I’ve visited Santiago, the capital of Chile, both for work and pleasure. My first trip to Santiago was in 2014 and it was also the first time I traveled alone! Then, I came back twice in 2015, one of those trips was for work, so I stayed there for a month. The last time I traveled to Santiago was in 2018. So, you can guess I could tell you so much!
Santiago de Chile is 2 hours from Buenos Aires by plane. And there’s a moment that is always so exciting: to cross The Andes!
During those years, Argentinians used to travel to Chile to buy clothes and technology because it’s cheaper and better. I didn’t travel just for shopping… but I took advantage of the sales and felt Rachel Green for a while. Chile has stores like H&M and Forever 21, which are not in Argentina.
Santiago de Chile: At the airport
There are many options to get to the city but I have always chosen the same one: a transfer. You find the offices in almost any level of the airport, and for around 10 USD you can to your hotel. The vans take the passengers to different areas in Santiago. There’s other options: bus, taxis and rent a car.
Malls, prices, and transport
Santiago de Chile has a great metro connection but public transportation is not that cheap, comparing to Argentina (1 USD in Chile / 0.20 USD in Buenos Aires). To take a bus or a metro, you must have a card named BIP. You can buy it at any metro station for 1.550 pesos chilenos (2 USD) and add the money that you want. You must know that you pay for the first trip but then you have 2 hours to take another bus for free (bus + metro or more than 1 bus, but no more than 2 metros).
They have many malls and, comparing to my country, I feel that every mall is like a little city. I mean, in the malls you can find everything, like banks and pharmacy, while in Argentina malls only sell clothes and shoes. Next to the biggest mall is the highest skyscraper in Latin America so it was like a lighthouse for me!
On my first trip, I took a free walking tour to visit the most important attractions in Santiago, as La Moneda Palace, the Fine Arts Museum, the Bella Vista neighborhood (a bohemian area), and Santa Lucia Hill. You can also visit Pablo Neruda’s house. He was one of the most famous Chilean poets. Chile is a land of poets: Gabriela Mistral was a poet too and she won the Nobel Prize in 1945.
My trip to Santiago, Chile: A couple of things that I learned
Chileans speak Spanish, but so fast that sometimes I didn’t understand them! They have such a unique accent! Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Chile is isolated, geographically speaking: The Andes (East), The Pacific Ocean (West), Atacama desert (North), and Antarctica (South). I wonder if there’s any connection between one thing and the other.
One thing that I discovered when I traveled was that they have problems with air pollution, so some days, the news announce which cars can go on the streets.
I like many things of Chile, besides the malls, and I’m talking about… avocado! They add avocado to many foods and I love that! In Argentina, avocado is expensive, but in Chile, you can get even a burger at McDonald’s with avocado. Yummy!
What’s the best area of Santiago de Chile to stay?
I always chose Providencia and Las Condes because I wanted to be close to malls and public transportation. There’s a huge accommodation offer in Santiago and you will find from hostel to 5-star hotels. Wherever you decided to stay, my advice is to be close to an avenue and line 1 of the metro. It’s the one that connects the main attractions of the city. And also check that there are places to eat nearby. FIND HERE THE BEST ACCOMMODATION IN SANTIAGO DE CHILE.
As you go to the East, looking at the Andes, you’ll find more exclusive hotels and international restaurants. At the malls, there are from fast food (with those avocado burgers that I told you before) to restaurants. Everything is there!
There are a lot of things you can do during your trip to Santiago de Chile. You can read my experience during a day-tour to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso.
Check also all these awesome tours:
¡Hola! Soy Ale Saras: redactora, diseñadora audiovisual, cinéfila, viajera y millera. Vivo en Argentina y me dedico a crear contenido para diversos medios de Hispanoamérica. En 2017 lancé este blog para compartir información de un tema que me fascina: ¡viajar! Así nació Viajes con Millas, un sitio con relatos de viajes y consejos prácticos para sumar millas y ahorrar.