Santiago

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Points of Interest in Santiago

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About Santiago

Climate

Like most of the central part in the country, Santiago has a typical Mediterranean climate. The climate is chilly and rainy in the winter, and temperatures can fall to around 0ºC at night. It very rarely snows in the city itself, and during the winter it will more likely be raining with snow falling to the east up in the Andes. It gets progressively hotter towards the summer. Summers are fairly dry although you may experience some humidity at times, and temperatures can surpass 35ºC. Due to the relative lack of vegetation in the region, temperatures fluctuate wildly between day and night year-round. It is not uncommon to suffer from the heat in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt during the day but require a jacket at night.

Santiago is notorious for its poor air quality, which is due to the inversion effect in the basin and other factors. The air quality can be unhealthy in large part due to high concentrations of particulate matter (especially in the winter).

Activities

Theater, dance, and concert listings can be found in El Mercurio.

  • Turistik Santiago Hop on – Hop off +56 2 28201000. 9:30AM-6PM. A red double-decker bus that passes through the main tourist attractions of the city, including the Central Market, Plaza de Armas, Bellavista, and Parque Metropolitana, among others. Pass is good for the day with departures every half hour during operating hours. CLP$19.000.
  • Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Matucana 100 (From Metro Quinta Normal (Line 5), M100 is on the left hand side walking south on Matucana (towards Alameda).),  +56 2 29649240, e-mail: matucana100@m100.cl. Inaugurated in 2002, Matucana 100 is an excellent exhibition venue for a variety of arts.
  • Jazz Clubs - Santiago is home to an impressive jazz scene, with several intimate clubs scattered throughout the city. The Club de Jazz de Santiago is arguably the best. Located in the northern part of the Ñuñoa neighborhood, this small club routinely brings in some of the best local, national, and international artists specializing in everything from Latin Jazz to Blues to Bossa Nova.
  • Wineries, at the end of Line 4 (Las Mercedes and Puente Alto station)

Food

  • Anakena, Av. Kennedy 4601 (in the Hyatt Regency Hotel),  +56 2 23633177. Designed to look like an outdoor market with a number of dishes that combine Asian, European, and South American cooking styles.
  • Café Dante, Jorge Washington 10 (Ñuñoa). A meeting point for friends, with a lot of history and nice service.
  • Boragó, Nueva Costanera 3467, Vitacura,  +56 2 29538893. M - Sa 20:00-23:00. Frequently named as the best restaurant of the country, this innovative place offers "Chilean haute cuisine", using only local and rare ingredients in its dishes.

Drinks

Nightlife choices vary widely across the city and their location usually reflects their price and style.

  • Barrio Bellavista and Barrio Brasil are popular spots close to downtown. Bellavista can be reached by Metro to Baquedano, or by bus to Plaza Italia. Cross the bridge will bring you to Pio Nono, which probably has highest density of bars in Chile.
  • Plaza San Enrique is a park located in Lo Barnechea (at the far northeast of the city) which is surrounded by nightclubs. The most popular one is Sala Murano (it can get very crowded!). People who attend are mostly aged 18-25 and it is one of the safest places to party. Most people there are from upper-middle to high class, so it is more expensive than other neighbourhoods. Typically, females get in for free, while males pay around CLP$3000-5000. You can get there by buses, but though buses do pass later on, you might have to wait up to an hour for it.
  • Plaza Ñuñoa is a district east of the central area and is another popular spot nightlife spot.
  • The Santiago Pub Crawl. . Your night is planned out for you so you don't have worry about where to go, you meet people from all over the world, cover a lot of ground and it's great value for your money. CLP$10.000 pesos.
  • Batuta, Jorge Washington 52 (Plaza Ñuñoa),  +56 2 22747096. A good spot to see mainstream Chilean rock and metal bands, although it is expensive by Chilean standards.
  • Vitacura is located pretty far east (towards the Andes). It is composed of bars and some places where you can dance. The places are nice and although they certainly lack cohesiveness as nightlife (since bars only recently started opening there) it can be fun to go. It is more expensive that other areas of Santiago and frequented by people that live in the eastern (wealthier) side of the city. Although you can get there by bus, it will be hard to leave on anything but a taxi since buses don't run late.
  • La Leyenda, Alameda con Santa Rosa (Metro Santa Lucia (Line 1)). til 5AM. This Peruvian restaurant/bar plays music from all over Latin America at weekends until 5AM to a diverse crowd of locals with roots all over South America. Unpretentious and entertaining. CLP$3000.

Shopping

Santiago has a lot of shopping centres or "Malls", as known by the locals. The main ones are:

  • Mall Plaza Vespucio
  • Mall Plaza Oeste
  • Mall Portal La Dehesa
  • Mall Parque Arauco
  • Mall Alto Las Condes
  • Mall Florida Center
  • Mall Plaza Norte
  • Mall Costanera Center. The newest mall in Santiago. Food court, movie theater, supermarket and stores like Banana Republic, H&M, Zara, NTS. Also restaurants and cafes like Crepes&Waffles, Hard Rock Cafe, Applebees.

In the malls you can find a variety of retail stores and Falabella, París and Ripley, the most famous department stores in Chile. The largest malls are Parque Arauco and Alto Las Condes, both have good restaurants and the former also has free music and shows. You can get to Parque Arauco from Metro Escuela Militar (Line 1) and to Alto Las Condes from Metro Los Domínicos (Line 1); ask locals for directions if you're unsure of how to take buses.

Alonso de Córdova Street and Nueva Costanera Avenue are very exclusive areas where you can find high fashion and luxury stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermés or local designers. In this area you find great restaurants and art galleries.

If you prefer buying handcrafts, the ones in the Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia are good and relatively cheap compared with other handcrafts stores. Other handcrafts centres are in Bellavista (though a bit more expensive).

Steps from Metro Los Domínicos (Line 1) is Pueblito Los Domínicos. It is more expensive but has a wide variety of local handcrafts and antiques, as well as a small exhibition room and a bonsai exhibition behind it. It is very pretty with an artificial stream in a colonial-looking atmosphere. Half of the people there are usually tourists during the summer, so you won't be alone!

Plaza Nuñoa has some small shops in the plaza where you can buy books from Latin America (Neruda, Allende, Cortazar) and also handcrafts.

If you're already kind of familiar with Santiago, you can also go to Barrio Patronato which is located near to the downtown area and it's easy to reach by metro (Metro Patronato, Line 2). There you'll find cheap clothes, food and products of all kinds, as well as some foreign stores (mainly Chinese, Koreans, Peruvians and from the Middle East), thus allowing you to save quite a bit of money. It would be better to go alongside a local, though, since it's easy to get lost due to the very short and slim streets and the very high quotient of visitors. Beware of pickpocketers.

Similarly, those who want more surprises and know the basics about Santiago can go to the famous Persa Bio Bio located in the Franklin area, also not too far from downtown and near to Metro Franklin (Line 2). It can be described as a giant flea market that opens every weekend and offers antiques, tools, handmade furniture, many food stores, etc. Again, it's not a place for novices: a local's presence would be desired.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Santiago on Wikivoyage.

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