Looking for where to stay in Valparaíso? Not sure where to start? This colourful seaside city is one of our favourite places in Chile, but for newcomers it can be tricky to navigate with its many different hills and intricate neighbourhoods. In this guide we take a quick look at the best areas for accommodation, and pick out some of the top hotels, nicest B&Bs and best hostels in Valparaíso.
After spending a few days in the city ourselves we quickly got to know and love it. With the maelstrom of colourful houses and street art around every corner, there are few places more photogenic. So, if you can find accommodation with a nice view, it will greatly add to your enjoyment of Valparaíso! We’ve included plenty of those in our recommendations below.
You will also find options for all budgets, ranging from the funkiest hotels to sociable backpacker hotels, as well as a few ideas for self-catered accommodation. So, let’s get into it…
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In this article:
Which area of Valparaíso is best to stay?
Valparaíso is a sprawling, colourful city of disparate neighbourhoods spread across 42 different hills. It can be a little daunting on arrival while you are still finding your feet.
While Valparaíso is generally a safe place for travellers and tourists, like any city it has its dodgy areas. So, where are the best places to focus your time and to stay for your trip?
The most popular areas
The historic quarter of Valparaíso is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for many this is the most captivating part of the city. It is also where many of the best accommodation options are located, including most of our recommendations in this article.
In particular, the two hills of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción are where you will find many of the main attractions, the best bars and restaurants, and the most spectacular hilltop views of the city and the bay.
The port of Valparaíso and main harbour is another popular area where you will find museums, hotels, bars, shops and fish markets. This is the historic beating heart of the city from the glory days before the Panama Canal disrupted its port economy, and makes for an interesting alternative base for your trip.
Off the beaten path
If you prefer to stay somewhere a little offbeat, Barrio Almendral to the east of the historic quarter is a compelling option. We spent a night out drinking in some bars around here and enjoyed that it felt a lot more authentic, with mostly locals and fewer tourists. There is some interesting architecture around here as well as parks and plazas, and it’s quick and easy to reach the main attractions.
The area around Valparaíso Cultural Park, close to Cerro Panteón and Cerro Cárcel, is intrinsic to the city’s turbulent history in the Pinochet years, and so there is much to see and absorb. It is almost like an open-air museum on the outer echelons of the city centre. This area is also a little quieter than the main tourist areas, while only being a short walk away.
Best hotels in Valparaíso
We begin our picks of the best places to stay in Valparaíso with some of its most interesting hotels. Some of the most iconic colourful buildings in the city happen to be hotels, and by staying in one you can immerse yourself in the creativity of the place and really enrich your trip.
This aparthotel on Cello Alegre is one of the coolest places to stay in Valparaíso. Augusta Hotel is a unique building, rising above the skyline, with each of its six suites offering incredible views out towards the sea through giant floor-to-ceiling windows.
Each unit in the hotel has a fully equipped kitchen and private bathroom, and some also have a balcony. It’s a short walk from the best bars, hangouts and attractions in the historic centre.View prices on booking.com
Hotel Boutique Casa Vander
This is one of those buildings you just can’t miss when wandering around Cerro Alegre. We first saw it when taking a walking tour, its bold yellow exterior standing out near the top of the old funicular of Ascensor Reina Victoria. Our guide explained that it was originally built by a renowned English immigrant in the 19th century.
We only discovered afterwards that this iconic building is home to Hotel Boutique Casa Vander. The views from this vantage point are truly exceptional, especially at night, and you couldn’t be any closer to the centre of activity on Cerro Alegre.View prices on booking.com
Another of the hotels positioned in the cluster between Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, Hotel Ecomusic is reflective of Valparaíso’s creative spirit. Rooms are adorned with posters, artwork and memorabilia of music legends.
It has a rustic and bohemian feel with wooden floors and colourful yet subtle upcycled furnishings. With a 24-hour desk, tourist information and games room, it’s a comfortable and excellent-value place to stay near the central attractions.View prices on booking.com
Hotel Brighton is another of the buildings on Valparaíso’s hills that caught our eye on a walking tour. It is perched on the corner of Paseo Atkinson, where street artists and craftspeople often gather to sell their work, and where you can see one of the best terrace views in the city.
Like Casa Vander, it is a house that has been a conspicuous feature of the neighbourhood since Victorian times. It makes for an ideal romantic lodging with spectacular views from each of its nine rooms, and also doubles up as a pub and restaurant.View prices on hotels.com
Gran Hotel Gervasconi
Set in a 19th century mansion, Hotel Gervasconi is like a throwback to Valparaíso’s golden age when it was one of the world’s busiest ports, and wealthy travellers stopped by. It has been beautifully maintained and restored, and has some gorgeous views from its restaurant’s outdoor seating area.
You’re just a few steps away from the views at Mirador Paseo Gervasoni, and the lift up to Cerro Concepción is also nearby. This is a characterful base for exploring the city and is surprisingly inexpensive. We found a good deal for an economy double room on VRBO – check out the latest prices on the link below:View deals on VRBO
Even the Ibis in Valparaíso is multi-coloured! In all seriousness, we occasionally stay in Ibis hotels when we want to save a bit of money, as they’re decent value for money and you know what you’re going to get.
Ibis Valparaíso is a bit different from your average Ibis, however. It occupies one of the most recognisable buildings on the seafront, a rainbow of rectangles looking out onto the ocean. What’s more, no hill climbing is required to reach it! Rooms are basic but clean, and good transport connections are right outside the door.View prices on booking.com
B&Bs in Valparaíso
The city also has a small number of guest houses and bed & breakfasts that offer a more homely style of accommodation. Sadly many of these places have been forced into closure due to the effects of the pandemic, and so many of our favourites are no longer in business.
There are still some gems to be found though for a welcoming stay, though. Let’s take a look at two beauties…
La Galería B&B
Situated on a quiet cobbled side street of Cerro Concepción, La Galería B&B is a colourful and airy guesthouse with a lovely rooftop terrace within the property.
The rooms are cute and quirky, and ideal for a couple stopping by in the city for a few days. This place has a nice balance of being close to the heart of the historic centre while still being laid back and homely.View prices on booking.com
Cariño Porteño Bed & Breakfast
Cariño Porteño is another friendly family-run bed and breakfast. It is set in the Caleta Portales area near Cerro Placeres, around four kilometres east along the seafront from the historic centre.
The fish market near here opens 7am daily and is a great example of the local food market culture. It’s worth an early rise to experience, at least once while you’re here!
The B&B has been run by the same family since the 1950s, now with the third generation, and still with the same devotion. Like many, the business has suffered through the pandemic and has only reopened to host one group at a time until further notice.View prices on booking.com
Best hostels in Valparaíso
The city has become a regular fixture on the tourist route through Chile (check out our two-week Chile itinerary). For those backpacking on a budget, there are plenty of cool hostels where you can enjoy Valparaíso in a fun and highly sociable atmosphere.
Casa Volante Hostal
We stayed for three nights at Casa Volante Hostal in Valparaíso after scouring for the best budget accommodation options. It turned out to be just our kind of place, with a lovely open social space featuring an array of rustic furnishings. The kitchen is spacious and well equipped, and the wifi among the strongest of anywhere we could find in the city.
Every time we needed help with printing tickets or finding information, staff were on hand to help. And the location was very convenient, between the main square of Plaza Sotomayor and the way up to Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre.View prices on booking.com
Nómada Eco-Hostel is another that is brimming with character and colour. The building is over a century old and, like many of the time, has a gorgeous terrace area.
True to its name, the hostel has a focus on maintaining a low carbon footprint, and has actually received an international sustainability certification for its efforts. Its many eco measures include solar energy, recycled materials, composting of wastes and utilising local production.
It is also an active social hostel, which is always important to us! The friendly staff host regular barbecues (which have become legendary among the backpacking community) as well as art and performance events.View prices on booking.com
Our final pick is another accommodation set in a building that caught our eye on a walking tour. Hostal Dinamarca occupies a glaring green building between the historic centre and the outer hills of Valparaíso, close to Cerro Cárcel and the repurposed-prison cultural park.
The building dates to 1907, and has been restored while preserving many of its original features. A stunning mural of a child is painted on one of its side walls.
The hostel itself has everything you would expect of a great backpackers’ hangout, with atmospheric corridors and a lively common space as well as a decent shared kitchen.View prices on booking.com
Self-catered accommodation in Valparaíso
A growing number of people are choosing to travel self-catered in the post-pandemic world. Hiring an apartment on a short-term rental deal provides your own private space for exploring the city at your leisure.
We use VRBO these days as one of our favourite alternatives to Airbnb. It has several fab properties around Valparaíso. Here are three of the stand-outs we picked out:
- Panoramic views in historic centre – great facilities and right at the heart of the city’s liveliest area.
- Loft apartment near main harbour – a restored house from the city’s heyday, with equipped kitchen.
- Bay views from Cerro Placeres – away from the main tourist area, with a sunset balcony view.
Where to stay in Valparaíso: map
Didn’t find exactly what you were looking for? Check out more places to stay in Valparaíso on the map below:
How to spend your time in Valparaíso
With its rich history and vibrant outgoing social scene, you will never be short of activities to make the most of your time in Valparaíso. See our recommendations for the best things to do in the city to get started.
I mentioned walking tours a few times in this guide. The amazing guys at Tours 4 Tips run two free tours a day, including a highlights tour for the main attractions, and an offbeat tour for an alternative perspective. We did both and they were great!
For a little background into what makes this place so special, we also recommend reading our article about the amazing street art scene.
Have you been to Valparaíso before? Let us know about where you stayed in the comments below.
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