If you only have one day in Valparaíso, Chile’s second-largest city, don’t fear; here are six things to do in Valparaíso to make the most of your time and see the highlights of Valparaiso.
- Discover one of Chile’s best-known poets
Situated high up on Cerro Bellavista Hill is La Sebastiana, a key landmark in the city skyline and the former home of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. His bright, colorful, five-story home is full of personality, just like the city around it. Here you’ll learn about his life and works in a museum that’s overflowing with the poet’s personal knickknacks. Plus, there’s a stunning view of the port and wider city.
- Admire the city’s most famous street art
A ten-minute walk from La Sebastiana is the Open Air Museum (Museo a Cielo Abierto), a wonderful Valparaíso attraction because it gives insight into the city’s vibrant personality. Stroll among the twenty murals created by students from the local Pontifical Catholic University. It’s a well-known art circuit and is worth visiting, although it’s by no means the only street art you’ll find in the city.
- Lunch in Valparaíso
After a morning of hiking up and down the city’s many hills, it’s time for lunch. Get an authentic taste of Chile with some artisan empanadas, or try the caldillo de congrio (conger eel soup). To get a real feel of local cuisine, head to the Mercado Cardonal farmers' market, where you’ll find many restaurants on the second floor. These are often full of locals, so you know you’re getting an authentic taste of Valparaíso.
- Continue your street art adventure
After refueling, make your way to Avenida Alemania, where you’ll find more stunning murals. Wander along the avenue and onto Calle Cumming before heading to Calle Ecuador for more street art. The mix-and-match style along these picturesque, art-filled streets provides photo ops galore. Alternatively, you can join one of the city’s many walking tours if you’d prefer to have a guide.
- Visit a museum
Stay in the area and head down to the Natural History Museum on Calle Condell. It’s Chile’s second-oldest museum and boasts an impressive collection of 60,000 specimens. There are twenty mummies, four of which came from northern Chile’s indigenous Chinchorro people. It’s also one of the few structures to survive the 1906 earthquake, making it a significant Valparaíso landmark.
- Watch the sun go down on Cerro Concepción
Instead of climbing uphill, use the old funicular, Ascensor Concepción, to give your legs a rest. The funicular is the oldest in the city, dating back to 1883. This hilly neighborhood is the perfect spot to watch the sun set.
Even when you’re short on time, it’s still possible to experience the city’s best. With so many things to do in Valparaíso, you won’t struggle to fill the hours.