What they don’t tell you about Valparaíso..
Now, if you are anything like us, before you’re due to head off to Valparaíso you’ve looked it up and got excited about all the photos of bright colours, amazing street art and hippy vibes.
Don’t get us wrong, Valparaíso does indeed have all of the above but what fails to be shown anywhere is that the city is built uphill with the top being a haven of funky coloured goodness whilst the bottom... well, looks much the opposite.
Cool funicular trains can be taken to the top (which we’ll tell you about soon) but just as a word of warning, as we were taken by surprise, the bottom of Valparaíso is pretty grey rather than very pretty.
Enough about the lows though, let’s get to the highs. Valparaíso is an awesome place and here are 10 things you should do whilst you’re there...
Top 10 Things To Do
1. Take a Funicular
So, as mentioned earlier, funicular trains can be used to head up to the top. Valparaiso has some particularly interesting ones, including one that reaches a UNESCO world heritage site and another with a sitting room and bathroom aboard! They’re not expensive either but feel free to head up the stairs instead if that’s what you fancy.
Head up Ascensor Espíritu Santo for the open sky museum or Cerro Concepcion to get to the main area of Valparaíso.
2. Take an Old Electric Bus
Get from the centre of the city to the funiculars with a trolebus. Feel like you’ve gone back in time with these electric run buses.
3. Museo Cielo Abierto
Translating to the museum of the open sky, this is literally an open showcase of some of the finest pieces of street art in Valparaíso.
4. Just Simply Stroll and Observe.
There is something to see everywhere you go in the highlands of Valparaíso, whether it’s the street art, a funky cafe, art galleries or boutique shops. All of these are best discovered first hand with no guidance.
5. The “We are not hippies, we are happies” Sign
You can’t miss this sign whilst strolling around and it’s one you can’t resist a photo with.
Brighton is a great spot to chill and enjoy a local Pisco Sour with cool views of the surrounding area. Also, if you look down from the outside seating area here, you will notice the market worth visiting.
7. Piano Stairs
Another photo worthy section of Valparaíso. Take a perch on the piano decorated stairs and snap some memories.
This is the market that can be seen from Brighton. Here you can purchase some tasty artisanal alforhores or try out Chile’s version of dulce de leche, called manjar. For those fancying something a little more cheeky, you can also grab a weed cookie.
There are lots of lovely boutique shops in Valparaíso with copious amounts of unique handmade products, trendy clothes and all your souvenir needs.
10. Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar is the upmarket city next to Valparaíso, which only takes approx. 1 hour to get to by bus. If you have some time, it is definitely worth a day trip or you might even want to stay here during your visit to Valparaíso. Read our guide to Vina del Mar here.
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