When asked: “Where shall I go in Chile?”, I always recommend the amazing city of Valparaíso. I haven’t met a person who didn’t fall in love with Valparaíso the moment their feet touched down in the city. So, today I am going to introduce you to my favourite Chilean city, Valparaíso. Often referred to as Valpo.
Valparaíso is a port city located just over 100km north of Santiago. The first thing you will notice upon arrival is the steepness of the city, which is why they say the people of Valpo have the best legs in Chile! It’s made up of steep staircases and narrow, winding alleyways. If you brave the steepness you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the port. But, if you are feeling achey you can take one of the city’s many funiculars. There are twenty two in total and these will take you up to the top of the hill for a small fee.
The real charm of the city is that it resembles an outdoor art gallery. Lots of cities around the world have street art areas, but Valpo is different. In the steep hilled area of the city there isn’t an inch of wall not covered. However, it’s not just the walls that are lined with art. Art is everywhere; on the floor, on the bins, on the chairs, on the steps. Art is what the city is all about! And art is what makes you want to keep going back for more.
Valparaíso is also home to a very special kind of home. The home of Pablo Neruda, a nobel prize winning poet, is located right at the top of the hills. Pablo Neruda has three homes in Chile, each one feeling like a museum of memories. This particular one is called ‘La Sebastiana’ and is beautiful in everyway. It is full of artefacts from his life and you are free to wander around the rooms and see for yourself where his inspiration came from.
“I built the house. First, I made it of air. Then, I raised the flag in the air and left it hanging from the sky, from the light and the darkness.” Pablo Neruda – excerpt from “To La Sebastiana”
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a bit of Valparaíso! Which city do you love the most?
This post was first published on Amy and the Great World in April 2015
It’s very colorful indeed! Reminds me of Athens in a way! I admit that I didn’t know about Valparaiso, but looked it up on the map after the recent earthquake! I admit that I thought of you, because being in the UK means you’re not used to earthquakes and Chile gets some pretty strong ones!
Colourful is definitely the word! I felt a few earthquakes when I lived in Chile but they were very small ones. The positive thing is that Chilean buildings are very prepared for earthquakes so the huge one cause minimal damage, luckily.
Wow this looks so amazing – love the colours! xx Carmen
It is the most amazing city, Carmen!
It looks really great!
It’s an incredible place! 🙂
love Valpo!!! It’s almost an addictive thing, once you go you always go back for more and moreee! 🙂
That’s a great way to describe it and definitely something I can relate to! 🙂
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Absolutely love it! I am thinking about traveling down to Valpo in a few weeks and seeing this beauty may just seal the deal!!
Definitely do it! It won’t disappoint 🙂 Enjoy!
Gorgeous photos! I love how you captured the spirit of this public art with Neruda’s words… absolutely amazing. Then again, I’m not surprised!
Thanks so much Daisy! It is a really inspiring city 🙂
This city is amazing! So colourful! I’d love to visit one day. I’ve never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂
Glad you liked the post Joanna! I hope you get to see the city for yourself one day 😀
It looks amazing! I’ve never been to Chile but someday I will. Florence is my favorite city- for the statues, architecture, and all things Renaissance.
Aw, Florence is such a beautiful place with the most incredible architecture! 🙂
Looks like a pretty colourful city! My new roommate is from Chile and sometimes I feel like I live there now. So much Spanish going on, haha 😀
That’s so cool! Hope you are enjoying the Chilean Spanish experience.
Valparaíso looks beautiful! I love all the street art and bright colors! Chile is definitely high on my list, so I’m taking notes 🙂
It’s the most amazing city. That’s great, let me know if you come and I can show you around 😉
I was about to say “hmm, this looks familiar,” well duh, I read it on Amy’s blog. haha
Good memory, haha 😉
As someone who loves colour, I think I’d love living in Valpo (though it would take awhile for my legs to get used to all the hills!). Plus, Pablo Neruda is one of my favourite poets, so I now it’s definitely on the bucket list.
Oh you’d really love it then! Pablo Neruda is so inspiring, his houses are incredible 🙂
Love these – the colour in Valparaiso makes it one of my favourite places of all time 🙂 It’s such a romantic place somehow. Really liked the street art in Santiago too!
It’s got so much charm, hasn’t it? I love that lots of the street art in Santiago is quite hidden. My old flat had lots of cool murals nearby, so I had a colourful walk to the metro!
Ah that must have been great 🙂 Yeah when I was there, I remember that I kept stumbling upon more hidden gems while I was exploring. And I’d go out in the morning and when I’d come back there would be a new one! The colours on the streets in SA are really special.
Totally agree! I’m looking forward to seeing some new ones very soon 🙂
This is so stunning. I love places full of color, so, I know I will be mad in love with Valparaiso if I visit. We have friends in Chile who are always inviting us to visit their country.
You would love it! Hope you get the chance to visit your friends in Chile to see all that the country has to offer! 🙂
Can’t wait to see this colourful city with my own two eyes! Gorgeous pictures, as always 😉
You are seriously going to be in awe! Can’t wait!!! x
What an amazingly beautiful city! I’m obsessed with all of the art! This place looks like a good workout too! You have to work to see all the art, but it seems like great motivation! Hope I can get here soon, looks unreal 😀
The good thing is that you get to stop so often to admire the art 😉 You will get to see it all so soon!
AHHH omg I’m obsessed with this place already and I’ve never even been! I absolutely LOVE street art, this is so beautiful!
I think Valpo made me love street art, and now I look for it everywhere! It’s heaven for a street art fan 🙂
Very beautiful city indeed! I really like the idea of decorating the whole city with colourful and high qulity graffitties :). Oh, and come on – you don’t have to work out in Valparaiso – simply walk all those steps ahahahaha Great post!!!
It’s so amazing! And yes, the steps are a workout alone 😉
I LOVE the painted steps!!
I love them too! Such a great way to incorporate art into everywhere in the city!
Wow, how incredible! It must be so fun to wander everywhere spotting that amazing art 🙂
I’m really looking forward to going back soon and finding new pieces of art!
Valpo is on my list of places to visit soon! Thanks for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed the post!! 🙂
I absolutely love Valpo! Definitely is so iconic isn’t it? haha those hills are killers but definitely good for the legs 😉
I am so excited to go again soon and find the steps again 🙂
Marcella, this is an absolutely beautiful and accurate homage to Valpo, and the photos are gorgeous. On my own visit I took many of the same photos as you, entranced, but with a poorer eye. Pablo Naruda’s poetry deserves his Nobel Prize, but his three houses – in Bella Vista (Santiago), La Sebastiana (Valparaiso) and Isla Negra (near Valpo) – are equally significant.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment! 🙂 I too love his houses and got so much inspiration from them, I visited two of them so just need to see the Bella Vista one to complete the trio 😉
fascinating colors and graffiti…
so you live in Chile now? 🙂 lol, I was just about to ask Why Chile… but then I read the post about why Chile… the first reason was good enought for me 🙂 hugs…
I will be living in Chile next week – we are in our last week in London at the moment! Thanks for reading, it was a good enough reason for me too 😉