Santiago is the capital and economic center of Chile. With its many museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, it is also the political and cultural center of the country. Its central location in the country makes it a great base for visiting other areas, and it is possible to ski in the nearby Andes and later be on the beach in the same day.
The traditional financial area of the city, full of colonial architecture and paseos (streets turned pedestrian walkways).
A solidly upper middle class comuna home of many of the entertainment districts, including Suecia and the area surrounding Manuel Montt. It also comprises Parque Bustamente, a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood with many hostels and cafés, and Parque de Las Esculturas, a prime park for morning runners
Sanhattan and eastern Santiago (Ñuñoa, Macul, La Florida, Penalolen, La Reina, Las Condes, Vitacura, Lo Barnechea)
The new financial district of the city, full of tall buildings, swanky bars, and high-end hotels. This part of the city stretches all the way to the Andean glaciers at the city borders.
Bellavista and northern Santiago (Recoleta, Independencia, Conchali, Renca, Quilicura, Huechuraba)
The Bohemian quarter of the city full of bars and nightclubs.
Western and southern Santiago (Barrio Brasil, Barrio República, Quinta Normal, Estación Central, Lo Prado, Cerro Navia, Pudahuel, Maipu, Cerrillos, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Lo Espejo, San Miguel, San Joaquin, La Cisterna, San Ramón, La Granja, El Bosque, La Pintana)
Contains Barrio Brasil, a neighborhood of students, artists, cheap restaurants, and happy hour as well as the western and southern parts of the city, including the city’s airport and central railway station.
- Santiago is known as a cultural hotspot. Among other things, the city is home to an impressive jazz scene, with several intimate clubs scattered throughout the city, a famous one being Club Jazz in the Nuñoa district. In the Providencia district a jazz festival takes place each January with both local and foreign bands playing. For current theater, dance, and concert listings can be found in the El Mercurio newspaper. For a broad variety of art and culture, visit one of several cultural centers around the city, featuring exhibitions, performances and workshops. At some of these you can buy local art and handicraft too (refer to the Buy section for more shopping).
- You can also take a pleasant walk in one of Santiago’s many parks. Some of these, like Cerro Santa Lucia and Parque Metropolitano offer great views over the city. If you want something more than just hiking or taking the cable car up a little hill, take on the higher “hills” outside the city. Contact one of the local mountaineering clubs and go on a trek to some of the highest mountains in the world outside Asia, or if you like skiing, hit the slopes of El Colorado (Chile).
- Vineyards. While you are outside downtown, Central Chile is also famous for its wines and wineries. Some noteworthy ones are Cousiño Macul and Concha y Toro. Casablanca Wine Valley (e.g. Viña Emiliana) is only about 1 hour to the west of Santiago and home to the best white wine in the country.
1 Viña Cousiño Macul (reachable from the Quilin Metro station).
2 Viña Concha y Toro (take a taxi from the end of Line 4 (Las Mercedes and Puente Alto station).
3 Viña Emiliana
- 4 Paso de Uspallata (between Chile and Argentina). Rent a car for 1 or 2 days from Santiago and go visit the wineries near Los Andes, the beautiful Uspallata Pass with Monumento del Cristo Redentor, the Aconcagua Provincial Park for some hiking, the impressive El Puente del Inca and/or even laid-back Mendoza and its vineyards.
1 – 4 Days: Spend a day or two exploring this cultuiral metropolis and then head a couple of hours south to explore its magnificent vineyards!