So, a lot of people ask "which are the Urban Art Districts?"
We don't have them established, like on a map; however, we took the liberty to call a few neighborhoods "Urban Art Districts".
So, let's get to the first district: Bellavista.
Bellavista is divided into two areas.
On the eastern part, you have Providencia. On the western part you have Recoleta.
Let's begin in alphabetical order:
"Provi" (as the people who live there call it), is quite extensive. You have five Line 1 Santiago Metro stops in the area of Providencia. The Bellavista Neighborhood is between Baquedano and Salvador to the north.
The Providencia side of the Bellavista Neighborhood stands out for its Boutique Hotels; chic and lively (but not rowdy) atmosphere of bars and restaurants, and of course, some awesome Street Art
Many of the restaurants there pay artists to paint their facade. You can find stuff from Colectivo BRP, Matiz, Piguan, and a lot of other international artists that have visited the neighborhood. However, in this section the art is a bit "tidy" and it tendsto play well with the local architecture.
The Elephant in the Room
"Patio" (as the "Provi" locals call it) is sort of one big fortified city block, that when you enter, you'll see it's full of restaurants and handicraft shops, as well as, some tourism companies, and assorted businesses -- while on the outside, you have some national and international fastfood chains.
Another cool place which we always recommend, is Jardin Mallinkrodt (pronouncing that to a perfection is definitely NOT a requirement). It's similar to patio in the sense that it has various restaurants inside... but they're mobile restaurants!
So, yes, it's foodtruck park with craft beer on tap. It's great.
The word Recoleta paradoxically means "lonely and isolated place"... yet it is the more chaotic version of Barrio Bellavista... but in a good way.
See, Recoleta being a different commune, has different rules; therefore, while "Provi" is all tidy and nice, Recoleta is the one that has tons of tags, numerous throwies, and pieces that range from your classic chrome burner to the elaborate full color graffiti. You also have more artsy stuff, like some classic muralism, and some realism and tons of traditional Chilean Style Illustrations (that mix everything from cubism to a more 2D style of characters)
The Elephant in the Room
La Vega Central is the biggest farmer's market in the country. La Vega is a place where you could easily spend all morning just looking through it's endless alleyways and amazing produce. This market is covered in street art all around -- Just remember one thing: you should always go with a local who knows the area, or with a tour, or simply not wearing any flashy jewelry, and being extra careful with your camera. Like most markets in the world, it's a very crowded place, so remember that before going.
We always see people walk by El Venezia, and have no idea it's there. Some just take a random picture of the place, due to the cool art outside, and others don't even notice it. El Venezia is a traditional Chilean restaurant, and one of the oldest in the neighborhood. They named it "the Venice" because the streets that surrounded the location used to all be a couple of bodies of wastewater coming down from the San Cristobal Hill. If you go there, and want to try some classic chilean "peasant food" as some refer to it, try things like the Filete a lo Pobre or the Porotos Con Rindas, after all... the french took their peasant food, paired it with their amazing wine and now they're considered world class dishes; why shouldn't we in Chile do the same, instead of hiding our local cuisine by always trying to show people a gourmet version of them? But that's a whole other story. Also, there's a plaque inside where Pablo Neruda used to have lunch on a regular basis.
Cheers to you! Enjoy of Barrio Bellavista!