Things That I Have Learned In Santiago, Chile

Things I Have Learned In Santiago, Chile

“We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.” Ray Bradbury

Santiago is the cultural, financial and economic center of Chile.

Take the funicular up the side of the mountain for amazing views of the city.

We stayed in the Barrio Lastarria and took a walk around the surrounding streets.

The neighborhood is very cute and with stores and cafes. The Museo de Artes Visuales, Museo Arqueológico and a street market is nearby.

We had a lunch and a dinner at Bocanariz. It was so good that we went twice. There are many wine tasting options and cool decor. Reservations are best during peak hours.

Santiago has contrasting architecture.

it has innovative well designed skyscrapers, Spanish colonial buildings and European style houses.

The Changing Of The Guard ceremony at La Moneda Palace is worth it if you are in the area at 10AM as I was.
It happens on even number dates  in January, April, May, August, November and December and odd number dates In February, March, June, July, September and October. It is  the most important building in Santiago. The palace is the seat of government and is impressive in its own right. It was bombed in 1973 during the Military Coup, led by Augusto Pinochet, to overthrow Salvador Allende. The ceremony is full of pomp, circumstance, a sixty piece marching band and well-behaved horses.

If you like sports, or even if you don’t, going to see a local Chilean fútbol game or seeing La Roja, Chile’s national team, is an experience worth having. Chileans really love their fútbol and as a result, the crowds can get pretty rowdy, so avoid sitting in la barra (the fanatic) section, where the crowds chant and jump nearly the entire game.These games may be very different from watching sports in your home country. There are no alcoholic beverages sold at the stadiums and there is a noticeable police presence with many well armed officers surrounding la barra and monitoring the entrance and exit of all attendees. Unless you have a set allegiance it’s best to sit in the seated home team section of the stadium, you get to leave first and are less likely to encounter any problems. The most popular teams are Universidad de Chile, Colo-Colo, and Universidad Catolica (the teams use the names of the universities, but have no current affiliation). Don’t bring a purse, camera or cell phone.

A luthier is a maker of stringed instruments like the charango in Chile. Luthiers in Chile were out of town when we were there.

Street food and food trucks are all around in Santiago, Chilean hot dogs and empanadas are very popular.

The trucks are a bit different from in the US.

Uber is gaining popularity in Santiago. There is a problem with the taxi drivers so you have to sit in the front “ like friend.”

Santiago has many traditional street markets (ferias). You will find souvenirs and handicrafts at the best prices at Los Dominicos and Santa Lucia. Although today the ferias are somewhat for tourists, it is not completely devoid of authentic tradition.

Another notable market is the Mercado Central. Located in the city center, it is considered a historical landmark and was ranked the fifth best market in the world by the National Geographic. The products to try here are the shellfish, the pisco sour, both of which are national favorites.

There is an abundance of street dogs in Santiago. Unlike other places the dogs appear surprisingly well fed. There is also plenty of dog crap so watch where you step.

The Andes Mountains surround the city. Looking at these snow capped mountains never gets old.

Fly safe,