Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. The southernmost capital city in the Americas, Montevideo is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 1,319,108 (about one-third of the country's total population). The metropolitan area has just below 2 million inhabitants.
Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur and ALADI, Latin America’s leading trade blocs, position that entailed comparisons to the role of Brussels in Europe. It is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay as well as its chief port. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of a larger metropolitan area. Banking has traditionally been one of the strongest service export sectors in Uruguay.
Montevideo is often described as a "vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life", and "a thriving tech center and entrepreneurial culture", The city is also the financial and cultural hub of a larger metropolitan area, with a population of around 2 million.
Tourism accounts for much of Uruguay's economy. Tourism in Montevideo is centered in the Ciudad Vieja area, which includes the city's oldest buildings, several museums, art galleries, and nightclubs, with Sarandí Street and the Mercado del Puerto being the most frequented venues of the old city.
Montevideo is the heartland of retailing in Uruguay. The city has become the principal centre of business and real estate, including many expensive buildings and modern towers for residences and offices, surrounded by extensive green spaces.