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Santiago de Chile is the capital of Chile and is, admittedly, a modern, dynamic city. Where the colonial mansions meet modern skyscrapers, tradition becomes in fashion and cultures mix up in a fascinating melting pot; who wouldn’t want to find cheap air tickets to Santiago de Chile and travel to this outstanding destination?! Having been through riots, dictatorships, natural disasters and a turbulent past, Santiago heroically survives and continues to grow into an elegant metropolis of South America, cultural, social and historical hub of Chile. Make your plans early enough and you will most probably be able to find cheap accommodation in Santiago. Once you’ve made all the preparations, sit back and enjoy the life-giving aura of this marvellous city, daydream gazing at the Andes and feel the energy!
Santiago de Chile, with a population of 300,000, is deeply connected to the Andes. The mountains’ presence in everyday life is a given, a reference point acting as a natural compass and lighting their way.
When visiting Santiago, you are bound to fall for two traps; either believe you’re headed to a grey, depressing city, or think you’re going to the next best thing after passionate Buenos Aires! Reality is nothing like these; or maybe Santiago had the potential to be both, but it chose the way of patience, persistence and smile!
Santiago’s locals may not strike you as the passionate, typical Latin American type, but they are extremely friendly and take good care of visitors. Famous for their sense of humour and intelligence, the Chileans of Santiago will make your stay there even more special!
The airport of Santiago de Chile (Aeropuerto Internacional Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez) is located 15 kilometres north of Santiago and can be reached by bus, airport shuttle and taxi.
Getting around Santiago de Chile
You can get around Santiago de Chile using the Transantiago network that comprises of 6 metro lines and buses (micros). Fares start at 100.00 CLP and minimum taxi fare costs 250.00 CLP.
Santiago de Chile Guide
Santiago de Chile is divided into 32 municipalities, but you will most likely experience only a small fraction of them, especially locations where the most sights and attractions are situated in.
- Santiago downtown, El Centro, is the main economic, political and historic part of the city, housing mainly – but not exclusively – business buildings. A loud exception is the Palacio de la Moneda, the government palace of Chile, whose historical value is enormous.
Moneda is the Spanish word for “coin”; the building, built by Joaquín Toesca in 1788, first served as the national mint.
The Palacio de la Moneda is one of the few excellent examples of colonial architecture in South America, having been immortalised though by something else: this is the place where Salvador Allende was tragically forced to commit suicide, during the coup of 1973.
- Continue to the Parque Forestal area, officially part of Santiago’s centre, but in reality nothing like it. Don’t miss the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artas), Chile’s main national art gallery, boasting exquisite art collections from famous Chilean artists.
Before you leave the district, be sure to check the view from the San Cristóbal hill, at an altitude of 860 metres.
Providencia and Las Condes are two neighbouring areas that lately become more and more famous as modern, cosmopolitan and alternative hangouts. Lots of restaurants, cafes and cutting-edge modern art galleries are to be found in their busy streets.
- At Providencia, you will come across Santiago’s largest market, Mercado Central, dating back to 1872.
- La Chascona is the indisputable superstar of the area, one of the three houses where the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda lived. This one is shaped like a ship and includes rare antiques, books and other documents belonging to the poet, all part of the Pablo Neruda Institution.
A few blocks away, you should definitely visit the Iglesia, Convento y Museo de San Francisco; a church, a monastery and a museum dedicated to San Francisco, this is Santiago’s oldest building and boasts having survived all three catastrophic earthquakes that hit the city!Santiago de Chile’s official language is Spanish.
To enter Chile, you need to have a passport with validity until 6 months after your travel dates. Greek citizens don’t need a tourist Visa, for a maximum stay of 90 days.
When to Go
Santiago de Chile has a warm, Mediterranean climate; summers are hot and dry, winters are cold and humid. You will have no problem whatsoever visiting Santiago all-year-round, as long as you’ve packed probably and planned your itinerary accordingly.