Discovering the capital of Chile
September 20, 2021
You have already booked your flight and now you can´t wait anymore to set foot in Chile and to start your next adventures. When travelling to Chile you shouldn’t miss to visit Santiago, Chile´s capital with about 7 million inhabitants.
In the following article you will find some advices that will ease your start in the vibrant capital.
To get around in the city the public transport system is a good option. Bus and Metro (subway) will take you from A to B in a fast way for about 700 pesos per drive. It pays off to get a bip! card which can be bought and charged at every metro station. Another good option of transportation is “Bike Santiago”. The city´s bicycle hire is easy to recognize due to the glowing orange color. With it´s more than 200 rental stations and more than 2000 bikes it allows you to explore the city in a flexible way.
Safe and central places in the neighborhood of Providencia like Lastarria, Barrio Italia or in Santiago downtown around Parque Forestal, which are full of hostels and boutique hotels, are perfect places to stay during your time in Santiago.
The payment in restaurants and supermarkets work with debit or credit cards in most cases, but it’s advisable to always carry some cash with you. You can get this by changing your foreign money in so-called “casa de cambio” to Chilean Pesos or you withdraw local currency from the ATM.
Also, Santiago’s culinary offer doesn´t disappoint. Especially trendy areas like Barrio Italia, Lastarria and Bellavista are spiked with bars, restaurants and traditional Chilean eateries that offer a wide variety from early till late. Traditional basic food you shouldn’t miss are completos, a variety of hot dogs with ingredients like sauerkraut, avocado, tomato and mayonnaise. But also, the delicious empanadas shouldn´t be missed. It´s perfect enjoying those in one of Santiago’s beautiful parks that can be found all around the city. For fish and seafood lovers a visit to the Mercado Central is a must: due to Santiago’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean there is a great variety of fresh fish that gets delivered every day to the market. When you’re eating in one of Santiago’s restaurants it’s usual to give a tip of 10% which will be included in the bill in most cases.
To enjoy a good view over the city you have different choices: You can hike, use the cable car or the gondola to get on top of Cerro San Cristobal, a hill close to Barrio Bellavista. At your escape into the green you will also find the famous statue of Virgin Maria as well as a little chapel. Another option is the visit of the 300 meters high “Costanera Center”, South America’s highest building and also home of a huge shopping mall.
To explore the city from on a guided tour it’s recommended to take part in one of the offered free walking tours where you can learn more about the history of the city. And, the Street Art Tour shows Santiago’s colorful graffities. Also, a visit to the different museums shouldn’t be missed. Some of them even offer free entrance on some days. This is the case in “Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino” which can be visited for free on Sundays.
With those advices, you will have some entertaining days in Chile’s vibrant capital but moreover Santiago is always good for funny and unexpected surprises, so just enjoy your stay!