18 In Chile/ Culture/ Street art

A STREET ART GUIDE TO SANTIAGO, CHILE

Santiago is frequently sited as one of the best cities in the world to see street art on display. After two years of living here, I can’t say that I disagree. As you’ll have noticed if you follow me on Instagram, a large part of my feed involves various murals throughout Chile that I have found through my extensive wanderings. Therefore, what I’d like to do today is share two things for those of you who plan to visit Santiago: 1) The best places to find street art 2) My favorite murals. Looking for street art in Valparaíso? Check out my guide to Valpo.

Barrio Bellavista

street artThis Santiago neighborhood is your first and best bet for finding street art. In fact, as you cross the bridge over the Mapocho River on your way to Bella, you’ll notice that muralists have even taken over the riverbanks. With Bellavista, you don’t really need any sort of plan to find murals, just explore. If you are the type of person who needs some sort of direction (don’t worry, I am too), Calle Loreto and Bombero Nuñéz are great places to start.

So why the abundance of murals in the area? Shop owners actually hire muralists to paint these buildings to make them more attractive to passersby. Seems like the U.S. could take some notes from this practice! Accordingly, it makes sense that such an artsy neighborhood is also the location of Pablo Neruda’s Santiago home, La Chascona.

My favorite street art in bellavista?

That would have to be the building pictured in my photo below. It currently serves as a theater and acting school called Teatro Imagen. The building is dark green with bright yellow accents. Different figures are painted over the walls in light white strokes, making them almost appear to be ghosts. 

street artLooking to find this building yourself? I’ve included its location on a map at the bottom of this post.

Museo a Cielo Abierto

street artThis open-air museum was actually initiated by the Chilean government in 2010. The purpose was to make older, deteriorating buildings in this poorer sector of Santiago more aesthetically pleasing as well as to bring artistic expression to the San Miguel neighborhood. The project (carried out only with the approval of each building’s residents) began with the idea of creating 10 murals and finally resulted in 40 massive murals covering various blocks of the area.

Museo a Cielo Abierto is my favorite place in Santiago to fuel my constant search for color. Nonetheless, many Chileans and tourists don’t know about this destination or the fact that it is easily reachable by metro.

ImageMy favorite street art at museo a cielo abierto?

That would have to be the mural shown below, entitled “Señales de Vida” (“Signs of Life” in English) by artist and graphic designer, Ecos. This mural illustrates flora and fauna that are characteristic of Chile, including a puma, condor, and araucaria tree on the left side and a whale on the right.

street art

Barrio Brasil

FullSizeRender-106This neighborhood in the city center was originally home to Santiago’s aristocracy in the mid-1800s. Therefore, it provides an interesting mix of older houses covered in modern art. I recommend starting in Plaza Brasil and making your way around these colorful streets. Make sure not to miss Barrio Concha y Toro, a hidden area nearby that was styled to look like a European city complete with Gothic mansions and cobblestone avenues (yes, there is even street art here!).

FullSizeRender-107My favorite street art in Barrio Brasil?

I recently explored Barrio Brasil and found the mural pictured below as I was walking one of the street directly off Plaza Brasil (you can find it on the map at the bottom of this post). I found myself drawn to this mural because of its many images representing different parts of Chile and its culture ranging from pre-Columbian times to present day. 

FullSizeRender-108

Where is your favorite street art in Santiago?

MOM

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    June 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Wow these are incredible! I love the vibrancy of street art, and your photos are great.

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 15, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you! I love the great photo opportunities that street art and murals create! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren Bishop
    June 15, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    It is wonderful when cities and businesses invest in making their neighbourhoods look beautiful and unique! It was super helpful that you included a map, great idea!

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      I agree, I wish more cities did this! Thank you so much. I like making it easier for people to find street art instead of having to search for hours for a particular mural!

  • Reply
    Van @ Snow in Tromso
    June 15, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I was already impressed with the street art in Reykjavik but Santiago and Valparaiso really take it on another level! Have read so much about the street art scene in Chile lately and would love to see it for myself now!

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      definitely! I’d love to see Reykjavik one day!

  • Reply
    Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld
    June 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Yay for Santiago street art! We are so lucky to have such great art in this city. Next on my list is Museo a Cielo Abierto, I’ve been meaning to go for a while. Thanks for linking up with us!

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      You have to go! No problem, it’s a great idea!

  • Reply
    Ruth
    June 16, 2016 at 5:17 am

    All these look incredible! I think Valparaiso takes all the street art credit. I do not remember if I have read about the great street art in Santiago before.

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Valparaíso probably has more, but I definitely think the street art in Santiago is worth checking out too!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Mishfish13
    June 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I just bought a ticket to Chile, so I’m super pumped about these!! Such bold colors–gorgeous!!

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 19, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      You’re going to have the best time! Let me know if you need any advice on what to do!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 16, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I was literally just talking to a friend about how I want to explore Santiago’s street art more!! I seriously just need to grab my camera one day and head out and see what I find! I always love seeing the murals you find on Instagram! They’re the best! I’m actually heading to Valpo this weekend too, so I’ll have to hit up your guide :D! Thanks for linking up Leah!!

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 19, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      Valparaiso is the absolute BEST for street art! No problem! Hope you had fun in Valpo!!!

  • Reply
    Jessi (Two Feet, One World)
    June 18, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Street art is one of my favourite things to spot when I’m visiting a city – love how bright and gorgeous these are. #WanderfulWednesday

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 19, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      Me too! They make such great spots for photos too!

  • Reply
    Isabel
    June 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Ahh! Great post, I love street art!! Thanks for linking up!

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      June 19, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked it!

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