Free things to do in Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar is a beautiful coastal town just a short bus ride from Valparaiso and easily explored by foot. You will find some unique things to see here, which certainly shouldn't be missed if you're already visiting Santiago or Valparaiso. Best of all, the activities listed here are free! Meaning you have more pesos to spend on the food and drinks we recommend here too! Check out our guide for top places to visit in Viña del Mar.
The Flower Clock
Viña del Mar has a very unique clock made entirely of flowers! It is a sight to see and really quite mesmerising to actually watch ticking. It’s also right by the beach ‘Playa Caleta Abarca', so if you’ve got yourself a nice sunny day, you could also hit the beach for a while too.
The Castle - Castillo Wulff
South America has many beautiful ‘Plaza de Armas’ but not so many castles. Viña del Mar has one of the few you can go to check out. It's a cute little castle with an interesting glass floor feature allowing you to see the waves crashing in through a cave underneath and a nice view point to take in the Viña del Mar coastline.
Check out a Moai, actually from Easter Islander!
We aren’t one to skip epic once in a lifetime opportunities but Easter Island was sadly out of our budget. However, Viña del Mar has its own, real and original Easter Island Moai head for you to go and see outside Museo Fonck. Yes that’s right, and even better is that it’s free to visit! Whilst you're there you can pay a small fee to visit the museum too, if you'd like.
Check Out the Garden City
There is a gorgeous little park (Parque Quinta Vergara), which has a beautiful palace, a play area, a small park gym and some pretty cool bush sculptures shaped like animals - including a Whale, Elephant and maybe a dinosaur? We think! Let us know what you find!
Check Out Some Palaces!
There were a number of beautiful palaces to check out in Viña del Mar. We liked Palacio Rioja and Vegara, which you’ll find in the beautiful gardens of Parque Quinta Vergara (see above). Palacio Rioja is also a gorgeous white wash beautiful building and an easy walk away from the Moai. You’ll be able to get some lovely shots on the stairs too!
Eat Delicious Empanadas
Chile surprised us with a few delicious culinary treats! In particular, you must find Los Roldan’s empanadas! They have so many to choose from, both savoury and sweet and they are out of this world. We enjoyed the prawn and salmon ones personally, but let us know which ones you try.
Find Willy! (Donde Willy)
This place has a pretty funny name if you’re a Brit. However, the food is delicious! We tried a platter of their best seafood dishes, which was perfect for us to really embrace the Chilean cuisine. We particularly enjoyed the Parmesan Clams (Machas a la Parmesana), and the Pastel de Choclo - a special stew (either fish or meat) cooked in a small black clay pot and topped with corn mash.
Enjoy a Pisco Sour in an Iconic Bar!
La Flor de Chile is something of a landmark in Viña del Mar. Having been handed down from generation to generation since the 1930's, this bar should most definitely be your Pisco pitstop! The walls are covered with random artefacts collected over the years - some a little strange, we’ll admit but entertaining nonetheless! The Pisco Sour comes with 2 champagne glasses and the whole cocktail shaker so you actually get much more than two for a very reasonable price!