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Concepcion really does live up to its position as the second-largest city in all of Chile. Immensely important on the economic front, it's long been a bustling, gritty port town with one foot firmly in the docks where the Río Biobío meets the great Pacific Ocean. These days, there's also an undercurrent of creativity and culture to get stuck into, thanks largely to the rich military background, and a prestigious university complex.
Get a Concepcion tour guide to help you discover the area of the Universidad as you stroll the downtown plazas and avenues. It's now the beating arts hub of the whole metropolis, home to the acclaimed Casa Del Arte José Clemente Orozco – or the La Pinacoteca – and its colossal murals depicting the coming of the Spanish to South America.
As you move ever closer towards the river, through the crisscrossing grid of the Downtown's Pisco Sour bars and Tex-Mex joints, you will find wide squares and pedestrianized shopping streets that buzz with locals and students. This is where you might find a earful of great music from a budding musician at a street corner; the city has been the launchpad of many rock acts after all.