Mercado del Puerto is a well known indoor market in the oldest part of Montevideo, close to the port. It's a beautiful and atmospheric old market, and contains some of the city´s best known restaurants, but it´s very difficult to appreciate it as waiters call out to you or approach you as soon as you pass close to any restaurant. This isn't something we experienced anywhere else in Montevideo - or even anywhere in Uruguay - and it made exploring the market difficult as you constantly had to say "no, gracias" to everyone.
The market seems as popular with locals as with tourists, and the restaurants here did look quite nice and inviting, though they were more expensive than average. However, being approached by a waiter and having a menu pushed in my face usually puts me off a restaurant so we didn't stop to eat here.
Casa Mario is a "leather factory." They have vans that bring customers from hotels, cruiseships, churches and caves . Once there you will find all sorts of leather goods, most at prices higher than other shops. The place is packed with tourists being dumped by one van after another. Staff can speak any language from English to French to Japanese. Tour guides are outside offering tours, and shills lead you to their adjacent souvenir shop. the leather is good, but you can do better pricewise, elsewhere.
Unique Suggestions: Go across the street to the shop selling some of the best quality and best priced crystal and stones in all of Uruguay.
Fun Alternatives: There are other leather shops throughout the city.
If you're thinking to travel to Uruguay and nobody has ever told you about the tax you have to pay before leaving the country, be awared about the U$30 tax that the governemnt charges you (tourist) just to leave the country.
It's an absurd, I have never seen this kind of tax in all countries I visited and I heard about it, but once you are there, you must need to pay. For families and students traveling abroad it's a considerable amount, my family has 5 members and we had to pay U$150, very expensive just for a leaving tax...
When I purchase my car insurance over the internet for about $12 a day there was no mention of having to pay another $7 a day in tax just on the insurance. Both the men in the National-Budget insisted that this was a required fee no matter from where you purchased your insurance. I felt trapped. They really wanted me to switch to the Budget insurance and this would have cost $2 less than I had already paid. I decide not to give them the business or deal with trying to get a refund.
Unique Suggestions: I think that being forewarned will help make this more bearable. I still seems to me to be an unreasonable tax, so you might try to resist more than I did. Maybe only I was trapped.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to rent a car in Uruguay it may be that the saying applies,"Only taxes and death are inevitable."
You could of course takes buses or make a bicycle trip.
A city trip was included in the ticket price. It took a whole day and it was sooo boring! They hardly showed us the old area and spent the rest of the day listening to the history of Artigas, the father of the country, and visiting the neighborhoods where the Ambassadors lived. All that from a bus whose windows where almost covered by advertising. Besides the food in a 'typical' restaurant was disgusting.
When we got off the boat they had a bus to take us to the leather store 'Casa Mario' the prices seemed to de close to double of some of the other stores in town.