©Istock/Tifonimages
©Istock/Tifonimages

Valdivia: the pearl of the Chilean south

3 minutes to read

Valdivia is a charming city in the south of Chile. It is also one of the eldest cities in the country, it was founded in 1552. One of the most interesting things about Valdivia is that it is a true melting pot of cultures. Circa 1850, the German colonists arrived in the city and brought their culture with them, and over time, it got mixed with the city's culture. As you walk through the city, pay attention to how this amalgam moulded the architecture, gastronomy and traditions of this place. Welcome to your first stroll through Valdivia, the pearl of the Chilean south.

MAC Valdivia

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Valdivia is a must-see if you are in town. The place holds great patrimonial importance because it was constructed on the ruins of the Anwandter brewery. Said brewery was founded in 1851 and was the main one in the city. In 1912, the brewery was partially destroyed by a fire but reconstructed afterwards. The place was destroyed again by the mega earthquake of Valdivia in 1960. In 1967, the place was sold to the Austral University of Chile, and years later, the construction of the museum started. Up to this day, the museum has managed to show nearly 200 exhibitions of well-known artists, both Chilean and international. 

© Wikipedia/Lin linao
© Wikipedia/Lin linao
Museum of contemporary art, Valdivia
Museum of contemporary art, Valdivia
Los Laureles s/n, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile

Breweries in the city 

Valdivia has a very strong beer tradition, brought by the German colonists. Hence, the city has a wide range of breweries to visit. To speak about all the options would take me a whole story, so I will try to sum it up for you. First, many breweries are in Isla Teja (Teja Island) and close to each other, which is really convenient so that you can plan your own little "beer tour". If you do not feel like crossing the bridge to Isla Teja, you can stay in Valdivia, which has really good options too. Among the best ones is Kunstmann Kneipe, which has a wide variety of beers and a nice menu to enjoy. However, if you want a full experience, I would recommend you to visit the Kunstmann Brewery.

©Wikimedia/Lin linao
©Wikimedia/Lin linao
Kuntsmann Kneipe, Valdivia
Kuntsmann Kneipe, Valdivia
Saelzer 60, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile
Kunstmann Brewery, Valdivia
Kunstmann Brewery, Valdivia
Ruta T 350 950, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile

Chocolatiers in Valdivia

Valdivia is also well-known for its delicious chocolates. The city has many good options for chocolatiers to visit. I highly recommend "Entrelagos" - it is the most famous one, and they really have very good products. It was founded in 1976. Their chocolates are artisanal, and its founders say that the secret is in mixing the German recipes with Mapuche traditions. Once again, this shows the cultural diversity of the city. They also have a tea parlour, where traditional kuchen, tarts and cakes are served.

© istock/Lilechka75
© istock/Lilechka75
Entrelagos Chocolatier, Valdivia
Entrelagos Chocolatier, Valdivia
Pérez Rosales 622, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile

Mercado Fluvial (Fluvial Market)

If you want to feel the vibrant local life, I highly recommend you visiting the market Mercado Fluvial. There you can see typical handicrafts and also grab a bite. If delicious seafood is your thing, this is the place for you. But that is not all, as I said before, the site is a classical hotspot of the city for a reason. The surroundings are beautiful - green, fresh and quiet. So, marvel at the green areas and the panoramic view of Valdivia River. Also, it is very close to the cathedral and the Pedro de Valdivia Bridge, which connects the city center with the Isla Teja (Teja Island).

©Istock/Alexis González
©Istock/Alexis González
©Istock/Wastesoul
©Istock/Wastesoul
Mercado Fluvial, Valdivia
Mercado Fluvial, Valdivia
Libertad 28, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile

What I shared with you in this story is small in comparison to all the things you can do in the city, and all the beautiful nature you can appreciate in the place. Valdivia has the magic only the south of Chile can show you - it feels like another country, but at the same time, it shows everywhere that it is not the case. Visit Valdivia and fall in love with the pearl of the Chilean south.


The author

Francisca Pizarro

Francisca Pizarro

Hi, I am Francisca. From the north of Chile and south of the world, obsessed with natural landscapes and museums, I will take you through Chile as if you were a local, hoping you fall in love with this country as much as I am.

Stories you might also like