When in Montevideo I stayed in Ciudad Vieja and Pocitos. If I could turn back the clock I would have come straight to Pocitos because Ciudad Vieja has nothing special to offer and is a more run down and dangerous part of town.
I had the option of exploring further east but I was quite satisfied with Pocitos. There are plenty of places to eat, some good hostels, and a beach that is easy to get to. The beach is clean with fine sand and spacious with calm waters that seem to be a mix of sea and river. The water is fairly clouded and if you look carefully it appears to contains sparkly bits, sediments that have been carried down the river maybe?
Anyway it is fine to swim in and worth a visit.
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