Do you want to know which are the best areas to stay in Santiago de Chile? Some of our favorite areas are Centro, Lastarria, Bellavista, Providencia, Las Condes, or Bellas Artes, among others.The city has the advantage that many of them are close to each other and that it has a very integrated public transport system that makes it easy to move to almost any corner of the city.
1.Centro, the best area to stay in Santiago de Chile
The central districts of the big cities in Central and South America often share two characteristics: their historical monuments and architecture, and some insecurity.
If you are looking to learn more about the history of the country and the city, this is one of the best places to stay in Santiago de Chile.In the center you will find some of the most notable monuments, such as:
- the Municipal Theater,
- the La Moneda Palace,
- the Santiago Cathedral,
- the National Historical Museum, and
- the Plaza de Armas.
The Plaza de Armas has been the center of public activity since the early days of the city, and remains a place of social and commercial activity for many residents, as well as a perfect place to sit and relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Its central location means that the Central District is one of the best areas to stay in Santiago de Chile to visit the rest of the city.
On the other hand, the proximity to the bohemian neighborhood of Bellas Artes makes it an especially interesting option for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and arts.
The Central District is probably not the best place for backpackers or those on a tight budget. Although you will find some hostels, most of the available options in this area are boutique hotels or apartments for tourist rentals.
ACCOMMODATION IN THE CENTRAL AREA
2.Lastarria, downtown, culture, and excellent restaurants
Lastarria is like the twin sister of Bella Artes, the most artistic and free neighborhood of Santiago de Chile.
Barrio Lastarria is one of the most popular tourist spots within the city, but it is also a very popular cultural center among locals.Located near the Central District, Lastarria is an upper-middle class neighborhood distinguished by its cobblestone streets and classic architecture.
The boutique shops and small cafés combine with its architecture to create a very European atmosphere.It is without a doubt a strong counterpoint to the modern glass and steel towers that make up a large part of Santiago.
Furthermore, if you wish to treat yourself to a meal in first class restaurants, this is probably the best alternative for sleeping in Santiago de Chile.
La Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro is home to a used book and antique market held every Thursday and Sunday, while the Centro Gabriela Mistral is a meeting point for art, live theater and music.
In Lastarria, expect to spend a little more than you would in other neighborhoods, and in return you will enjoy an elegant neighborhood that is immersed in a growing process of cultural dynamism.
As tourism has come to the neighborhood more frequently, the mid-range and luxury boutique hotels have taken root in some of its older buildings.
And while these hotels retain their majestic and classic charm, many are equipped with all the modern conveniences of hotels in new buildings such as rooftop pools.
3.Fine Arts, culture and art
Fine Arts is seen as the twin brother of Lastarria, but certainly not an identical twin.This neighborhood once had a certain unpleasant reputation, but in recent years it has become one of the most prominent bastions of culture and the arts in Santiago.
One of the major tourist attractions in the area is the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts). The museum is more than a century old and, despite the severe damage it suffered during the 2010 earthquake, the architecture itself is still astoundingly beautiful.
In addition to this museum, which is a must-see, there are other attractions in the area such as the Museo de Artes Visuales, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, the Biblioteca Nacional and the Archivo Nacional.
If Lastarria is a bit more upper-middle class, Bellas Artes is significantly more Bohemian. For many, it is the cultural heart of the city.One of the most recommended daytime activities is a walk around the Santa Lucia hill.
The fact that it is right next to Lastarria means that you can stay in Bellas Artes and still have easy access to everything this neighborhood has to offer.And the fact that one of the most important subway lines goes directly to this area means that if you stay in this area you will have easy access to other neighborhoods.
FINE ARTS ACCOMMODATIONRecoleta and Bellavista, ideal to sleep in Santiago de Chile to go out to party
4.RECOLETA AND BELLAVISTA
Recoleta is one of the largest neighborhoods in Santiago and it is difficult to categorize it in a singular way since it includes several different areas, the most interesting one is surely Bellavista. Those who are looking for a more modern and less touristic neighborhood than Centro will find in Bellavista one of the best areas to stay in Santiago de Chile.
It is worth mentioning that Bellavista is touching the downtown area so you can visit the tourist attractions of this area by taking a short walk.
There is a lot of animation in this neighborhood that would be difficult to find elsewhere (with the closest competitor being Bella Artes).
Known for its bohemian reputation, Bellavista’s buildings are covered with colorful and expressive murals that paint a dramatic picture of the city’s past and present, and are accompanied by some of the liveliest bars and clubs in the city.
But Bellavista is not just a party place. This is one of the city’s most prominent art districts. Here you will find galleries, boutiques and cafes in a generous offering.
Then there is the Pio Nono market, which specializes in handcrafted products and particularly the famous lapis lazuli that is extracted in the mines of northern Chile.
From Bellavista you can enjoy the Metropolitan Park, the largest park in the city, and the National Zoo of Chile, which is also located in Bellavista, between the Mapocho River and Cerro San Cristobal.
This hill offers one of the most scenic views of the city, and is high enough to offer a view of the Andes on clear days.
In short, Bellavista is one of the best areas to stay in Santiago de Chile regardless of your budget as it offers a wide selection of hotels suitable for any price range. Whether you are looking for a boutique hotel with luxurious amenities, a cozy mid-range bed and breakfast, or a simple hostel, you can find something to suit your needs in Bellavista or in the surrounding communities in Recoleta.
ACCOMMODATION IN RECOLETA AND BELLAVISTA
5.Providencia, perfect for shopping
As the capital of Chile, Santiago is undoubtedly a very lively city.
Providencia is a residential district, with a high level of commercial activity, green areas and a strong sense of community.You won’t find many museums, galleries or historical monuments here, so you won’t have to suffer from the influx of tourists.
Despite this, it doesn’t mean that this is a neighbourhood where there is nothing to do, on the contrary, there is a lot to do in Providence during the day or at night (it has a good dose of nightlife).
To start with, there are some things that are definitely worth visiting in this neighbourhood.The Sky Costanera Observatory is the tallest building in the city and offers one of the most impressive views of Santiago.
If you leave this main street, you will find countless nearby streets offering less «mainstream» shops for shopping and eating.
The residential nature of Providencia means that there is not as much choice of hotels as other more touristy areas, however, there are some options of both luxury hotels and good value hostels if you know where to look, as well as apartments for rent via Airbnb and similar.
FIND ACCOMMODATION IN PROVIDENCIA
Read also other similar guides about Latin American capitals that may be of interest to you such as: Where to stay in Buenos Aires, where to stay in Sao Paulo, where to stay in Bogotá
6.Las Condes, to stay in Santiago de Chile with your family
Las Condes has earned the nickname of ‘Sanhattan’, a reference to the famous New York district of Manhattan.In recent decades, Santiago’s economy has received a major boost, and this is felt in this financial district more than anywhere else in the city.
The skyline is dominated by magnificent glass and steel buildings, and the picturesque colonial architecture that dominates much of the city is largely absent from these busy streets.This makes it an obvious and practical choice for business travelers to stay in Santiago de Chile.
If you’re looking for the most exclusive experiences in Chile’s capital, Las Condes is easily one of the best places to stay in Santiago de Chile. The main streets of Alonso de Cordova and Nueva Costanera are packed with top quality shopping opportunities.
You should also bear in mind that if you don’t have your own vehicle, you’ll have to rely more on buses and taxis from the metro.Las Condes is less hospitable to bicycles and is farther away from the centre.
On the other hand, its proximity to the Cordillera makes it an ideal neighbourhood for those who want to go skiing.
In Las Condes you will not find cheap hostels or many cheap or mid-range hotels, but what you will find here are the luxury hotels.
7.Vitacura, one of the most exclusive areas of the Chilean capital
Another part of the Santiago section known as «Sanhattan» is Vitacura.As a result, it tends to offer a fairly high concentration of wealthy business people and travelers.
Architecture is a monument to modernity, and the relative proximity of the Andes means that it is a great place to have a great view of the mountains.In addition to modern buildings, you will also find quiet residential streets perfectly cultivated with magnificent trees and imposing houses.
If you have money to spare, here are some luxury hotels and high-end boutique options.If not, well, you should at least stop by one of their bars to have a good glass of white wine or some pisco while you are in town.
Because of the hotel offer it is difficult to find a hotel or hostel in these quieter and more prosperous areas, but you can find houses and apartments for rent if you have time and patience to plan ahead.
FIND ACCOMMODATION IN VITACURA
8.Barrio Brasil, cheap accommodation in Santiago de Chile
Barrio Brasil has earned its name from the fact that all its streets are named after places in Brazil.There’s a great level of authenticity in this slightly more ramshackle, but surprisingly safe, neighborhood of the lower classes.Barrio Brasil has some of the most modern bars in the whole city, and has a respectably large number of parks as well.
One place to visit is the Plaza Brasil, which has a reputation for attracting street musicians and artists.Its location right next to the neighborhood’s largest cathedral means it’s easy to find.
If you want to add a little more culture to your life, be sure to visit Quinta Normal Park:
They include a botanical garden, a contemporary art museum and a natural history museum, as well as a museum highlighting the history of the railway and a cultural center offering multiple interactive attractions (Artequin).
Barrio Brasil is also one of the cheapest places to stay in Santiago de Chile.There are a good number of cheap hotels and hostels available in this area, and furnished apartments at good prices are not usually difficult to find.
BARRIO BRASIL ACCOMMODATION