Valparaiso: Exploring Chile’s Seaside City


While we didn’t love Santiago, Valparaiso was a dream! This colorful seaside city reminded us of San Francisco in all the best ways. It is so close to Santiago but feels like a world away.

Read about our entire Chile trip here.

colorful valparaiso

Getting to Valparaiso

Simply take a bus! Take the subway to the Pajaritos stop in Santiago then buy your bus tickets in person. Buses leave frequently and it is affordable. It costs about $10 and took around 2 hours.

Where to Stay in Valparaiso

We had the best Airbnb in Valparaiso. You must stay here! It is a huge old home with an ocean view rooftop deck for $30 a night! It is a little outside of the center but the bus runs so frequently and is super cheap. We really enjoyed our stay here. Bonus: There are some amazing sunsets from the balcony!

balcony at airbnb valparaiso

Haven’t tried out Airbnb yet? Click here to get a $40 travel credit.

What to Do in Valparaiso

Do a Self-Guided Street Art Tour

Google a few images of Valparaiso and you will see tons of street art selfies. The art here is unique, beautiful, and EVERYWHERE! Grab your camera and head to Cerro Concepcion to start a self-guided street art tour!

painting valparaiso

Ride the Funicular

These steep trains make getting up the city hills more accessible. While at first they seem like a fun ride, you are soon using them as regular public transportation. They are still a novelty though. They reminded us of the funicular we rode in Bogota.


Take a Boat Tour in the Bay

Head to Muelle Prat where for around $5 you can boat around the bay. You can really capture the view of the entire city while hearing some history and adoring the goofy sea lions. Plus it is just nice to be on the water.


Visit Mercado Cardonal

This market by the bus terminal is a cool spot to buy some fresh produce or simply stroll around. There are grocery carts full of crabs and bizarre looking fruits. If you’re feeling adventurous try some street ceviche. We did and it was great!

Head upstairs for some delicious local seafood. There are a few restaurants selling basically the same menu. Simply order “lunch” or “almuerzo” and you’ll likely get something yummy.

seafood market

Take a Day-Trip to Viña del Mar and Casablanca

Viña del Mar is right beside Valparaiso and if Valparaiso is San Francisco Vina del Mar is definitely San Diego. With mostly white buildings it is a contrast to colorful Valparaiso but it has beautiful beaches and nice parks. Read more about visiting Vina del Mar here.

Casablanca is Chile’s wine region and is only an hour away. It is a perfect day trip to do some wine tasting. Read all about visiting the Casablanca wineries here.

Where to Eat in Valparaiso

Food Truck Park

There is a small food truck park with a variety of options which is always a nice choice. We had salchipapas and empanadas. It reminded me of the one we ate at in Salento.

Emporia La Rosa

This ice cream place in the center of town and is so amazing! They have such unique flavors like basil and rose. Just thinking about it makes me drool!

Altamira Brewery

We visited Altamira Brewery for a few beers and it was a good, fun vibe. We didn’t eat here but they had food that looked good!

Covina Barbones

This all outdoor restaurant has a cool vibe including a DJ, games on the menu, and huge family style portions. Totally recommendable for a casual dinner.

Mar de Amores

We had a little date night at this cute seafood restaurant which naturally consisted of ceviche. It was so delicious! Insider Tip: you can BYOB wine!

Getting Around Valparaiso

Getting around Valparaiso is easy. We primarily took the bus which was super cheap and easy to navigate. The main street runs parallel to the ocean and town so even if you get on the wrong bus simply hop on and you’ll likely find your way.

We used Uber a couple of times as well. It is cheaper than taxis and reliable. If you must use a taxi (can’t you tell we don’t like them!?) they are reasonably priced and readily available.

I didn’t know what to expect for Valparaiso and I left in love. It is such a cool city and is definitely worth a visit when in the Santiago area.

Want more information to plan your trip to Valparaiso? Check out the Chile Lonely Planet here.

Very happy in Valparaiso,


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