Free Art in Santiago


One example of some free art lurking around the city.  This next to El Golf station.

My new apartment is in trendy Bellas Artes district, right next to the Fine Art Museum. I haven’t been to the museum yet, but I expect I will visit at some point before I move on from here.

Meanwhile, however, I have been enjoying all the free art lying around Santiago.

In the nearby barrio of Bellavista there are a couple of streets full of shops with lovely painted walls. Generally the mural gives a clue to what is sold in the shop.

A far larger selection of murals can be found if you take the subway to Departmental and then walk two blocks.  Known as the Museo a cielo abierto (‘open air museum’), it is a residential area where the houses have had murals painted on them.

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This place doesn’t seem to be that well known; when I was there (on a Saturday afternoon) there weren’t any other tourists or visitors and when I mentioned it at my expat meet-up none of the others had heard of it. I found it by searching street art in Santiago, because I suspected that a couple of decorated storefronts in Bellavista wouldn’t be all there was.


Another place to head if you enjoy free art is the Sculpture Park


Another place for great free art is, somewhat bizarrely, the subway system.  Many stations display elaborate artwork.  I suppose this isn’t technically ‘free art’, since you have to buy a metro ticket to see it.  This photo isn’t a great example and there were better, however the stations get crowded enough without some idiot (well, me) stopping to take a photo.  Nice to look at whilst you’re racing by though

19 replies »

  1. Hello Sarah. Wow all that art, how cool is that. I love the idea that the shops have a mural that shows what they actually sell. Can you imagine that here lol! It looks as if you have found a good place to be for a while and how great is that having an apartment in such a trendy area. Go you girl. Safe travels my friend xx

    • Yeah it will be nice to unpack again for a brief while. And it’s nice to be somewhere where I can afford to live in a trendy area; can you imagine how much I’d need for even a studio flat in Shoreditch now?

  2. I love street art and these murals and sculptures are amazing! It’s so great to have ‘open-air’ galleries and cities – it makes art so much more accessible!

  3. We love street art as long as its not that ugly graffiti that gang members spray on buildings and walls. But on the other hand some of the artists are way beyond good! We have a district near Portland that has almost museum quality paintings and have taken some pic’s of them ourselves!

    • well that’s the difference between street art and graffiti I suppose. I do like that it’s free and there’s nobody telling you to stand behind the line or whatever, like in a gallery

  4. I’m all for art being open and available to the public. Some of course raise eyebrows, but that’s part of the fun. I personally think North America is heavily disadvantaged when it comes to the arts, unlike the global South, Europe, or Asia.

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