The streets of Santiago hold a collection of some of the most amazing street art imaginable. Every corner holds a surprise, and each neighborhood has it’s own flair. Find out the best neighborhoods to take a city tour and appreciate the best street art in Santiago, Chile. Some of my favorites is the Inti Street Art in Bellas Artes, but, c’mon, I’ll walk you through the best the town’s got to offer.
The city of Santiago has embraced its creativity to the maximum. While tagging and ill-focused efforts are discouraged, the eyes and skills of extremely talented artists from all over South America are welcomed with eager arms. Buildings, doors, windows, walls… any and all blank surfaces are waiting to be covered.
Political & Commercial Street Art in Santiago, Chile.
From paintings and spray paint to small glass chards or inked pieces of paper carefully planned and placed together, the variety and quality is truly astounding.
All over the city exist spatterings of political conversation, past and present. Many represent the struggles still faced by the indigenous community while others voice the globally consistent political topics of oppression, human rights, and abuses of power. With Chile’s political history and the still very extreme, and opposing, viewpoints that exist today, the political messages found in some of this art is incredibly powerful.
Businesses often ask for murals to create a representative and inviting front for their store. From auto repair shops to clothing stores to cafes and restaurants… the outside gives you an idea of what’s inside. It’s easy to understand, as this is way more appealing than a simple sign that says “hat store,” right?!
Take Santiago Street Art City Tour.
Each of the Santiago neighborhoods has a slightly different theme. Bumming around the distinct parts of town will give you a totally different feel for the locals that live in that area; their struggles, their interests, and their dreams.
Extraterrestrial Street Art in Barrio Brasil and Barrio Yungay
Barrio Brasil is covered in crazy alien-esque paintings that I haven’t quite figured out. They are beautiful… and creepy. The Barrio Brasil and Yungay neighborhoods are way off the beaten path and normally not on a tourists radar. However, they are some of my favorite places to bum around on a lazy day.
These under the radar neighborhoods are filled with hidden gems, but you need to come, expecting nothing. Your agenda should be to mindlessly walk, turning randomly down side roads, stopping for beers or coffees whenever you happen upon something so cute, you can’t resist.
You can start in the main plazas, Plaza Brasil and Plaza Yungay, as well as the Concha y Toro neighborhood. With these three checkpoints, just wander in-between for a lazy and art infused afternoon.
These neighborhoods used to be the fancy part of Santiago, and offer interesting architectures and housing styles. However, they are now slightly run down, but definitely offer a unique kind of non-judgemental glory.
Inti Castro Street Art in Bellas Artes
Bellas Artes is a cafe neighborhood and home to some of Santiago’s best street art, by the world renowned street artist Inti Castro. He has been responsible for four monstrous sized murals outside the Bellas Artes metro in the last 5 years. Inti Castro has traveled all over the world, painting in well known places, and often leaving a mark of the Andean culture.
He has often been quoted as to how street art changes cultures, connecting with them, allowing for new projects and energies that leave impacts on cities.
Street Art in Bellavista
Bellavista is a bustling neighborhood with an odd mix of college kids looking for a cheap beer and tourists looking for a cold one after walking up the Cerro San Cristobal hill. It’s known as an artistic neighborhood, with many bars opening their doors to local musicians at night-time and other musicians or trick-players walking the sidewalks and entertaining those splitting appetizers or a pitcher.
The streets are filled with gorgeous portraits of diverse styles. Quite literally, you’re going to have a hard time finding a blank wall. No matter where you go in Bellavista, the street art will follow.
The “college” streets of Pio Nono, Dardingnac and Antonia Lopez de Bello vary between the alienesque types from Barrio Brasil, to some types where you really wonder what the artist was smoking, to others that are more traditionally appreciated.
When you head into the actual Bellavista neighborhoods, away from the main bar and restaurant streets, you’ll see some truly fantastic murals. Some of my favorites are on Bombero Núñez and Santa Filomena Streets.
Not surprising, Pablo Neruda’s Santiago home, La Chascona, is also available for touring here.
Street Art in Santiago Downtown
Downtown is less known for it’s street art than the other neighborhoods, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You’ll be walking down a busy business street and, bam! you’ll run into a marvelously painted wall.
Near the Lord Cochrane and General Bulnes streets you can find ceramic and glass murals, in addition to the traditional painted ones.
Street Art on the famous Lastarria Street
The Lastarria neighborhood is a favorite for locals and tourists alike, and for good reason!!! There’s an abundance of restaurants and bars of all price ranges and styles, as well as professional street art on so many storefronts.
Public Art Displays Complement Street Art in Santiago.
Many other forms of public art appear in addition to typical street art. Large sculptures and statues stand all around the city, the metro stations become a bit more manageable with diverse art mediums in just about each one, and the sidewalks are scattered with ceramics.
I love the vibrant colors, and, as I wander these streets, I easily get lost trying to understand the story behind.