The street scene in Chile’s Valparaíso is colorful. The city buildings glow in all shades of the rainbow. The designers have really let their imagination fly when designing Valparaiso houses. Some fall in love with the bohemian and colorful atmosphere of Valparaíso, while others want to get out of the shabby and confusing city as soon as possible.
VALPARAISO AS A DESTINATION
Valparaiso is a bohemian city
About a two-hour bus ride from the Chilean capital Santiago, Valparaiso is famous above all for its colorfulness, bohemianism and interesting architecture.
The houses of the town, located on top of and at the foot of more than 40 hills, are like being thrown into the landscape of shock, and bright colors have been used unprejudicedly on the facades.
Art around almost every corner
Art can be found everywhere and you don’t have to walk very many meters to find another more stunning mural. The main attraction of Valparaiso is the city itself and the best of the city’s senses by strolling up and down the hills, wandering the narrow alleys and climbing countless stairs to always find something new and unprecedented around the corner.
In Valparaiso, you should visit at least the house of the poet Pablo Neruda La Sebastiana, the free open-air museum Cielo Abierto, the squares and the churches. The nearby town of Viña del Mar and its beaches are also worth a visit for one or more days. There are some shopping opportunities, but there is no shopper’s paradise in Valparaiso.
Heat in the winter months
Valparaiso has a summer from December to March, when the weather is warm and sunny. In the winter, from May to September, the weather is cool, so beach life can be forgotten, but for the city traveler, Valparaiso is also suitable for the winter months.
Valparaiso is a reasonably safe city, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your bag and avoid moving alone in dark alleys. England is doing pretty well, but Spanish skills are a lot of help.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN VALPARAISO
There are no direct flights from Finland to Valparaiso
Valparaiso is best reached by flying to Santiago and continuing on by bus.
There are no direct flights from Finland to Santiago, but you can fly through several European cities with one change. Flight prices move from about a thousand euros upwards. The bus ride from Santiago to Valparaíso takes about two hours and there are several bus companies.
Lots of affordable accommodation
Valparaiso offers a wide range of accommodation options and prices are on average slightly cheaper than in Santiago or the neighboring Viña del Mar.
It is most convenient to book accommodation in the downtown area and the Concepción area in particular is charming in its beauty. In Valparaiso you will find especially cheaper bed and breakfast accommodation, hostels and small hotels.
In Valparaiso, it is easiest to move on foot, as the city is a reasonable size. Buses run on the main streets and the metro runs along the beach to Viña del Mar. The hills are conveniently accessible by lifts, ascencors built into the slopes.
ATTRACTIONS OF VALPARAISO
Pablo Neruda’s house
At the top of Florida Hill is the house of Chile’s most famous poet Pablo Neruda, La Sebastiana, which now also houses a museum and a small café.
The house can be reached by bus or climbing up the slope, but in terms of views, the best option is to walk down Alemania Street from the Concepción area to the house. Along the street there are magnificent views over the city and the long sea.
Museo a Cielo Abierto
Cielo Abierto is a very informal museum located in the middle of the city in the midst of normal residential buildings. There is no actual entrance to the museum, but there are maps in Valparaiso showing the route between the houses.
Along the way, one can admire the works painted by the artists on the walls, which, however, do not necessarily have the same effect as other street art found around the city. Cielo Abierto is free.
Viña del Mar.
The town of Viña del Mar is about a ten minute metro ride from Valparaíso and Viña is actually larger than Valparaíso. Viña del Mar is famous above all for its gardens and parks, which are much to be found in the city.
At least Quinta Vergara Park, right next to the city center, and on the outskirts of Laguna Sausalito, next to the stadium and golf course. Viña also has the best beaches in the area, old castles and good museums.