THE CITY OF SOUND AND COLOUR
5 days in Valparaiso: The quick guide
The perfect guide to visit Valparaiso in 5 days, including where to sleep, where to eat and what to do in the city of sound and colour.
There are no better words than the ones Nobel Prize-winning Pablo Neruda to describe his beloved city: 'Valparaíso, how absurd you are… you haven't combed your hair, you've never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.' A city that is a real-life painting, where every wall is a canvas for artistic expression. A city so unique and hypnotizing to be assigned a spot on the list of World Heritage sites.
Its colourful houses cover the hills, cascading down until they touch the shores of the Pacific Ocean where its port was once the top port in Chile.
Where to sleep in Valparaiso
Splash out at Zero Hotel
Located 200 meters from Valparaíso's Yuguslavo Promenade, this beautiful hotel fits perfectly with the surroundings due to its light blue facade. Spacious rooms and all amenities, including babysitting services and massages, will make your stay just perfect.
Take it easy at Hostal La Joya
Their tagline says “working to be the best hostel in South America” and they are not far off. Designed by Zuniga Studio & Co. La Joya is possibly the coolest hostel you’ll ever visit. Offers include private rooms with private bathrooms and also dorms with semi-private beds on different floors and a bathroom. Included in the price is a full breakfast and 15% discount at the restaurant for food and drinks.
Where to eat in Valparaiso
Empanadas for lunch
All type of food is sold on the streets and our favourite is definitely empanadas. These pockets of happiness are made of bread dough (or pastry) and filled with all sorts of meat or vegetables. You can buy them from the many street stalls or at El Pato, a cute little cafe in the colourful hills of Valparaiso (we recommend their vegetarian option).
Dinner at Via Via Cafe
Set in a beautiful art deco house, this Cafe is eco-friendly (solar power kitchen) and offers an international menu. To have dinner you need to make a reservation. Make sure to sit outside under the trees.
Dinner at El Internado
El Internado had us the moment we walked into this beautiful space with tall windows and urban design. Lunch is served on a sun-kissed deck overlooking Valparaiso’s colourful houses. The menu offers local dishes in modern key, salads and sandwiches.
Where to have a drink in Valparaiso
Keep it local at El Pajarito
If you are looking for a cheap, chilled and local vibe, make your way to El Pajarito. This unpretentious bar is the place to be for the weekend. In-between local Cervezas and Pisco Sours you can enjoy Chilean music sung by golden oldie! His friend plays the keyboard in the corner while he walks the grounds, serenading young and old folks alike.
'Every wall is a canvas for artistic expression!
Top 5 things to do in Valparaiso
Walk the streets of Valparaiso to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing street art that covers the walls of the entire city centre. The hills are steeps, so be ready for some exercise or, if it's a lazy Sunday type of day, take one of the funiculars dotted around the city.
Visit Museo a Cielo Aberto, an open-air museum where twenty colourful murals are dotted through the streets. Created between 1969 and 1973 from the students of the Universidad Catolica Instituto de Arte.
Visit La Sebastiana , once the home of Pablo Neruda. The famous Chilean poet describing the house as 'seemed to float in the air, but was well settled on the ground' and composed many of his best work while overlooking the city of artists and the ocean. Entrance is 7,000 pesos, closed Sunday and Monday.
Take a day trip to Casablanca to taste local Chilean wines and discover the inland wine farm scenery. Read our tips for a budget-friendly wine tasting in Casablanca here .
Take a day trip to the Dunas de Concon to feel like you are in the desert, just half an hour from Valpo. You can watch the sun setting on the ocean while tinting the sand in gold. Read how to get to the Dunas de Concon here.