The Street Art in Valparaiso, Chile
Every time I was buzzed into my hostel in Valparaiso, Chile, the woman at the front desk would ask me, “A dónde fuiste?”: “Where did you go?”
“Solo caminar,” I’d say. “Just for a walk.”*
Because that’s what I did in Valparaiso: I walked. I walked on my own. I walked on an official walking tour. I walked on an unofficial, impromptu, walking tour with my hostelmates. I walked.
Valparaiso is a walking city, and there’s one thing to see while walking: The street art.
The street art in Valparaiso, Chile, covers most of the edifices, every inch of blank space. Around every corner there is some new drawing to see, some new painting taking over a building, some new graffiti filling a crevice. You can spend hours just walking, observing the Valparaiso street art. There is plenty of it.
Funnily enough, it’s actually illegal to write on the walls in Valparaiso. But homeowners, building owners, can give permission to artists to paint on their homes, and they do so because they would rather have the original artwork there than a gang symbol. And so the city is one big canvas, one big art gallery, one big showcase. Definitely one for your bucket list.
Want to see?
Photos of the best street art in Valparaiso, Chile:
p.s. If you walk around Valparaiso, you will probably have a dog following you. Like “Lebron” here who followed us all around the city for three hours one day.
p.p.s. Since Valparaiso is built on cerros (hills) it can get difficult to get around. So, if you get tired you can always take one of the many ascensores, rickety old elevators that go up and down the hills.
Or, you know, you can take a slide…
*Or something like that, my Spanish is still pretty awful.
Brick Lane street art in London and The Wall Project in Mumbai, India.