safer." Jamaica, Trinidad, much of Mexico, Colombia, almost all of Central America - you're getting cruise ships, adventurous tourists, very plugged-in types or people with that background who moved to the US or whose parents did.

That's a long way of saying that it matters a lot if crime gets worse. Even a place like Paris, if crime got bad there, fewer people would go.