The main bus terminal in Montevideo is located about 3km east from the historic centre. It's a very modern terminal with all the facilities you need such as left-luggage (free if you have a trip within 2 hours of depositing bags), an Internet cafe, a helpful tourist information, ATMs, a supermarket, cafes and a restaurant. Nearly all Uruguayan bus routes radiate from Tres Cruces so most travellers to Uruguay will pass through the terminal at some point.
The easiest way into the centre of town from the terminal is on one of the many local buses which run from outside the terminal to Plaza Independiente. The bus takes about 15 minutes and costs less than a dollar.
Ride the bus! I thought I would never ride the bus, never catch me on one until the $25 round trip via taxi to Carrasco was eating away at my wallet. They are safe, and believe it or not, fun! Great way to see the city on the cheap and people watch. You can't beat it for 15 pesos. There are also direct buses signified by the letter "D", such as D1, D11, etc. they cost 19 pesos.
Need to catch another bus ask for a una hora, easy to do, as you get on the bus and hand the driver your pesos just say "una hora", make sure they acknowledge you, look at your ticket, if it says "Comun" give it back and ask for a una hora again, they'll understand. This pass will allow you to transfer to another bus for free.
I ride the bus all the time and have never had any problems, I hardly speak any espanol as well.
If you would like to search which buses (omnibus) will help you get from one place to another in the city of Montevideo, check the following online tool: www.montevideobus.com
It's a lot of help, given the lack of information on Montevideo's public transport system.
A bus ticket to MVD from Colonia cost 153P/$6.12USD and took a bit over 2 hours. This bus terminal was very nice, clean and modern. The best part was finding an office dispensing tourist info, maps and hotel bookings. They spoke English and were incredibly helpful.
We told them what kind of hotel we wanted and the desired location. They had pictures, prices and room information. They helped us to decide which ones seemed to meet our needs and called around until they found one that had the type of room we wanted. Much easier than us wandering around, guidebook in hand and just hoping for the best. No charge to us for this service.
One of the men from the tourist office then escorted us to a Buquebus office in the terminal where we were able to book a city tour for the next day. Cost $10USD each.
We then hired a remis to take us to our hotel downtown. The cost was 65P/$2.60USD. We were told a taxi might be cheaper, assuming the driver didn't drive around town a bit.
Figured I'd stick this picture here. I personally didn't take the bus, and heard stories about people getting robbed on the buses. But don't let that scare you, every city has it's stories, including Chicago!
Well, Andrea and I TRIED about 3 times perhaps to take a bus, but each time we ended up hailing cabs. Probably because it was a Sunday and the cabs were simply non-existent! How sad... I really wanted to ride the bus for local flavah and all, but when time is limited, it's time to cab it... and they weren't too expensive at all. They seem to be just about everywhere and you aren't too likely to be screwed either... Very interesting!
Buses are a good way to get around Montevideo. They are safe, clean and they pass pretty often so you won't be waiting that much. Just to give you an idea a bus may pass every 5 to 25 minutes depending on the time and place where you are (at late night times change and you may have to wait longer).
When taking a bus you will have to pay a fee which is in general cheap (about 60 cents of us dollar), you should tell the driver where you want to go and he will give you your ticket. If you are not sure where to get out of the bus you should try telling the driver (in spanish, otherwise he won't understand) and he will tell you when you got to the place you wanna go.
I do not know if this is a Transportation Tip, a Local Custom Tip or a Must See Activity Tip... Get into a bus (here we call them "ómnibus") and go everywhere; on a half an hour trip, you will see all kind of persons getting into the bus: salesmen (they sell candies, lighters, pens, magazines, or what you want), singers and actors performing in exchange of some coins, and unfortunately, beggars (evern children asking for money).
No sé si esto es un comentario sobre transporte, sobre costumbres locales o acerca de las actividades que se deben ver... Toma un ómnibus y ve a cualquier parte; en un viaje de media hora, verás todo tipo de personas subiendo al bus: vendedores ambulantes (que venden golosinas, encendedores, lapiceras, revistas, o lo que quieras), cantantes y actores que hacen una represntación, y lamentablemente, mendigos (incluso niños pidiendo dinero).
Moving inside Montevideo during days hours is easy. Bus ticket is only the equivalent of usd 0,5. At night the frecuency is realy less, almost null.
As I said before, no distance take more than 40 min. to be covered.
The International Airport (Carrasco) is 40 min. from down town. To take a taxi there (yellow), at the airport is expensive (about usd 10), you´d better take a bus "Interdepartamental" is about usd 0,75.
If you take a taxi inside Montevideo (yellow and black) please be carefull with the change, they almost never have change.
NO BUS TICKET CAN BE BOUGHT IN OTHER CURRENCY THAN PESOS URUGUAYOS.
You`ll find a lot of exchanges in this city.
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