10 things about Santiago de Chile
After two weeks in the beautiful metropolitan city of Santiago de Chile, here are the most interesting things we would like to share.
1. Its European and American influence.
Santiago is a very beautiful and modern city. Between American style and Europe, you can easily find the atmosphere of a modern metropolitan city with all the facilities you need. We stayed in the most recently developed area, Las Condes. It is a very modern district which reminds the Financial District of New York with its very high buildings, corporate environment and big companies offices. The atmosphere feels very safe even in the lively area where students like to go out and party all night.
2. There are a lot of green parts and “Cerros” in the city centre.
Another positive aspect of Santiago is the Nature within the city. First, it is surrounding by the impressive and beautiful Cordillera which you can see all around from any part of the city. The center also counts with beautiful parks and “cerros” (mounts) which cross the city horizontally giving you access to run tracks or picnic area anywhere. One of the most appreciated park is the “parque metropolitano” in Las Condes which ends up to “cerro San Cristobal” dominated by a Christ statue which could reminds a minor version of “El Cristo Redendedor”. Andrea enjoyed several runs in this beautiful environment.
3. The traditional fast food is everywhere.
Chilenos love eating. They have a passion for what they call “palta”, avocado fruit. The most representative meal is the “italiano”, a hot dog covered with “palta”, tomato and mayonnaise sauce. Another very traditional sandwich is the “completo” with beef, “palta” and “salsa” which is a very spicy “ají” sauce. And of course it always come with “papas fritas”.
4. Our favourites restaurants.
After few days of street food, we went to Bellavista district to “Bellavista Patio”. It reminded us American mall with a lot of restaurants where you will find a large offer of food from traditional to exotic. But our favorite place has been by far “CHPE Libre” also known as “La República del Pisco”. It is a traditional restaurant in the center which offers delicious food and an impressive selection of Piscos from Perú and Chile. In fact, they have the largest selection of Pisco of Chile and Peru. The place is very cute and the food delicious. The pisco sours are heaven and the degustation of deserts was perfection!
5. The highest Sky Scraper of the South Hemisphere.
One peculiar aspect of Santiago is its Skyline. You have Skyscrapers anywhere, but particularly in Las Condes. One of them is actually the highest in the Latino America, and second highest in the Southern Hemisphere. Sky Costanera Tower reaches 300mts high and counts with 64 floors. You can go on top of it to enjoy an impressive view of the City and the Cordillera. The entrance fee costs 10.000 pesos per person.
6. Museum of the Memory and Human Rights.
Chilean wound is still very present after years of strong dictatorship during Pinochet mandate. The city has dedicated a free Museum around this painful page of the country’s history. You can go and spend an afternoon to Museo de la Memoria y Derechos Humanos which offers thousand of portraits, testimonies, newspapers articles and memorabilia from the dark years of Military Government.
7. City tours.
A very good way to discover Santiago is the Spicy Chile Walking Tours. We started the tour at 10am from the station Bellas Artes and were lucky enough to be the only ones and have a guide just for us. The 3h30 tour takes you all around the city and our guide was an History teacher which provided us with very precise and detailed information around the City and country’s history.
8. Foreign credit cards don’t always work.
Another surprising fact is that it is quite challenging to pay with credit cards in Chile. Some of the terminals they use are not compatible with European banks security systems and we very often faced a mysterious error message when we tried to pay, specially in restaurants. For supermarkets and shops it worked nicely.
9. The Muv Pass for an easy access to the gym.
A very practical and cheap system when you stay in Santiago for a couple of weeks is the “Muv pass“. It is a pass which gives you access to classes in gyms all over the city. We took the one week trial for 5000 pesos and could enjoy classes anywhere very easily. From yoga to pilates or cross fit you will find plenty of choices. It was a very convenient way to keep training at a cheap price.
10. Co-working places in Santiago
Santiago offers plenty of very nice and modern co-working spaces with very good internet. We highly recommend the one where we stayed few days: GreenTi Cowork. Located in a quiet street in Las Conders, it is actually a fantastic small villa with garden, patron and nicely intern design. An alternative, free and very popular among locals option to work or use great internet in Santiago are the Santander Cowork Cafe. Sponsored by the famous bank, they are state-of-art office-on-the-go and there are already over a dozen in Santiago Center only.