You just came to Santiago and wonder what there is to see, do and experience that you can`t find in other cities. The following is a list of 10 Thing that make Santiago special for me.
1. The VIEW
Santiago is a big city and can be confusing. Go and help yourself with an overview. There are a two beautiful hills in the city you can conquer by foot or elevator: the Cerro San Cristobal (Metro Baquedano) and Cerro Santa Lucia (Metro Santa Lucia) . Cerro San Cristobal is somewhat bigger and inhabits a small version of the famous Cristobal statue in Rio de Janeiro. Besides this natural high-points you will also find a lot of Skyscrapers. The so far highest tower, tower of the Costanera Center (BIG MAL close to Metro Tobalaba), is accessible for tourist for a small fee. Make sure you take the last ride up (at 9 pm) so you will see the city brilling with the stars.
LEARN about the History of Chile.
Even though the city might appear to be young and modern it has played its part in the history of Chile. The heart of the city is the Plaza de Armas (free WIFI!!!) with some of the oldest buildings created by the first immigrants and spanish colonists: Metropolitan Cathedral, Central Post Office Building, Palacio de la Real Audiencia and the seat of the local government. In this part of the City you also find the most museums. One that stands out, not just by the modernity of its architecture, is the Museo de la Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights).
3. PABLO Neruda
MORE hisTORY: Pablo Neruda (1902 -1973) is one of the world’s most interesting and talented poets. He won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1971 and takes part in the fame and culture of Chile. You should not miss to visit his house in Santiago – now a museum. It is not my personal favorite – that would be Isla Negra – but is it one of Narudas 3 homes in Chile which are widely famous and worth a visit: Isla Negra (El Quisco, San Antonio Province), La Saint Sebastian (Valparaiso) and La Chascona (Santiago)
EXPERIENCE the culture
Another part of Chilean culture can be considered a male domain – fútbol. But I don’t want to miss mentioning it as the atmosphere in the stadiums in Santiago is overwhelming and an experience in itself. On word of advice: If you go, make should you do not sit La Barra. It is the district of the fanatic fans, which means you won’t see much of the game.
Originally a female domain, BUT believe me guys you will enjoy food-shopping. For example:
Vega Central (Metro Cal y Canto) is the biggest fruits and vegetable market in Santiago AND Veggie or not: go visit the main fish market – Mercardo Central (Metro Cal y Canto)- the smell is not too good but you will love the atmosphere and the fish restaurants there. I would not recommend going into the big malls like Costanera Center for shopping – it is way overpriced. BETTRER: go check out the mixture of international food market and unusual things at the Persa Bio Bio (Metro Rondizzoni or El Llano) OR the really cheap cloths market Feria Artesanal Santa Lucia (Metro Santa Lucia).
I know, shopping can be expensive, so if you want to keep your money together, go check out our CLUB SEN. Participate and get discounts in many shops, restaurants or hostels in the City.
The best street art and night-life sector is Bellavista, in the Centre of Santiago de Chile. Here you can choose from many different styles of bars and discotecas to dance the night away. Since it can be a touristy area it’s one of the few places in the city where you will generally find a few places open during public holidays when everything else is likely to be closed. BEWARE: The limit is Pio Nono Street. Women should avoid walking alone. Another upcoming area is Barrio Italiano with hip restaurants, decor shops and antique bookshops. It is the perfect place of a tranquillo night out. For example at the Jazz Club: The Jazz Corner.
TASTE the culture
My favourite part of experiencing a city or another culture is eating and drinking my way through it. Chile might not be famous for its food, but there are definitely some treasures to find. For local food like Pastel de Choclo , Empanadas or Chilean Corn Humitas visit Galindo or Laminga in Bellavista. If you can, avoid peak time hours (8-10pm).
The Chilenos love it sweet. Nearly everything I have tried so far was filled with the latin Americans world famous dulce de leche/ manjar. Chíleno, Alfajor, Empolvado, Merengue, Cocoda, Tacita or Cuchuflí are all very sweet but also very cheap to buy in the streets. And don´t forget to try their best import from Germany, the Chilean Kuchen. You find them in every taste you can think of – my personal favourite Torta Merengue Lúcuma or a Píe de Lémon.
Chile is not only struck by small and big earthquakes, they also serve them as a drink.The Terremoto (earthquake) is one of my two favorite Chilean drinks – the others is a Pisco Sour. The national liquor – Pisco- is the base of both drinks and is pretty strong.Also very commune is PisCola or PisCola blanca (Pisco with Sprite) which didn´t convince me, but it is worth trying. Check out this earlier post to find the best bars close by.
CHILL(i) like a local
While exploring a city it is always great to have a place to rest and recharge your energy. In Santiago you will find a lot of parks to do so. Parque O’Higgins is the ideal place for a stroll or a picnic. It is also home to a number of tennis courts, a Japanese garden and a lake where you can rent paddle boats! A more cultural spot is the museum park Parque las Esculturas. There you will find more than 30 exhibits of chilean artist such as Federico Assler, Sergio Castillo or Marta Colvin. And if you need to cool of a bit, go visit the Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete. It is Santiago newest water park where they offer water sports and like in most Chilean parks there are soccer fields and a cycling path.
Que te VAYA bien.