Santiago, the Chilean capital, is tucked neatly in a bowl-shaped valley with the Andes to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west. Founded in 1541, Santiago has survived nearly half a millenium through devastating earthquakes and financial collapses and has emerged as one of the top artistic, cultural, and financial hubs of South America.
Where to Stay in Santiago
When it comes to visiting a city like Santiago, there are tons of options of where to stay. The city is divided into 5 zones: Central, Poniente to the west, Oriente to the east, Norte to the north, and Sur to the south. We analyzed hundreds of our users' trips through Santiago to see where people are staying the most. With this guide, you'll be living like a real Santiaguino (or Santiaguina!).
When it comes to determining the best neighborhoods, there are several criterion that we used:
- Ease of Getting Around
- Things to Do
- Amount of Travelers Staying
- Bars & Restaurants
These neighborhoods were then ranked by the total volume of travelers staying there, as well as the number of things to do. Without further ado, here's the list of our top neighborhoods to stay at in Santiago.
The Top 6 Neighborhoods in Santiago
Lastarria is filled with classic European architecture and could easily be mistaken for a French or Italian town with its beautiful, labyrinthine cobblestone streets. Bohemian and hip, this residential barrio is filled with great art museums, beautiful buildings, and hip cafes.
The Cerro Santa Lucia (cerro is Spanish for hill) provides a pastoral detour with its hanging gardens. A great viewpoint of the surrounding neighborhoods is the reward for those who climb its 70m height.
Things to Do in Lastarria
- Parque Forestal
- Museo de Artes Visuales
- Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
- Cerro Santa Lucia
Providencia is arguably the most tourist-friendly neighborhood in Santiago, with plenty of high-end restaurants and haute couture shopping. This neighborhood also hosts the majority of the commerce in Santiago, with plenty of skyscrapers and office buildings.
Things to Do in Providencia
- Nuestra Senora de la Divina Providencia
- Teatro Nescafe de Las Artes
- Sky Costanera
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
3. Historic Center
Why Historic Center?
As you've probably gleaned from the name, the Historic Center contains some of Santiago's oldest streets. Located just west of Lastarria, this mainly commercial neighborhood is brimming with office towers, bustling cafes, and office workers. If there's anywhere that's considered 'downtown' Santiago, the Historic Center is it! Despite this, you'll find quiet nights to relax away from the bustling nightlife of Bellavista.
Things to Do in Historic Center
- Plaza de Armas
- Catedral Metropolitana
- Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
- Palacio de la Moneda
Bellavista is a great neighborhood for nightlife, with plenty of bars and clubs to satiate any night owl. It's also home to the funicular which can take you to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for a beautiful 360 degree view of the city.
It was once home to the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda - the artist vibes are felt throughout the barrio, with breathtaking street art, cafes, and second-hand shops.
Things to Do in Bellavista
- Zoologico Nacional de Chile
- Parque Metropolitano
- Patio Bellavista
- Cerro San Cristobal
Dieciocho and its surrounding areas are perfect for those who want to be close enough to the action, but still want peace and quiet at night. This mainly residential neighborhood used to be the home to the city's elites during the 19th century. Filled with fin-de-siecle (end of the century) luxury, this neighborhood is great to stay in for a taste of the historically decadent high life.
Today, the neighborhood is filled with higher education facilities, giving it a second-name of the Barrio Universitario.
Things to Do in Dieciocho
- Calle Dieciocho
- Palacio Cousiño
- Parque Almagro
6. Parque Bustamante
Why Parque Bustamante?
The neighborhood around Parque Bustamante is home to many cafes and restaurants and is a quick walk to Lastarria, Bellavista, and Historic Center. This is a great place to stay if you want a little bit of nature close-by, but still be close to the action. During the summer months, outdoor festivals are abundant, along with active bike paths and a skatepark.
Things to Do in Parque Bustamante
- Parque Bustamante
- Barrio Paris y Londres
- Gran Torre Santiago