Valparaíso is the largest Chilean port and the capital of local street art. The oldest districts located on hills sloping into the ocean have been entered on the UNESCO list.
The origins of the city date back to 1536 and the arrival of Spaniards there. Due to its location in a bay surrounded by mountains, it was a convenient port and harbor for ships. Even after Chile gained independence in 1818, Valparaíso became a commercial port and one of the most important cities on the country's map. Currently, the port and its surroundings are the busiest part of the city.
The part of Valparaíso around the port is characterized by buildings from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as modern ones. There are wide streets and squares such as Sotomayor Square and Victoria Square, which are the main meeting points for locals, the bustling Cardonal Market and the Wheelwright Promenade that stretches along the shores of the bay and beaches. There are many restaurants and bars around the port, and the evening life goes on until late.
Older districts are situated on the slopes of the hills surrounding the port. They have dense buildings, narrow streets and are the kingdom of street art. Murals and graffiti can be seen everywhere. They harmonize wonderfully with colorful houses standing one above the other, as if built of blocks. It is these neighborhoods that are considered to be Valparaíso's greatest attraction. To honor street art in this part of the city, the Open Air Museum presents murals.
Sightseeing of Valparaíso, and especially of its higher quarters, is supported by city lifts. There are currently 15 of them here, including Queen Victoria Elevator, Baron Elevator, Cordillera Elevator, El Peral Elevator. They allow you to get to the hills efficiently, but it is also worth going down through colorful alleys. The lower part of the city is served by buses and a trolleybus line running throughout the city, on which vehicles from the 1940s and 1950s run.
The seaside location, proximity to Santiago and the good infrastructure of Valparaíso make it the most important resort in the country. There are sandy beaches such as Caleta Portales Beach, Las Torpedas Beach and Placeres Beach. From the beaches and promenade you can watch the ships entering the port. There are also two piers here, Pier Abrigo and Pier Baron.