Greater Valparaíso is a metropolitan area that actually includes 2 towns: Valparaiso, our UNESCO World Heritage Site and Viña del Mar our lovely beach resort town, both just 10 minutes away by bus. We could say that these 2 towns are very different from one each other but bound by the sea: in one hand we have Valparaiso, once the most important port of south pacific, before the Panama channel was open. Tourists from all over the world agree that it’s the bohemia and charm of Valparaíso that makes it unique. Here you can visit our hills and admire our different form of artwork, houses, since they are painted in every color you can imagine. And in the other hand we have Viña del Mar, probably you would be happy to know that this is the most important beach in the country and also it plays as the host of a famous (at least in Chile) music festival every year in mid-February called "Festival de la Canción de Viña del Mar". But what they have in common is that they all look towards the sea, which inspired hundreds of poets and singers in our country
Hospital Carlos Van Buren
Hospital Gustavo Fricke
Provided by a Host family.
Provided by a Host family.
Buses and metro are available in this city
- Cerros Alegre and Concepción
- Plaza Echaurren – Serrano Street
- Cerro Bellavista: residential area & artistic hill with colorful murals
- Museo a cielo abierto: 20 murals spread out over cerro Bellavista
- Ascensor & cerro Polanco: unique vertical funicular on Polanco hill with plenty of nice paintings
- Cerro Cordillera
- Banking area - Prat Street
- Paseo 21 de Mayo (Cerro Artilleria)
- La Matriz Church and surroundings
- Ascensores (inclines)
- La Sebastiana, one of three homes of poet Pablo Neruda (cerro Bellavista)
- Ex Cárcel, a former jail turned cultural center and concert venue
- Museo Naval y Maritimo (Naval and Maritime Museum)
- Hills and views. Valparaíso is a natural theater and our hills represent the seats of this magnificent play. What you can see as a spectator are the amazing views from every single point of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, especially at night, when all the lights are turned. At that moment you can see the magic that the poets describe.
In Viña del Mar
- La Quinta Vergara - a beautiful garden with trees from China and Canada for example. In the same place the Festival de Viñatakes places every year in the last week of February.
- Reloj de Flores - near the beaches there is a clock where the numbers are made of flowers.
- Near the beaches the hotel Miramaris located and if you continue to walk you can see Castillo Wulf, an old castle built by German immigrants and for the locals the famously Paseo Arabe. But if you ask any of the locals why it's famous, surprisingly few can answer the question.
- Near the north end of the beach there is an open air museum of naval artillery. Avoid taking pictures without asking permission from staff.
- Museo Artequin. A museum of reproductions of representative works from Western artists, which through an interactive educational methodology, aims to boost the interest in art and creativity in visitors.
- Fonck Museum. The Museum of Archaeology and History Francisco Fonck founded in 1937, it’s a varied and complete museum that’s shows objects of the native villages from Chile: Emphasizing his great cultures collection Such as Rapanui, atacameños, Diaguitas and Mapuches. In addition of a wide collection of Peruvian pre-Columbian jars. In the area of natural sciences there is a complete sample of arthropods and animals of different zones of the country.
- "Carrete" is the name that we as Chileans called "nightlife" in our country and you of course as a good student will visit one of the places that we mention in the next paragraph to have fun and meet new people. El Huevo; Alimapu Bar; Máscara; Bar Náutico; La Piedra Feliz; Stocolmo; Pub Locomotora; Club Atlantis; El Coyote Quemado; Matiz; La Tertulia; Estación Universitaria; Área Universitaria; Club la Sala, among many others. We invite you to visit Subida Ecuador, the main nightlife Street in our city.
- Going to Valparaiso and not going on the ascensores (inclines) is like going to Venice and not taking a ride on a Gondola, only that the ascensores cost as little as 300 Chilean Pesos (around 60 US cents). They are also of practical use as they help many local people get to the higher parts of town, saving them from having to walk otherwise long and steep pedestrian routes.
- During the last week in the year, Valparaiso holds an annual carnival that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Each year the festival centers around a different country, from which performers and artists are invited to come and represent their culture and their work in theater, music, and the performance arts. Most activities are free and are held outdoors. The celebration culminates with a New Year firework display that within five of the most beautiful in the planet. Oops, but get ready in time because the city's population triples on those dates. I recommend visiting the Mirador del Cerro Artillery, panoramic view of the city of Vina del Mar, Reñaca, Con Con and more ... It reaches through the "lift" Artillery, in operation since 1893 (ask for Customs plaza area), its current value is 250 Chilean pesos, on the first floor is the Mirador "Walk May 21," (delivered to the community in the year 1911) in which impossible not to enjoy the restaurant "Calaufquen", typical dishes of fresh seafood, with a fair value. We are here with a Craft Fair in which they can buy from winter clothing (ponchos, Ruan, scarves, socks, gloves, wool hats), souvenir of the most varied models and prices, up figures and jewelry from lapis lazuli (blue stone semi-precious which is only in Chile and Afghanistan), by price and quality of the stone, I recommend the last local. Also visit the Naval Museum "(500 Chilean pesos) whose income is in the midst of the Paseo.
- Enjoy del Maris a resort located close to the city center. At Enjoy del Mar you can spend sometime in their casino, eat at one of their restaurants while enjoying a fantastic view of the South Pacific and you can also treat yourself to some spa treatments. There is also a night club on the resort which is open for everyone but they do charge a cover charge and you have to dress smart.
- The Festival de la Canciónis held on the third week of February and it has been held every year since 1960. Good international artists are invited and there is a great atmosphere during the shows. The festival is held on the grounds of La Quinta Vergara which can accommodate several thousand of visitors but be sure to get your ticket some time in advance as the festival is very popular. La Quinta Vergara is a couple of blocks away from the the city centre and any local will be able to help you with directions.</do>
The local football team Everton de Viña play their home matches in Estadio Sausalito. The fans are really passionate about their team and less problems are reported from Evertons matches than from the bigger clubs of Colo-Colo and Universidad de Chile. A ticket can cost 3.500 pesos or more if bigger teams will play.
- Valparaiso, to its charm, is not a city of malls and department stores. While several large grocery stores are present, most other shopping is done in smaller, non-chain stores tucked in along crowded city streets, or with street vendors; larger chain stores (and more upscale goods) are more commonly found in nearby Viña del Mar. A large shopping center, however, is found on the eastern end of Avenida Brasil.
- Mall Marina Arauco is the biggest mall of the city, and it's also the main shopping destination. It's connected to the Espacio Urbano shopping mall, and the Boulevard Marina shopping mall by bridges. Fast fashion brands like Gap, Zara and Adolfo Dominguez have stores in this mall, and shopping in Viña del Mar is one of the main attractions for tourists and locals alike. A hidden gem of this shopping mall is the Marina Design floor, where there are great independent designer stores that carry great and unique stuff. Not for the budget conscious buyer.
- Muelle Vergarais a great place where you can buy some souvenirs and exclusive items, you'll probably won't find anywhere else. Keep in mind you must carry cash as they don't take credit cards. Don't be shy to haggle.
- Viña downtown is famous by its shopping galleries, that take up entire blocks and are hidden from the person that only goes by sidewalks. You may need an entire day to visit all these stores.
The most traditional food in Valparaiso is the Chorrillana, a heaping mound of french fries topped with steak, onion, and eggs. You can eat this in the traditional restaurant J Cruz. Fresh seafood is readily available in many small restaurants around the city, especially around the muelle (wharf) areas, and is considered a must for any seafood lover. Neighboring Viña del Mar features a much larger (and more expensive) variety of international cuisines, including Thai, Mexican, and Argentine.
There are also some restaurants which specialize in different seafood dishes near Mercado Puerto, which is near the last metro station. The more the customers dining inside the restaurants, the better the dishes you'll be likely to get.
Bakeries are located on nearly every block, and produce quite delicious breads that can be had warm and right out of the oven at almost any time throughout the day. They are best enjoyed smothered with palta, which are grown en masse in Chile (palta is the Chilean word for avocado, known in most other Spanish-speaking countries as aguacate). In addition to the many types of bread, another widely available snack to keep you settled as you walk the streets are empanadas, a flaky pastry, almost like a croissant, filled with meat or cheese.
A very popular treat in Viña del Mar is the alfajor, a typical argentinean/uruguayan type of cookie that has also popularized in the village. They can be purchased in several small pastry shops around the downtown area. Usually, alfajores are filled with caramel, fruit, or other sweets and then covered in chocolate. They are a delight for the visitor. Boxes with large quantities make memorable souvenirs, if they make it home.
An excellent seafood restaurant, located in Camino Costero, is "La Gatita" ("The Kitten"). It specialises in such typical dishes as Machas a la parmesana y Reineta (Clams with fried Reineta - a local fish).
On the second floor of the Mercado Cardonal (cnr Ave Brasil and Uruguay) there are a few excellent, cheap and midrange restaurants serving lunch.
- "Bijoux". Beautiful little Restaurant in the heart of Cerro Concepciòn. Instead of a menu card, the chef and owner comes to you and according to the daily market specialities and your wishes he creates an individual menu just for you.The food is always fresh, delicious and offers an unique experience in Chile.
- Le Filou MontpellierAlmte Montt 382. Great French-run restaurant in Cerro Concepciòn.
- EpifCalle Dr. Grossi 268, Cerro Alegre. Tastey vegetarian food and drinks at reasonable prices. Cozy cafe environment with great music and service.
- "Delicatessen Emporio" Beautiful food in a small, romantic setting. Carpaccio with oysters was exquisite, Garbanzo soup was flavorful (read: spicey), fresh and probably the best I've ever had.
- La ConcepciónPapudo 541, Cerro Concepción. Voted best restaurant in Valparaiso in many magazines and on TripAdvisor. They serve everything from daily fresh fish to classic Chilean dishes with a modern presentation.
Cafe Turri Paseo Gervasoni (by the ascensor conception) great views and good food
On weekends, the time to go out for a drink (Chilean people call it "salir de carrete") starts no earlier than midnight, though somewhat earlier during the week. The pubs and clubs close at 5 AM on weekends, and 4 AM on weekdays.
Drinking alcohol in the streets is not allowed and 18 years is the minimum age for drinking alcohol, though enforcement of these rules is somewhat lax. If you are under 18, you may not be allowed entry into some pubs.
Chile is a major wine-producing country, and bottles of fairly tasty wines can be had for slightly more than US$1.
- La Torre- offers inexpensive drinks, and is frequented by university students
- La Piedra Feliz- a more expensive and touristy club that often features salsa dancing, mosty for the older crowds
- Club El Cielo
- Club Stockolmo
- Club El Huevo- one of the largest dance clubs in Valparaiso which usually features a young crowd 
- Bar La Playa
- Mascara- caters to an artsy and gay/lesbian crowd
Many clubs and bars are also found in Viña del Mar. Public transportation and taxis continue to run throughout the night, making it entirely feasible to have accommodations in one city while going out for the night in the other.
- "Puro Cafe". One of the very few places in Chile to have real espresso, not instant coffee. The cafe has beautiful and comfortable furniture, making probably the best place in Valparaiso for coffee.
- In the context of Chile being a relatively safe country, Greater Valparaiso is amongst its more dangerous locals, like many harbour cities around the world. Mainly, watch out for pickpockets, for instance avoid hanging your purse or bag in the back of your chair when seated, because it may get stolen. Violent crime is very uncommon, but normal precautionary measures should be taken; while in the street, do not display expensive jewelry. The port area (called "Puerto") is generally considered to be dangerous even during the day.
- If you get in trouble, ask for help to the police, called "Carabineros de Chile". They wear green uniforms and are very efficient and trustworthy. Don't even think to bribe them or you will go to jail. They are very proud of their creed, and bribing is a serious offense to them.