After spending over 10 days in Chile already, I am able to write a little bit about my first experience here in Santiago de Chile.
It took me over 26 hours door-to-door from my home town (Lodz) to get here to Santiago. My trip included: train from Lodz do Warsaw, fight Warsaw-Paris and second leg Paris-Santiago, which was over 14 hours long! It was the longest flight in my life. Surprisingly the flight went faster than I expected, and those 14 hours did not feel that long!
If you are curious about this travel, I encourage you to watch -> this episode on my youtube channel 😊
People are very, very nice! Open-minded and friendly. Also, the fact that Chile is a Spanish-speaking country, makes me to love people even more here. 😎
Santiago de Chile…
…is SUPER BUSY Since it is one of the largest cities in South America with over 7 millions population! It is visible especially during rush-hours. Whoever complains about traffic in Europe, probably has not experienced the REAL traffic here!
…is a VERY MIXED city. Modern, laid-back, gray, green, poor and rich… Santiago has it all! There are many neighborhoods (barrios) that differ a lot between each other. BELLAVISTA – is very easy going, pleasant area with lots of art, murals, beautiful houses, small bars and stores.
SANHATTAN – (yes, Santiago has its own MANHATTAN 😉 ) is a very modern district, with sky scrapers, high buildings and lots of white-collars people walking around.
PLAZA DE ARMAS – one of the main plazas in the city, Surrounding the square are some historic buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, Central Post Office Building. It is full of tourists, locals, restaurants, shops as well.
…has wonderful urban park – called PARQUEMET. It is placed in the north part of the city. Within Parquemet area is located the second highest hill of Santiago called Cerro San Cristóbal (San Cristobal Hill), Japanese Garden, numerous routes for runners/hikers/cyclists. You can discover the parc from the higher perspective – taking a cable car that links the base of the hill with the top.
…has the craziest street market! MERCADO DE LA VEGA is a huge market located in the heart of Santiago. You can find everything there, food, fruits, vegetables for much lower prices than in average supermarkets, as well as, textiles, bars, restaurants. Its vibe is totally uncomparable, you must watch my vlog from my visit there last week
…has amazing WEATHER. I am lucky to be there now at the end of the Summer and beginning of Autumn. The weather is fantastic. Fresh, chilly mornings (with average 12-14 Celsius) and 26-28 degrees during the day, without humidity and wind, this simply makes a perfect time of the year to visit Santiago!
To my surprise, it is not that cheap as I expected. The prices are rather high and like in some European cities such as Milan/Berlin/Barcelona
Local currency is Chilean pesos. 1 American Dollar = +/- 660 Chilean Pesos
To have a better understanding, here is a list of some basic grocery and bar prices:
1.5l of water – 800 pesos
1kg of bread – 1,500 pesos
1kg of cheese – 6,000 pesos
Lunch at restaurant 5,000-9,000 pesos
Espresso at bar – 1,200 pesos
BARS & RESTAURANTS
Santiago has a lot of cute outdoors bars which are perfect for study/work
By walking around the city, I discovered few coffee bars / local restaurants that I would definitely recommend to anyone who visits Santiago: café Beppo – located close to the Shopping Mall in quiet street of nearby residential area. Has a lovely patio and smart menu with reasonable prices.
La Maison Nice – I discovered it by accident, on my way to casting, it is a colorful bar/restaurant with mosaic tables and shadowy area, perfect for drink/lunch/weekend brunch.
Espeacio Diana – this is really a jaw-dropping place! One of the most atmospherical restaurants I have seen in my life. This place is a must if you want to experience a magical evening! It is located on the backyards of the old church. Its interior and design amazes, “the mess” and “disorganization” makes such a charm here, there is everything mirrors, old staircase, rustic beds in the dining areas…. And vine… yes do not forget about Chilean vine! It is simply the best 😊
- If you are sensitive to change of water and different bacterial flora, you may suffer due to Traveler’s Diarrhea. Unfortunately, ☹ I was unlucky to get poisoned from the ice cubes from the fresh juice I ordered during 2nd day of my arrival here…. Afterwards I spent 40 hours in bad, poisoned, with fever as well… I did not expect it may happen to me here but it did. (Similarly like in Turkey/ Israel) Be prepared and take some medicines with you, electrolytes in powder to dissolve in water. In local pharmacies look for DIAREN (this drug helped me to recover!)
- Drivers are crazy 😉The like too (over)use their car horns. With or without any reason, simply be careful when you are crossing the street, especially in the city center!
I hope that this guide will help you to get to know Santiago a little bit. More posts are coming soon but in case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to help you. 🙂