Santiago, the capital of Chile, is a city of contrasts – starting with its geographical position, nestled between the Andes Mountains to the east and the South Pacific coastline to the west. The city has a rich history, including a dramatic transformation in the past few years into a thriving modern city that’s becoming increasingly popular with business travellers. It has all the requisite skyscrapers found in international cities – the Gran Torre Santiago, set to be completed next year, is the tallest building in South America – but also boasts Chile’s largest urban green space, the 722 hectare Parque Metropolitano. In such a dynamic and unique city, newcomers can find navigation a little overwhelming. If you’re planning a first-time visit, take a look at our E&V itinerary tips.
Palacio de la Moneda
Start your exploration with a wander downtown, where you’ll discover a vibrant collision of modernity and heritage that mixes international brand names with independent cafés and bookshops. The standout is the Palacio de la Moneda; the palace that takes up an entire block and currently serves as the nation’s presidential seat. Built over two hundred years ago, the palace hosts tours that provide visitors with a unique opportunity to get a closer look at the building’s neoclassical architecture. Below the palace is the Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda – a centre for an eclectic range of cultural activities ranging from art installations to crafts and music.
On your bike
Santiago loves cyclists: a flat landscape, ideal weather conditions and respectful drivers combine to make it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. Cycling is subsequently one of the best ways to get around, and there are plenty of places where you can pick up two wheels of your own. La Bicicleta Verde is the preeminent bike rental shop in Santiago, providing fun and relaxing bicycle tours around major landmarks as well as meandering off the beaten track. If you prefer, you can simply rent the bicycles without the tour and head out to Maipo region of vineyards just outside the city: great wine, great views and a great workout make it the perfect way to spend a day beyond Santiago’s borders.
Club de Jazz
Santiago has long had a strong jazz tradition, and no trip to the city is complete without visiting one of its many live music venues. Club de Jazz is the most famous of them all – it’s hosted the likes of Herbie Hancock, Louis Armstrong and James Moody since opening 60 years ago. Thelonious Lugar de Jazz and El Perseguidor are also worth visiting: both low-key venues, they highlight the city’s ties to the genre with local music acts almost every night. Deceptively complex and constantly shifting, the rhythms of jazz accurately reflect the tempo of life in Santiago de Chile.
The country’s property market is currently seeing a steady rise in values, making this the ideal time to invest in Santiago property. Engel & Völkers have over twenty offices across the country, so you can be sure of advice and consultation from agents with extensive knowledge of the local market. Visit our website for more details on how we can help find your ideal Chilean home.