Montevideo Shopping

We now live within walking distance of Montevideo Shopping, one of the few shopping malls in the city. To get there it’s a nice 20 minute walk through residential neighborhoods.

The mall has a Tienda Inglesa in it. There are a couple of these stores around Montevideo and they specialize in getting and having American goods (of course marked up in price because of the import taxes). On our first trip to Montevideo Shopping our goal was to obtain a surge protector/converter that would function with our electronics (the plug shape here is three prongs in a line) and we knew we could find it at Tienda Inglesa.

The rest of the mall was a little confusing. We found the food court, which is a bit smaller than the one at the Punta Carrettas Shopping mall. It seemed that the shape of the mall was a large square with a space in the middle and the floors only connected at the corners. There also seemed to be one bathroom. No matter where we were the bathroom signs inevitably led back to the food court.

There were lots of shoe stores, book stores, and clothing stores, just like anywhere else.

In front of the mall there is a nice plaza with a couple of restaurants and bank offices. There are art exhibits/statues featured in the plaza which I found particularly interesting.


The Mall at Punta Carretas

We have now been to this mall twice. Once to try and find phones and this time to try and find fresh herbs. It is approximately a two mile walk from our house. The supermarket near our house has some fresh herbs, but doesn’t have cilantro, parsley or dill. We wanted to get some cilantro to include in our next project, making empanadas!

Entrance to the Punta Carettas mall.

The mall is very similar to malls in the U.S. There are lots of stores, lots of little places to eat. They have a food court that includes the token chinese food, mexican food, McDonalds and Burger King. We couldn’t really understand why the lines were so long at the McDonalds and Burger King when people could get fresh made chivitos, pasta, or pizza for the same price or cheaper. I bet it has something to do with the super-size coke. Most other places include drinks that are small (i.e. less than a can of soda), whereas McDonalds has the same 20 oz beverage as their small size. We enjoyed the chivitos and fresh pasta!

The mall is huge. It has three separate floors and skylights in the ceiling. There seem to be a lot of people wandering the mall on the weekends, possibly taking advantage of the air conditioning. In the summer this can be a big deal, as most people and other small stores don’t have air conditioning.

Inside the Punta Carettas mall looking down from the third floor.

The mall has a movie theater. Matinee price is about $6US and regular price is about $8. It looked like all the movies were in spanish so that might be a good adventure for the future.

There are many lots of little stands selling a variety of goods including: phones, hair bands, scarves, mate paraphernalia, jewelry, and trinkets. Most of the stores are fairly small and packed with merchandise. Many things are expensive. For example, a large paperback book can cost more than $20US. Again, the more expensive things are those that are imported.

There is a very large supermarket in the mall which has a wonderful produce section where we found our cilantro and dill. In most independent stores, including the supermarket at the mall, people are required to deposit their bags into a locker before going into the store. Stores have lockers with keys set up at the entrances just for this purpose. People are allowed to take purses with them into the store, but not backpacks or shopping bags. A security guard usually observes. I guess this is one of the measures put into place to deter petty theft.