Valparaiso is a beautiful, colourful city that will capture your heart. The best description for this bohemian port city came from the poet Pablo Neruda, who had a particularly beautiful view – “Valparaiso, how absurd you are… you haven’t combed your hair, you’ve never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.”
There is indeed a certain chaotic beauty to Valparaiso, one that you will quickly discover on this journey through a few of the best things to see when in Valparaiso.
La Sebastiana was Pablo Neruda’s former residence and is now a house-museum that you can stop by when visiting Valparaiso. Getting there involves a lot of climbing but it is completely worth it, as you explore each floor of the house you’ll see why. – the most heart-stopping views of the harbour. Here you will also be able to see Neruda’s collection of ships figureheads, glass, 1950s furniture and artworks by his famous friends.
The impressive Cementerio 1 is where the city’s most illustrious, influential, and infamous residents rest in peace. Here you will find unique tombs that look like ornate mini palaces. Next to it is Cementerio 2, which also integrates Cementerio de Disidentes, where English and European immigrants were buried. Even if you are not a Cementerio fan, the views themselves make this place worth visiting.
Museo del Mar Lord Cochrane
Built in 1842 for the Scottish naval hero, Lord Thomas Cochrane, who was responsible for setting up Chile’s navy, but who never actually came to inhabit the house. The property is a beautiful, colonial-style and is located above Plaza Sotomayor. You can see a few exhibits, but the patio tends to be the highlight for many as it provides a stunning view over the harbour.
Museo Naval y Maritimo
For the history lovers, the Museo Naval y Maritimo will guide through a few interesting exhibitions with most of its space dedicated to Chile’s victory in the 19th-Century War of the Pacific. The other exhibits include – historical paintings, uniforms, ships furniture, swords, navigating instruments and medals – all nicely displayed in exhibition rooms along one side of a large courtyard.
Café del Poeta
Savoury crepes, pasta, tasty seafood, and wines are all good reasons for trying Café del Poeta’s delicious menu. There’s a sidewalk seating at this poetry themed cafe where you might want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea as well as a collection of books about Valparaiso that guests are invited to read through.
Caleta El Membrillo
This seafood marketplace located on the waterfront is the perfect spot for a casual lunch. Here you can try delicious shrimp, fried fish, as well as many other Chilean specialities. Commercial fishermen are also fans of this place, so prepare to see them all around.
Avant-garde cuisine and top-quality wines are some of the elements that make the Alegre Restaurant such a great place to enjoy a meal. Indulge yourself on their lovely made seafood as well as on their fantastic view over the Valparaiso bay.