City Travel South America

Gritty is Pretty: Street Art in Valparaiso | Chile

Vaparaiso Street Art - City View

Valparaiso is a bit like San Francisco if the 90’s had never ended — think undercuts, paste-ups, and alt-rock bands, with less of the startup douchebaggery. This gritty city by the bay is true to its bohemian roots. There are local events and art exhibits abound, plenty of spots to catch a cheap show, and street art just about everywhere. What more could you want, really?

Time in Valparaiso goes down faster than a street dog eats a completo. It is the kind of place you can stay for far too long without other plans to drag you away. Are you planning a visit to Valparaiso? There are plenty of cool things to do in Chile, but be sure to make time to stay and check out the Valparaiso street artMore information on where to find street art + street art tours in Valparaiso below!

Valparaiso Street Art

Under the Pinochet dictatorship, street art in Chile emerged as a form of protest. It could be done anonymously, so it was one of the safest ways to speak out during quite dangerous times. Decades later, street art is more popular than ever. Local and international artists have developed unique styles and tested them out all over Valpo. You’ll find everything from B.R.P, to fauvism, cubism, to wild style decorating the city walls without even having to look too hard.Vaparaiso Street Art - Woman with Sunrise on her Face

Almost every building, wall, and storefront is painted in Valpo, with one notable exception – the pitifully white Radio Portales building. Strangely, it’s also the most tagged building in Valparaiso. What keeps it so white? Paint jobs. Daily.

The rest of Valparaiso, on the other hand, has seemed to adopt the attitude that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Businesses and homeowners can either be the local tight ass and fall victim to ugly tags, or they can go ahead and share their wall with a muralist. This culture is what has made the city of Valparaiso into one enormous canvas for spray can art.

Vaparaiso Street Art - Taylor in front of a wall
Vaparaiso Street Art - Headless Body

Vaparaiso Street Art - Homage to ChiloeVaparaiso Street Art -Bus Crossing a Colorful Mural

Vaparaiso Street Art - Ally checking out the street art
Vaparaiso Street Art - Former "Happies not Hippies" Mural

Valparaiso Street Art - Man Eating an OctopusVaparaiso Street Art - Hand Grabbing PortholeVaparaiso Street Art - Bored WomanVaparaiso Street Art - Yellow Mural

Dig the street art in Valparaiso? Don’t forget to follow the artists on Instagram!

1. Man holding a fish bowl by Mr. L | 2. Chilean woman by Anis | 3. Animals by Un Kolor Distinto | 4. Neo-Cubism by Okuda | 5. Chiloe mural by Daniel Marceli | 6. Psychedelic Face by Shokolei and Un Kolor Distinto | 7. NA | 8. Site of the late Happies not Hippies Mural by Art Believe | 9. Unknown | 10. Bored woman by Ella and Pitr | 12. Animal band by Seimiek | 13. Faces by Un Kolor Distinto

Where to Find Street Art in Valparaiso: 

You can either explore the Valparaiso street art on a street art tour or on your own.

Street Art Tours in Valparaiso: Valpo Street Art Tours offers a daily GraFREEti tour, street art walking tours, and a workshop tour.

The neighborhoods of Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre are great places to stay and absolutely covered with street art. Some of the more famous murals are: The Beethoven Piano Stairs (Abtao 682)We are Happies, Not Hippies (Templeman 672) | UPDATE: This mural has been painted over as of February 2017, Tower on Fire (Dimalow 166), Animal Mural (atop Ascensor Concepcion). To get the best perspective on Valparaiso Street Art, check it out both in the higher and lower parts of town.

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Valparaiso street art is undoubtedly some of the best in the world. Here's a guide to the best street art in Valparaiso and where to find it!

Have you ever checked out the street art in Valparaiso? Would you rather take a street art tour or do it alone? Which city has your favorite street art scene?

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