Are you planning a trip to Chile and its capital? Discover the best neighborhoods to stay in Santiago de Chile!
Located in central Chile between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, about at the opposite of the continent from neighboring Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile, with 4,912,500 inhabitants (2012) spread over 641.4 km². The urban area, with a population of 7 million, constitutes a third of the total population and is considered the country’s third most prosperous city, the seventh most populated, and is said to offer the best quality of life in Latin America.
The city of Santiago is a vast conurbation of 37 municipalities! The cost of living is relatively high in this part of the world: it will be rather expensive to stay in Santiago, even if you choose to book a room in a youth hostel. To help you select the area that best suits your needs, we’ve picked some of the best neighborhoods to stay in Santiago.
Santiago’s central district is the economic, political, and administrative hub of the city. If you take the time to contemplate the area’s architecture, you will see how the old mingles with the modern, offering a unique blend of epochs. Nearby, you can stroll through the Plaza de Armas, the central square of Santiago, surrounded by parks and shopping malls. If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the local culture, be sure to attend a show at the Santiago Municipal Theatre: a great way to improve your Spanish skills! Not far away, explore the La Vega market situated on the northern banks of the Mapocho. An excellent neighborhood to stay in Santiago to enjoy the city’s bustling center.
This neighborhood is in many ways reminiscent of the coastal city of Valparaiso. Located north of Santiago’s city center, Recoleta a colorful district, where the walls are covered in colorful graffiti and the streets lined with authentic local bars. The area is home to numerous cultural and artistic venues, offering a guaranteed change of scenery to any visitor. Recoleta is a fairly recent neighborhood: it was born under Pinochet’s dictatorship. The Santiago General Cemetery runs through the district: it is not always the kind of place one wants to visit, but it is worth a look: featuring 86 hectares of tombs, mausoleums, columbariums, and peaceful green gardens, it’s a rather unusual tourist attraction. Locals often visit this lavish and expansive cemetery to decorate their families’ graves with colorful, sweet-smelling flowers of all sorts. It’s a vast urban park, offering a tranquil refuge from the hustle and bustle of Santiago’s city center.
If we had to compare Bellavista to the district of a European city, it’s a bit like London’s Brick Lane area: Bellavista is one of the city’s best nightlife hotspots. Therefore, if you are a young party-goers, Bellavista is a great place to stay in Santiago. The district is located between the Mapocho River and the Cerro San Cristóbal hill, a vast public park peaking at an altitude of 860 meters. In this arty and bohemian district, you will find an array of bars, nightclubs, art galleries, and restaurants. Bellavista offers a blend of historic architecture, lively bars, and green spaces, the soul of the district. It is a trendy area attracting young locals: a pleasant place to stay in Santiago.
Located northeast of the city center, the Providencia district is a former municipality annexed to the territory of Santiago. Bustling day and night, Providencia’s streets are lined with great local restaurants and lively bars. This cosmopolitan area attracts the local upper-middle class, as well as expatriates and tourists: a blend of cultures from all over the world. The Providencia district has a culinary soul: it is home to a myriad of organic, vegetarian and affordable international restaurants. If you want to stay in a lively and comfortable area, this is where you should stay in Santiago.
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