6 In Chile/ Street art/ Travel


Valparaíso is a coastal town in Chile located about an hour and a half drive outside of Santiago. If you’re planning on visiting Chile, Valparaíso is one of the must-see destinations within the country. The city is the perfect place for colorful photo opps, to begin learning a little about Chilean history, and to sample traditional treats. Unsure of where to start in Valparaíso? This blog post is for you. I’ve included my favorite street art as well as a map so you can easily find your way to these spots. 

Read more: The Most Colorful Cities in South America

Where to Go

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDGKoqTha9f/?taken-by=leahshoupIf it’s your first time in Valparaíso, don’t let your first impression of the town throw you off. I personally do not find the lower part of the city to be impressive, but don’t worry, the hills make up for that times two. What can make or break your first trip to Valpo is where you stay. Make sure to book a hostel/hotel on Cerro Alegre or Cerro Concepción if you want to spend most of your time exploring the main tourist attractions. At the end of this post, I am including a map with the exact locations of some of my favorite street art in Valpo. This way, if you have something specific you want to see, you can find it first and then explore the rest of this charming port town.

If you feel like you’d rather take a tour than go out on your own, my favorite group is Tours 4 Tips. I did the Valparaíso afternoon tour back in November and had a wonderful experience. This tour has no set price. However, participants “tip” at the end typically between $6,000-10,000 CLP. All tours with this company begin at Plaza Sotomayor (pictured below).

ValparaísoPaseo Atkinson

12790897_10156927584480157_8048394318154558688_nPaseo Atkinson is probably my favorite place in Valparaíso, and if you have a thing for colorful houses, it may turn out to be your favorite as well. This walkway was financed in 1886 by John Atkinson, a prominent boat builder and one of the owners of a dam company. The houses have been kept in great condition and have even survived multiple earthquakes (remember, Chile is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world). The architecture in this area has a very particular character as Valparaiso received many German and English immigrants who settled on these hills. These waves of immigration are thought to be related to a number of factors including the location of Valparaiso as a port city during the time of the gold rush and its economic importance at the time.

“We are not Hippies, We are Happies” Stairs

ValparaísoAfter spending a few hours in Valpo, you’ll realize that the phrase “we are happies not hippies” is the perfect catchphrase to describe the town’s character. Easily the most hipster city in Chile, the artsiness of the town gives it a certain character you won’t find anywhere else in the country. The closest you could find in Santiago would be maybe the Bellas Artes neighborhood.

Piano Stairs

ValparaísoThe piano stairs are accurately located on a small street called Beethoven (scroll down to the bottom of this post and you will see that I have this marked on the map for you!). If you’ve been to Valparaíso but you didn’t take a picture on the piano stairs, have you actually been to Valparaíso?

Just Explore!

One of the best parts of Valparaíso is letting yourself get lost. If you’re going to spend time here, take it slow. Stroll the streets and really get a feel for Valparaíso and its people. With surprise street art on every corner, it’s easy to lose yourself amidst the bright colors.

ValparaísoPictured above is one of my favorite murals that I found after hours of walking and exploring with no destination in mind.

ValparaísoI thought that this owl mural was just too cute! Find its location on the map at the bottom of this blog post.



What’s your favorite street art in Valparaíso?


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  • Reply
    Where to find Santiago's best street art - Gringa Journeys
    June 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    […] 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. […]

  • Reply
    Dagmar van Eijk
    October 26, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Hi! Do you also have tips for restaurants or cafes in Valparaiso? I loved all the cafes you recommended in Santiago, so I think you have a really good taste! xoxo

    • Reply
      Leah Shoup
      October 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Of course! I don’t know as many places in Valpo just because I haven’t spent as much time there, but I can definitely recommend El Desayunador, which is on Cerro Alegre. Has great breakfast food and cakes! 🙂

      • Reply
        Dagmar van Eijk
        October 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Thanks! I am definitely gonna try that one!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm


  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    […] Read more: What to Do in Valparaíso, Chile […]

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