Having travelled quite a bit and stayed at all sorts of places, I can now easily determine where I want to stay in Santiago, Chile. However, it does take a little getting used to the place and knowing the territory before you can decide on a suitable option because each city is different. Moreover, everyone has different priorities. Some prefer living right in the center, at a walking distance from all the places while others prefer a quiet, suburban hotel. Therefore, I’ve conjured up my own list of factors that impact my stay, that I put to use during where to stay in Santiago.
- Secure Environment: This is the foremost factor. You can never experience a city properly if you’re unable to walk around on the streets and to do that, you want to feel safe.
- Happening: Who wants to vacation in the quiet parts of the town? I don’t but this does not mean I like a loud neighborhood. The ideal place to live in is right at the edge of the downtown: not to close to noise but not too far away from the fun!
- Healthy Eating Options: If there is one thing I don’t believe in compromising on when on a vacation is my diet. I like eating healthy and I’d like to continue to do so even on holiday. So, a grocery store at a walking distance or healthy eateries nearby are great.
- Hygiene: Always remember that a clean neighborhood speaks volumes of the kind of people who live there. And people who are particular about cleanliness are usually people who are responsible. Thus, a clean area becomes a necessity.
Santiago is a very big city sporting a variety of neighborhoods –you will find in it areas that are good and also the ones that are very bad, thus should be considered where you want to stay in Santiago. Even in the areas which are considered good, life can get a bit monotonous owing to the fact that these areas are often situated at a great distance from places of fun and activity. This is why it is very important to choose a good place for your stay. However, even if you stay at a far-off place, the subway system can link you to other areas at a very cheap cost. My personal suggestion is to stay at a place that is at once near the subway and is also at a walking distance from the city center or restaurants. These are some of the best places to stay in Santiago as it makes public transportation very easy.
You can see the different neighborhoods of the city in this map above. The center of the red rectangle points to the well-known San Cristobal Hill which is visible from any point in the city. Inside the rectangle, surrounding the hill, is Santiago Central –this is a great place to stay in because it is near some amazing restaurants and hotspots, and has a great nightlife. But because Santiago Central is a pretty big area in itself, I have specifically marked the place you can stay in.
The yellow part in the map is the East of the city, while the purple is the North. This is the elite part of the town, and it is very beautiful, even if it is a bit quieter. This is a great place to stay in if you have a bigger budget and can afford to take a taxi to other parts of the city. You can see the Grand Hyatt in the yellow area, for example. As for the blue and green areas, you don’t need to worry about them right now.
Santiago Centro (Red)
This is from the wilder parts of the city and definitely more grungey. It is situated right near San Cristobal Hill. Bellavista is a very youthful area –and extremely lively. There are so many restaurants and bars in this part of the city, and they are throbbing with energy at night. Patio Bellavista is a center within this area, comprising of many shops and different restaurants. This is a part of Bellavista that is swarming with tourists, but it is still a great place for grabbing some drinks or a good dinner. This is a great place to stay in Santiago.
Just like Valparaiso, you can find one of Pablo Neruda’s homes here –it is open for visiting all day. If you are fond of activities and central locations, Bellavista is the place for you; however it’s not for those who prefer a serene, quiet place.
This is an extremely charming part of the city. Absolutely quaint- you will love this! The streets are so clean and beautiful and are a variety of great restaurants and bars, all in one area! This place is energetic without being extravagant. It is more like a calmer and more beautiful version of Bellavista. Its great if you are looking for a drink without wanting to get too wild. The apartments and hostels look very clean and beautiful –I would definitely want to stay here!
This is an area that will be loved by people of all ages. I particularly love this area because of its proximity to the Santa Lucia Hill –it is right next to it! Bellavista is just a 12 min walk from here (and you can get to San Cristobal Hall from there). The metro is only 2 black away while the Plaza De Armas is practically next to it! As for Barrio Lastarria, it is almost at the end of Santa Lucia. I stayed here during my three-week Spanish School and would walk to school every day. It took me 30 mins, as the school was at the end of Providencia.
This is a very hygienic and safe place to stay at, quite a central location. The only negative thing about it was the lack of healthy restaurants around this place. I developed a liking for some restaurants in Barrio Lastarria and also in Bellavista, but mostly if you wanted something healthy, you have to walk to Providencia. However, in my opinion, this is worth it because it’s a price you pay for being in the part of the city that is charged with nightlife, hotspots and energy. But next time I will stay in Providencia. Another plus point about this area is its affordability.
Santiago Oriente (Yellow – Northeast Region)
Providencia is definitely one of the great areas of Santiago, however it is extremely big and sprawling. It’s not great for its nightlife, however it’s a haven for those looking for healthy restaurants and is a great place to stay in Santiago. One of my favorites here is the La Chakra. My Spanish school was also situated on the end of Providencia.
Vitacura is located just above Providencia and is an absolutely stunning area. It is extremely far from all of the other places mentioned in this post, however it is still an amazing place for stay. I would bring my parents here to come here for a peaceful getaway. The well-known Parque Bicentenario is also situated here, which is a must visit spot! Vitacura is a good place for walking around or for outdoor reading. This area should be considered when thinking on where to stay in Santiago.