Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

,, Locals were kind and helpful to us, though few knew English. After Brazil and Peru, it was strange to see that the vast majority of people are white. We barely saw Native Americans and relatively few mixtures.  The city has not proved exotic in this regard

We didn’t have any security issues. We saw cops everywhere in the streets.

In four days, we saw the major tourist attractions.We have visited:
Plaza de Armas,  Catedral Metropolitana, Cerro San Cristobal, Sky Costanera, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (very interesting), Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, Palacio de la Moneda (from outside only), Mercado Central

Of course, we had some drinks in the Pio Nono Street of the Bellavista neighborhood. In some retro venues, we tasted local beers and the Pisco sour cocktail. For food, we had the Lomo a lo Pobre (thinly cut sirloin steak slices with two eggs and french fries, plus strictly local red wine). " (Feri, 2018)

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,, Roughly speaking Santiago is located in some kind of “hole” surrounded by mountains, so most of the time if you look behind the buildings on any direction you will see them in the distance. It is specially pretty during the winter when the rain washes the smog away and the blue mountains, covered in snow, can be clearly seen."

Practicals

Transport


,, Since we were four, each of us with a suitcase, we took a minibus from the airport to the city. Several taxi companies at the airport; we used GetTransfer. Realistic price, fair service.

We traveled by subway once only during our stay as taking a taxi was cheaper for four people and took us directly to our destination. The taxi drivers were honest; we paid by the metered fare. They didn’t even pressure us to give a tip.
 (Feri, 2018)"

However, we recommend you use Uber (or Beat or Cabify), not a taxi.

Metro

The Metrocard (BIP) costs around 2 USD and each trip will cost a dollar or so.

The metro stops running at around 11 pm at night so keep that in mind and ensure you have a local SIM or wifi to be able to call a taxi or use Uber.


Santiago de Chile - metro - aji photo

Santiago de Chile - taxi - o.s. photo

Accomodation

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Santiago de Chile - Art Nouveau hotel building - p.l. photo

Food

Lunch is the main meal here, not dinner. Many cheaper restaurants may not be open after around 4 pm. No such problem exists with upmarket bars and restaurants, though.

Our favorite bakery (if also French): Le Fournil with excellent baguettes and cookies.

The best vegan restaurant is El Huerto.

,, In a big restaurant, we paid 16 USD/each for the Lomo a lo Pobre, and 13 USD for an excellent Chilean wine. In every restaurant, cafes, pubs, the check included a 10% service charge; this way, we did not worry about tipping. (Feri, 2018)

Update 2020A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs about 7 USD. A three-course meal for 2 People in a mid-range restaurant costs about  46 USD. 

Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught) 4 USD,  Cappuccino (regular)  2.70 USD, 

            



Santiago de Chile - churros - k.-t.- g. photo

Santiago de Chile - pastel de jaiba (crab casserole)

Santiago de Chile - Mercado Central - restaurants - c.m. photo

Santiago de Chile - shrimp sandwich on a freshly baked hamburguesa bun - c.m. photo

Santiago de Chile - this ceviche had large pieces of salmon, octopus, a whole shrimp, plus mushrooms, sweet potatos, garbanzo beans and crunchy roasted corn kelems - c.m. photo

Shopping

Update 2020: consumer prices in Santiago are 30% higher than in Buenos Aires, 52% higher than in Rio de Janeiro.


Mercado Central

Mercado Central is misleading because it doesn't appear upmarket, so you 'expect' the food to be cheap, but it is not.

La Vega Central Market - all the colors, smells, and flavors of the fruits and vegetables - not as touristy as the Mercado Central

Bio-Bio Market

Pueblito los Dominicos Crafts Market

Santiago de Chile - shopping street - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - street vendors - even selling cakes by the slice - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - Vega Central market - c.m. photo

Santiago de Chile - old cash register - k.-t- g. photo

Fun

You have to go to the Bellavista district on Saturday night to party. The street called Pio Nono is the epicenter.

La Piojera

Santiago de Chile - Paseo Ahumada (main pedestrian street) - Chinchineros, street performers playing bass drum-type percussion instruments - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - bar - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - Brian May of Chile - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile- street dancers - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - no-frills tap house - k.-t.-g- photo

Public safety


The city center (Paseo Ahumada Sector, Calle Huérfanos, Calle Puente, Paseo Estado, Plaza de Armas) is not entirely safe after 9:00 p.m., Even daytime avoid flash your latest generation iPhone and overact yourself as a foreign tourist.  Don't worry, during the day you won't be mugged, and you can take photos without much concern, unlike in Rio. But at night, don't hang around downtown if you do not know where you can safely walk.

Pickpocketing is common in the city so keep an eye on your belongings, especially on crowded public transport.

The dangerous neighborhoods are typically southside and northside, be careful on the outskirts.

Take it easy: no armed muggings, no kidnappings. Drug traffic-related violence is beyond tourism.

After football matches, avoid groups of screaming, drunk fans around Plaza Italia, or other central squares.

As a general rule of thumb, Providencia, Las Condes, and beyond in the East of the city are more affluent and generally a safe area. Most touristy communes are safe,  but - frankly - are not specifically authentic Chilean milieus. The entire metro network is safe, too.

If you are in trouble, just contact the Carabineros (Chilean police) as they are reliable, non-corrupt.

Update: In 2019-2020 anarchist riotings, destructions (vandalism, looting) caused severe problems in the city. Hotels and restaurants were not exempt. Give these kinds of street confrontation a wide berth.





Santiago de Chile - mounted police (patrullas montados)

Santiago de Chile - this is a vehicle for cleaning streets, in a relentless way... - k.-t.- g. photo

Others

street art

Santiago de Chile - street art - aji photo

Santiago de Chile - Barrio Bellavista (Bellavista Neighborhood) - street art - aji photo

Santiago de Chile - street art - aji photo

Santiago de Chile - street art - aji photo

Santiago de Chile - street art - aji photo

Santiago de Chile - street art - aji photo

Background

Santiago de Chile with the Andes Mountains as a background set - g.l. photo

Destination in brief

Santiago (locals call it simply that way) is located in the valley of the Mapocho River, surrounded by the Andes Mountain Range, about 100 km (62 mi) east of the Pacific Ocean coast.

Santiago means “Saint James” (from Spanish “saint” = Saint + “Yago” = Spanish form of James).

Population (in 2020): 4.8 million in the city area and 6.7 million in the urban area (Santiago Metropolis) - 35% of Chile's total population lives here

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 650 USD - (Chile average: 630 USD)

The district with the skyscrapers is nicknamed Sanhattan (from the words Santiago and Manhattan).

Santiago is not a touristy city, and most tourists are only here for shopping and/or partying. Most of the tourists come from neighboring Argentina.

Climate

In Winter, the central part of Chile is pretty cold, and in summer, it is pretty arid.

In the winter (June till September), temperatures go down to 0 degrees Celsius (32F). It can rain a lot in the winter, but that’s not bad since it washes away the smog for one or two days. The canalization is not made for heavy rains so that the streets can be a little flooded during intense rainfall.

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,, The problem with Santiago is smog. So this is the thing that makes Santiago dirty.
The origin of the smog is the same as in many cities: pollution, with its sources in industries, transport, heating, but also very important, nature.
The climate in Santiago is arid, except in winter. If you have no rain in a city, there is nothing that really can clean the atmosphere. Also, too much concrete does not help. Forests would help the atmosphere to keep humidity. But to have forests, you need irrigation.
But what is still a bigger problem is that Santiago is located in a valley. A very well defined valley surrounded by high hills in almost any direction.
Geography is the most important and impactful feature in Santiago's pollution problem."

History

Bullet holes left since the 1973 coup, still visible on some buildings around La Moneda palace.

Museo de la Memoria

Santiago de Chile - Plaza de Armas - statue of Pedro de Valdivia, Spanish conqueror and governor of Chile (founded Santiago in 1541) - k.-t. g. photo

Nowadays

The upper and upper-middle classes live their daily lives in splendid isolation, avoiding ordinary people.

Santiago de Chile - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - demonstration to legalize abortions (2017) - I decide what enters and leaves in and out of my vagina - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - street vendors - aji photo

People

Locals are by far not so extroverted as people in big Brazilian or Argentinian cities. Locals themselves declare that they are not very Latinos. They admit that calling them British Latinamericans is an expression that tells.

Many say that one of the things that differentiate Santiago (santiaguinos) people from other people in Chile is probably the acid, sarcastic way of thinking and speaking.

Lots of girls, women have Maria as their first name.

Ciao is also very common here as saying goodbye.

Depression rates have risen and stress is only fought through marijuana, that's getting more and more popular.

Santiago de Chile - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - a cantina - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - satisfied customer - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - little Mestizo girls - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - in traditional festive dresses - k.-t. g. photo

Tourist etiquette

1. If we are traveling in the capacity of lovers or couples who still love each other, it is no problem to physically express mutual emotions in public spaces. Why? Because this city is full of lovers who expose their love affair for the broad audience - hot kisses, wild cuddlings, etc. in subway stations and squares. Few bystanders do take a dim view.

2. If you are a tourist from the US, don't expect to be easily popular when telling where you come from. Many locals feel some antipathy to the US people. By the way, Americans are not called in Spanish americano, but estadounidense.

3. Most local people are very local patriotic, so by no means detail your negative opinions about the city. Leave the criticism to them; most likely, they will go to length.

4. If treated with food as a guest, do not refuse to eat in any way. At most, say that, unfortunately, you are full: pucha, estoy lleno”. Some hosts can feel deeply offended if you say bluntly no.

5. You are not in Africa, so don't try to bribe a police officer.


Santiago de Chile - flipping the middle finger - seems to be a rightful reaction against the unpermitted photo shoot - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - conversely they do react positively - k.-t. g. photo

Gastronomy

Chileans love the lemon flavor a lot. They like to drop some lemon juice into their food.

Many dishes have cilantro (coriander leaves) sprinkled on top.

Santiago de Chile - fortified wine, pineapple ice cream, grenadine cocktail - k.t. g. photo

Attractions

Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

The museum entry costs about 10 USD, but admission is free every first Sunday of the month. The museum is closed on Mondays! 

There are translations for English speakers

The art objects represent all geographic regions from Mexico to Patagonia.

The most preserved art objects are in the basement.

,,If you want to understand the high cultures of South America you have to go to this museum. Very well explained and very well structured."



Santiago de Chile - Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino - wooden Mapuche burial sculptures

Santiago de Chile - MuseoChileno de Arte Precolombiano - the sizes

Santiago de Chile - Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino - k.-t. g. photo

Plaza de Armas

Santiago de Chile - Plaza de Armas - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - Plaza de Armas with the Catedral Metropolitana - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - Plaza de Armas - c.m. photo

atop Cerro San Cristobal

Some historic buildings

Santiago de Chile - Plaza de Armas - The Central Post Office Building ( Correos Chile) - aji photo

Barrio Bellavista

lots of street art, galleries, bars, restaurants, cafes, and interesting shops - try venture uphill!

National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes)

Santiago de Chile - National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) - k.-t. g. photo

Santiago de Chile - Bellas Arte - k.-t. g. photo

Barrio Lastarria

cute little street with lots of cafes

Costanera Center building

Some more interesting neighborhoods

Barrio República

Barrio Yungay

Barrio Concha y Toro

Barrio Italia: boutique shops, cafes, and hipsters

 Cementerio General


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