Viña del Mar might just be the most livable city in Chile. Home to plenty of resorts, nightlife, shopping, and thriving neighborhoods, this coastal city provides a microcosm of the very best that the South American country has to offer. Better yet, the city's tourism credentials mean there is always an influx of newcomers to ensure it retains its buzzing atmosphere. In short, you're unlikely to get bored in Viña del Mar.
As one of Chile's most popular destinations, there's plenty to do in Viña del Mar. The highlight, however, is undoubtedly the Festival de la Cancion (otherwise known as the 'International Song Festival), which has been held every February since 1960. The event draws up to 15,000 people to the Quinta Vergara amphitheater, where they'll watch renowned international and Latin American artists. The festival brings a special atmosphere to the city during the week-long festivities.
It's not all festivals, though. Those looking for more permanent exhibitions of culture in Viña del Mar will enjoy the city's many museums and art galleries. The Marpau Art Gallery features a mix of contemporary and classic works from some of the city's best up and coming and established artists. Meanwhile, at the Artequin Viña del Mar, expats new to life in Viña del Mar can begin their learning of the local art scene through interactive exhibitions that bring the works to life. Finally, take a stroll through the Recreo district of Viña del Mar to find the the Museo Cielo Abierto, the "open sky museum", which is a series of building-side murals painted by local students and famous Chilean artists.
Viña del Mar is home to a number of high-quality universities and technical schools, both public and private. The two main universities are the Pontificial Catholic University of Valparaíso, which excels in architecture, the arts, and history, and the University of Valparaíso, which specializes in business and engineering.
The Association of British Schools in Chile has three schools in Viña del Mar, offering classes in English. These schools are called Saint Margaret's, Saint Paul's, and Saint Peter's. Further international schools in Viña del Mar include Lycée Jean d’Alembert, Deutsche Schule Valparaíso, and Mackay School.
Viña del Mar's good public transport links make getting around the city safe and straightforward. The most popular method of transportation are the local buses, which are plentiful, regular, and reach all parts of the city. There is also a subway system, which is the best and quickest way to get around once you're downtown, but as there is only one subway line so you might need to use a bus or taxi to get to your final destination.