Uruguayans like to shop. It comes as no surprise then that Uruguayâ€™s capital and most populous city presents many, varied shopping options to the visitor, including four large malls, called â€śshoppings,â€ť and a plethora of outdoor markets to choose from. Tres Crucesâ€”a neighborhood wedged between El Centro and Pocitosâ€”has a combined shopping mall and bus terminal with several restaurants and cheap stores for all your last-minute travel needs. Punta Carretas is the nicest of the shoppings and features a food court with views of the coast. Most of the malls also have a grocery store, pharmacy, dry cleaner and post office housed on the premises. Ironically, Punta Carretas Shopping, while serving today as a place where the elite go to see and be seen and have coffee, was formerly the site of a maximum-security prison. Traces of this past can be seen in the front gate facing EllaurĂ. Not all shopping in Montevideo is done indoors, however: For tourist souvenirs, the Ferias de Tristan Narvaja, Biarritz and Parque RodĂł feature excellent, inexpensive hand-made goods. In Ciudad Vieja, the Peatonal SarandĂ also hosts a myriad of vendors peddling artesanĂas and other keepsakes. The Mercado de la Abundancia near the Intendencia is another good venue for souvenir shopping.
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