Shopping in Montevideo is concentrated in a few downtown shops, markets, and in three major shopping centers. In Uruguayan stores, expect to find leather goods, jewelry, and local crafts and textiles -- including sweaters, cardigan jackets, ponchos, coats, and tapestries made of high-quality wool (Uruguay is one of the world's largest exporters of wool). International stores carry American and European products. Montevideo's most fashionable mall is the Punta Carretas Shopping Center, Calle Ellauri and Solano, on the site of a former prison next to the Sheraton hotel. Downtown, the Montevideo Shopping Center, Av. Luis Alberto de Herrera 1290, is the city's original mall, with more than 180 stores and a 10-screen theater. Portones de Carrasco, avenidas Bolivia and Italia, is another recommended shopping center in the Carrasco neighborhood. Tres Cruces Shopping Mall is part of the bus terminal complex, with dozens of shops. It's at Avenida Serra with Acevedo Díaz (tel. 02/408 8710; www.trescruces.com.uy). Leather goods at great prices are at Casa Mario Leather Factory, Piedras 641 at Bartolomo Mitre (tel. 02/916-2356; www.casamarioleather.com).
Markets -- The Villa Biarritz fair, at Parque Zorilla de San Martín-Ellauri, takes place Saturday from 9:30am to 3pm and features handicrafts, antiques, books, fruit and vegetable vendors, flowers, and other goodies. The Mercado del Puerto (Port Market) ★★ opens afternoons and weekends at Piedras and Yacaré, letting you sample the flavors of Uruguay, from small empanadas to enormous barbecued meats. Saturday is the best day to visit, when cultural activities accompany the market. Tristán Narvaja, Avenida 18 de Julio in the Cordón neighborhood, is the city's Sunday flea market (6am-3pm), initiated more than 50 years ago by Italian immigrants. De la Abundancia/Artesanos is a combined food and handicrafts market. It takes place Monday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm at San José 1312.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.