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Things to do in Valparaíso

A major seaport city of Chile along being the educational center of the country is Valparaiso. The city has a population of 284,630 inhabitants and a population density of 710 per km2. With a very mild Mediterranean climate, the city offers rich cultural heritages and many sporting venues relevant to football, basketball, tennis and a growing network of bicycle routes.

Valparaíso attractions

There are many interesting things to do in Valparaiso and they can range from viewing the best street art in Latin America to the chaotic and active nightlife of the city and experiencing a constantly changing variety of artistic events. One of the best is the annual carnival focusing on a different country every year and encouraging international artists to represent their cultures in various theatres, musical and art performances. Other fascinating things to do in Valparaiso include taking an immersive tour of the city with the help of a German pirate who has lived in the place for years, speaks Spanish, German and English, with discounts available for groups. This tour is more informative than any other can get. For greater and recommended fun, one can also take the ‘Chilean Cuisine Cooking Class’ which also includes a full market tour with the chef to look for ingredients. Last but certainly not the least one can also opt for the award winning tours that leave the Valparaiso’s main square plaza at Sotomayor from 10am and 3pm every day. These tours includes special guides dressed as Waldo/Wally from the children’s book characters and provide you with extra information on the basis of tips hence the name “Tour for Tips”.

Places to visit in Valparaíso

For those who have the opportunity to experience the place up-close, there are many places to visit in Valparaiso, such as the amazing house of Nobel Prize winning author of Chile, Pablo Neruda. The place is known as La Sebastiana and is located on the top a hill top offering endless view of the Pacific Ocean. One of the best places to visist in Valparaiso includes visiting sites such as: • The church of Iglesia de la Martiz located in the heart of the port district, labeled as a historic monument of the city. • Plaza Anibal Pinto featuring the Fountain of Neptune, erected in 1892. • Plaza Sotomayor which is a square that is lined by buildings and has a monument honoring the Chilean sailors who fought and fell during the Battle of Iquique and the Battle of Punta. • The Cemetery of Dissidents located on the Panteon Hill, created in 1825 for the British and European residents of the time that followed the Protestant faith of Christianity. Other prominent areas of interest include: Museo del Mar Lord Cochrane, Palacio Baburizza, UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso, Chile, Monument of the Armada de Chile and the funicular railway.


Museo Del Mar Lord Cochrane

Built in 1842, this house belonged to Lord Thomas Cochrane who was a Scottish marine hero, also famous for setting up Chile’s navy. There are many appealing things to do in Museo del Mar Lord Cochrane such as visiting the various exhibits and the courtyard which gives a spectacular sight of the harbor. Being the oldest house in Valparaiso, it was converted into a museum by the Municipality of the area. Located on the Cordillera Mountain, one of the 45 hills in Valparaiso, the place offers rotating exhibits which are held throughout the year. Free entrances to the place on Tuesday to Sunday make this tour of the museum one of the best things to do in Chile. The building itself was built by the Englishman Juan Muat in colonial-style and it is where he also installed the first observatory in Chile. The naval ship models in the museum are permanent displays and most of the visits are made through making an appointment beforehand. The museum is located in Calle Merlet N°195, Cerro Cordillera and visitors can access the museum by using the Cordillera ascensor (Calle Serrano), Subida Castillo. Surrounding the area of the museum are nice gardens and plentiful trees. Since 1979, having been considered as a national monument, it has been the center of many events, conferences and meetings.

Buitl by Italian architects in 1916, this former residence of Croatian businessman, Pascual Baburizza, was eventually turned into a museum in 1971. There are many fascinating things to do in Palacio Baburizza, such as having detailed views of the art nouveau displays and exhibits that provide distinct style of philosophy and art that was applied in during the late 18th century and the early 19th century. Magnificent and remarkable details can be seen in the displays of woodwork, wrought iron and central turret. It is also known as the Museum of fine Arts of Valparaiso and hence visiting this place should be one the best things to do in Chile. The collection inside the museum consists of Juan Francisco Gonzalez, Alferdo Valenzuela Puelma, Pedro Lira and Nemesio Antunez to name a few. The collection also consists of prominent European artists like Felix Ziem, Eugene Louis Boudin, Julio Romero de Torres and others. It was in 1925 that Don Pascual acquired the property for its rare beauty only and it wasn’t until 1971 that the municipality converted into a museum. Winter schedule for the place starts from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm, with special invites to school teachers to bring students as advised by the curriculum of Ministry of Education.


UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso

UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso

One of the most wanted things to do in Chile is to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valparaiso. This colonial city represents an excellent example of late 19th century urban and architectural developments. For those who get the opportunity to do so, there are many things to do in UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso, Chile. The entire scene of the place is romantic and awe inspiring as if out of some fairytale description of a well poised writer. The hillsides are dotted by numerous church spires and the elevators help you climb up the steep parts of the hills. Being the first and most important port on the sea routes of the Pacific coast of South America, it is an extraordinary example of the industrial age of the 19th century with lots of heritage to offer. Within this place there is a pedestrian route which covers a good part of the city’s flat plain and its main hills, bringing you closer to 238 urban elements that demonstrate the cultural and architectural wealth of the place. On a fine sunny morning one can easily see this place exploding with all kinds of port activities which make the place itself exuberant to experience. One look at the overall view shows the shoreline itself curving about an extensive bay which is anchored with consignment ships, cruise liners and small vessel for work and pleasure. For the best panoramic views one can visit the undersized playground in the neighborhood of the Naval and Maritime Museum which is located at the top of the Ascensor Artilleria funicular.


Monument of the Armada de Chile

Monument of the Armada de Chile

This pale blue and gray building with some white portions is a dominator of Sotomayor Plaza in the port area of Valparaiso. Built in the year of 1906 after a major earthquake, it is the headquarters of Chilean Navy and visiting such a place like this should be on your list for things to do in Chile. The plaza is one of the main city squares in Valparaiso, and has many historical buildings and monuments to offer. One of the many things to do in Monument of the Armada de Chile is to visit the statue of Arturo Plat which is at the top of the Heroes of Iquique monument and crypt in the center of Plaza Sotomayor. The place itself comes alive during the night where you can see monument commemorating the heroes of the Naval Action at Iquique, and the headquarters of the Chilean Navy in the background making the site absolutely remarkable to look at. It was after Chile declared its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1818, that the First National Fleet was founded leading to the creation of the Chilean Navy. It was then this building along Plaza Sotomayor was built in 1901. It is now the Edificio de la Comandancia or the Naval Command headquarters and includes the offices for the navy’s commander-in-chief.


Funicular railway

Funicular railway

It comes as a pleasant surprise to many that these Ascensor in the city of Valparaiso are quite amazing and travelling in them should be your number one priority as the things to do in Chile. Dating back to the late 19th century, the slopping streets of the city are best traversed in these networks of a dozen funicular elevators full of gritty art and offering a world of their own. Travelling in one of these famed ascensores, one can find lots of things to do in funicular railway. These bouncy rides, which last for a couple of minutes for less than $1, raise you from sea levels to some of the 45 hilltops of the city. The hilltops are known as ceros and, in order to reach the top, the tickets to the ride are purchased at the station entrances, and trips are usually one-way only. Undoubtedly this way of travelling will become more memorable then the trip itself. Of what where once 33 in number only 14 remain today. These elevators were built by English, German, French and Yugoslav immigrants who had built their homes on the top of hills, and had to resolve access problems due to the precipitous topography of the area. Hence the most elegant solution was these ascensores, which carried residents quickly and directly to their neighborhoods.