Where to Stay in Santiago Chile: Advice from a local expat about the best neighborhoods to stay in Santiago! Find the best places to stay in Santiago Chile, plus everything else you need to know about visiting, staying and getting around the city.
We created this guide in collaboration with guest author Marie Gouasmi, an expat living and working in Santiago. We’re thrilled she agreed to share her insider knowledge of Santiago, and help you choose the best place to stay in Santiago Chile for your own unique trip!
What strikes you when first arriving in Santiago is the view over the Cordillera de los Andes mountains. Wherever you are in the city, on a clear day you will see the snowy summits behind the skyscrapers.
Santiago is Chile’s capital city and almost half of the population lives in the Metropolitan Region. What we call Santiago is in fact one of the provinces of the Metropolitan Region. The city is composed of 32 comunas that are independently administered by a mayor and city hall. The main comunas are: Santiago Centro, Providencia, Las Condes, and Vitacura. Within each of those main comunas, there are various neighborhoods with a unique vibe and attractions for those exploring the Chilean capital.
The city is bordered on the east side by the Cordillera de los Andes, and there are plenty of options for day trips from Santiago to the mountains, whatever the season. Skiing, trekking, and rafting are all very popular and accessible.
Given the uniqueness of Chile’s geography (the country is 4,300 km long and only 180 km wide), Santiago is as close to the mountains eastward as it is to the Pacific Ocean to the west. As such, cities like Valparaíso and Viña del Mar are just an hour and a half from the capital. I highly recommend you take the opportunity to visit the coast for a day or two if you can while visiting Santiago.
Santiago is a big metropolis, so getting from one neighborhood to another often requires using transportation, instead of walking. However, within a neighborhood, walking around is a great way to truly grasp the unique atmosphere of each part of the city.
Most of Santiago is composed of residential areas that don’t attract tourists, and some of them are somewhat unsafe.
If you’re travelling to Santiago Chile and want to maximize your visit, consider staying in the 4 comunas of Santiago Centro, Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura. They all border one another and have the most attractions and things to do in Santiago Chile. The neighborhoods included within this guide are located in these recommended comunas.
Start Your Where to Stay in Santiago Chile Search Here
The Most Popular Areas and Best Neighborhoods in Santiago Chile →
- Plaza de Armas: City center where you’ll find some of the main attractions in Santiago Chile: the Moneda Palace, the Cathedral of Santiago, the Museo de Arte Precolombino and the Mercado Central.
- Lastarria/Bellas Artes: Not far from Plaza de Armas, home to local artists, cute cafes and boutique shops. It’s a great place for Chilean wine tasting and souvenir shopping.
- Bellavista: Close to the city center and it is THE place in town for nightlife and dining out. The neighborhood is full of options if you wish to try Chilean cuisine, and is home to some of the best restaurants in Santiago Chile.
- Barrio Italia / Santa Isabel: A very walkable Santiago neighborhood with nice streets and galleries with cute boutiques. Great area for coffee and brunch!
- Barrio Brasil y Yungay: West of the city center and while not the most popular place to stay in Santiago Chile, I recommend them for anyone looking for a rather edgy and hipster vibe. Home to some museums, and a good spot for street art lovers.
- Las Condes / Vitacura: Santiago’s business hub with modern buildings, and good options for dining and going out.
- Getting Around Santiago Chile
- Getting from Santiago Airport to city
- Amazing Santiago Chile Tours & Activities
- Best Hotels in Santiago: We’ve done the research and found what we believe to be the best hotels in Santiago Chile for each neighborhood. But, if you don’t like what you see within each neighborhood listing, you can skip to this section and see the top hotels by star rating according to traveller reviews.
An Introduction to Where to Stay in Santiago, Chile
Where you stay during a visit to Santiago depends on the kind of trip you are planning and the duration of your stay. Santiago is a very big city and even though not all of it is interesting to visit, the distances may lengthen the time needed to visit the different Santiago Chile points of interest.
For a first visit, I recommend staying close to Parque Bustamante and Plaza Italia/Baquedano. This is the frontier between the two central comunas: Santiago Chile Centro and Providencia. Staying here will be perfect to explore the most interesting neighborhoods of Santiago, including Bellas Artes, Plaza de Armas, and Italia. Staying here means you can walk around and explore the central neighborhoods, each of which has its own vibe and benefits.
With that in mind, I’ve described each of Santiago’s best areas to stay below!
Plaza de Armas: Santiago Chile Centro
The surrounding area of Plaza de Armas is the perfect location for anyone travelling to Santiago Chile for a few days and wishing to stay in the most central location. It has great connectivity, culture and the most authentic Chilean experience the city has to offer.
Santiago Chile centro is a mix of history, office buildings, and shopping areas.
La Moneda Palace is the seat of the president and several branches of government. The beautiful neoclassical architecture and the biggest flag you’ve ever seen make for some great photo opportunities. Visitors can witness the changing of the guard complete with military band on even days in January, April, May, August, November and December and on odd days in February, March, June, July, September and October.
Plaza de Armas is also home to the Cathedral of Santiago and known as a great spot for people watching. Visitors can see live art and street performances or sit in the shade with an ice cream while watching intense chess matches. Food vendors are around every corner, and they offer up traditional Chilean snacks such as mote con huesillo, a delicious beverage that’s both thirst quenching and filling, and a tasty fried treat called sopaipilla, with an array of sauces to go with it.
For a typical Chilean bar, try La Piojera where you can dine and drink on chorillanas and terremotos with the locals. Mercado Central market, specializing in seafood, and La Vega farmers market are both great places to shop, explore and enjoy a traditional Chilean meal with fresh local ingredients.
Hotel Plaza San Francisco
Hotel Plaza San Francisco – Unique 5-star accommodation located on the bustling main avenue of Santiago and only a 2-minute walk to metro Universidad de Chile. A colonial art museum and church are next door and La Moneda Palace is less than a 10-minute walk away. The hotel features a heated pool, sauna, gym and spa offering an array of services and treatments. The rooms are spacious and well equipped with minibar, desk and seating area. Bristol Restaurant and Bar is the in-house dining option or there are several other restaurants in the immediate vicinity.
Hotel Casa Zañartu
Hotel Casa Zañartu – This delightful 3-star hotel was restored from a French neoclassical house and is surrounded by cafes, typical Chilean food and beautiful architecture. The nearest subway stop, Santa Ana, is only a two-minute walk away and the main square or Plaza de Armas is less than 10 minutes. Santiago’s main avenue and La Moneda Palace are less than a 15 minute walk. The interior is charming and contemporary with a boutique vibe. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings and come with LCD TVs and a daily breakfast. There is also a coffee shop and cozy outdoor terrace onsite.
Hotel Gran Palace
Hotel Gran Palace – A 4-star in the heart of the city jam packed with shops, cafes, restaurants and street vendors. Major attractions such as the Plaza de Armas main square and metro stop are only a 5-minute walk away. Santa Lucia Hill, with a historic castle on top and stunning panoramic views of the city, is 15 minutes by foot. Exclusive amenities include an indoor pool, sauna and fitness center. Rooms come fully equipped with minibar and flat screen TV. In house dining options include a restaurant serving breakfast daily and a lovely terrace bar.
Lastarria/Bellas Artes: One of Santiago’s Coolest Areas
The Lastarria and Bellas Artes neighborhoods are also located in downtown Santiago Chile. They are some of the most popular spots for locals and tourists alike.
Lastarria is next to the Gabriel Mistral Cultural Center, which often holds events during the summer, and where younger groups meet to perfect their dance routines, instruments and other performance arts. Lastarria street is lined with restaurants, cafes, artisans and bars. Chipe Libre bar and restaurant is a great place to eat and try one of nearly 100 different piscos, the national drink of Chile.
Bellas Artes is the area around the metro station of the same name, and while it’s not rich in terms of the best attractions in Santiago Chile, there’s plenty to keep you busy, fed, caffeinated, and entertained. It consists mainly of cafés and bars like Bocanariz, a famous wine bar and restaurant perfect for Chilean wine tasting.
For coffee lovers, Ines Artecafe is a must, located in an old mansion and serving some of the best coffee around.
Forestal Park (Parque Forestal) runs the length of the neighborhood and is one of the nicest parks in Santiago Chile. It’s where families go to relax and hang out during the summer months.
Bellas Artes Fine Arts museum is located right next to the park, and offers exciting exhibits and free admission seven days a week.
Santa Lucia Hill offers stunning panoramic views of the city and a historic castle at the top.
Hotel Altiplanico Bellas Artes
Hotel Altiplanico Bellas Artes – Just steps from Forestal Park and Bellas Artes Fine Arts Museum and only a two-minute walk to the metro station. The interior design and architecture of this 4-story refurbished home from the early 1900’s is spectacular and flawless. Each room comes with a view of either the park or inner patio, and is equipped with a minibar, LED TV, Nespresso Coffee Machine and a daily buffet breakfast. The hotel features 2 inner courtyards, a living room with fireplace and coffee, tea and fruit available 24/7 in the lobby.
Hotel Magnolia – A brand-new hotel that was completely renovated from a 1929 mansion, yet still maintains its vintage roots. The location gets top marks for its proximity to some of the best restaurants and cafes in the city. The base of Santa Lucia Hill and the busy Bellas Artes Metro station are both about a 5-minute walk. The rooms are beautiful and bright, and include a daily breakfast, minibar, coffee machine and flat screen TV. There is a restaurant and bar specializing in Chilean cuisine, as well as a rooftop terrace serving cocktails and wine with views of the city and the hill.
Hotel Boutique Su Merced
Hotel Boutique Su Merced – This cozy boutique hotel is also situated in a historic home, and just one block from the pretty Forestal Park. The hotel offers complimentary breakfast, and the rooms feature flat screen TVs, work desks and minibars. The hotel’s location is extremely convenient, with great food and culture all around. The nearest subway stop is about a 5-minute walk away, and the fine arts museum is less than a 10-minute walk along the park. The popular Lastarria Street is full of shops, cafes and restaurants, is also just a 5 minute walk.
Hotel Sommelier Boutique
Hotel Sommelier Boutique – Well located across the street from the entrance to Santa Lucia Hill and a 3-minute walk to the nearest subway stop, the Bellas Artes Fine Arts museum and Forestal Park are just a 4-minute walk. Lastarria Street, which is famous for its architecture, restaurants and bars, is less than 5 minutes, and the Gabriel Mistral Cultural Center is less than 10 minutes. This boutique features funky décor and a warm inviting atmosphere with an onsite restaurant, bar and a rooftop terrace. Spacious rooms are fully equipped with AC, flat screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, and the hotel serves a daily continental breakfast.
D’Door – This charming hotel is located on a quiet little side street and features a café on the ground floor with outdoor seating. Breakfast is included, and each air conditioned room has a flat screen TV and minibar, coffee and tea making facilities, complimentary toiletries, and a hairdryer. Bike rentals are available and perfect for exploring the historic neighborhood full of culture and food. The nearest metro stop is only a 2-minute walk away and Santa Lucia Hill is just 5 minutes. Other tourist attractions include the Fine Arts Museum and Forestal Park, also just 5 minutes by foot.
Hotel Cumbres Lastarria
Hotel Cumbres Lastarria – Located on the popular Lastarria Street, this 5-star hotel is modern, hip and in a top location. The well sized air conditioned rooms have flat screen TVs, coffee makers, work desks, laptop safe and a minibar, and the hotel serves a daily buffet breakfast. You’ll find a fitness center and a wonderful outdoor pool, and two restaurants onsite, one on the top floor with amazing city views. Historic sites, wonderful architecture, and some of the best restaurants and bars in the city are within a short walk. Two subway stops are just a 5 minute walk in either direction, and Santa Lucia hill and the Cultural Center are about the same distance.
Bellavista: Best Area to Stay in Santiago Chile for Nightlife
With bars, clubs and restaurants seemingly on every corner, it seems this lively neighborhood never sleeps. Bellavista may be the best place to stay in Santiago Chile for those looking for exciting nightlife and lots of action.
Several Santiago Chile points of interest in and around Bellvista include San Cristobal hill, famous for spectacular panoramic views of the city and the iconic Virgin Mary. There are several trails leading up the hill either on foot or a mountain bike for the more active folks, or there is a funicular directly to the top. At the base of the hill is Chilean National Zoo, and down the street from the hill is the house of famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. The house has since been turned into a museum offering tours Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 6pm. The area of Patio Bellavista is a bit touristy, but full of great restaurants, boutique shops and souvenir vendors.
Bars, restaurants and clubs line the streets and all boast the best happy hour specials and serve up typical Chilean food. There is a club for everyone in Bellavista, whether it’s singing karaoke or dancing to cumbia or mainstream electronic music. The party doesn’t start until late and most clubs have free entry until 12am.
Hotel Boutique Castillo Rojo
Hotel Boutique Castillo Rojo – A lovely boutique bright red hotel is restored from a 1920’s home. Rooms come fully equipped with A/C, flat screen TVs, a minibar, iPod dock, and complimentary slippers and toiletries are provided. The hotel also serves a complimentary daily breakfast. Popular attractions like Pablo Neruda’s house, Patio Bellavista, San Cristobal Hill and the funicular to the top are all less than a 5-minute walk away. Many of Santiago’s best clubs, bars and restaurants are within easy walking distance from the hotel, as the area is known to be one of the most popular nightlife areas in the city. There are two onsite restaurants, a wine bar, a terrace overlooking the plaza, and a lovely garden.
Tinto Boutique Hotel
Tinto Boutique Hotel – A modern and trendy 3-star with great night life, popular attractions, and great food are only minutes from the hotel. There is an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and bar onsite serving creative signature cocktails. Each air conditioned room is fitted with a laptop safe, flat screen TV and minibar, and toiletries. San Cristobal hill and the funicular is only a couple minutes’ walk from the hotel, Pablo Neruda’s house is also a two minute walk. The popular Patio Bellavista with shops, bars and some of the best gastronomy in Santiago, is less than a 5-minute walk.
The Aubrey Boutique Hotel
The Aubrey Boutique Hotel – A boutique hotel restored from a late 1920’s mansion and only a stone’s throw away from San Cristobal hill and famed poet Pablo Neruda’s house – a popular Santiago attraction. Guests receive a complimentary Pisco Sour upon arrival and afternoon tea is served daily in the dining room. Each room is individually designed and includes minibar, MP3 docking station, working desk and flat screen TV as well as daily continental breakfast included in the rate.The hotel features a heated outdoor swimming pool, terrace, and a bar lounge with poolside service.
Barrio Italia: A Laid-Back Area to Stay in Santiago Chile
For those in search of an artsy and laid-back atmosphere, the Barrio Italia Santiago Chile is one of the best places to stay and quickly gaining popularity among locals and tourists.
There are many coffee shops, bars and restaurants lining the streets, each as good as the last. The neighborhood is peaceful, yet active on the weekends and after work hours. Galleries and boutique shops are found throughout, making for great shopping from clothing and furniture to holistic shops and even antiques. Caupolican street is lined with antique shops overflowing onto the sidewalks with beautiful antiques of all sizes and conditions!
CasaSur Charming Hotel
CasaSur Charming Hotel – This petite hotel is eco-friendly with a lounge area, garden and terrace, and stylish and minimal interior design. Each room includes modern comforts, high-quality linens and towels, toiletries, hairdryer and laptop safe. A complimentary breakfast is served daily using fresh local ingredients and tea making facilities are available 24 hours in the lobby. Located just a 5-minute walk to Santa Isabel subway station and surrounded by excellent restaurants, bars and shopping. Bustamante Park is less than a 10 minute walk.
Maison Italia 1029
Maison Italia 1029 – Set in one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood, built in the 20th century and situated on the trendy Italia Avenue. Boutique shops, bars, restaurants and some of the best cafes and bakeries in the city are all just minutes from the hotel. Bustamante Park and metro stop are a 10-minute walk. Caupolican Street is lined with antique shops and is about 5 minutes away. There is a terrace, top floor bar with nice views and free bike rental. Each suite comes with private balcony, coffee machine, iPod dock and flat screen TV.
Vo Hotel Barrio Italia
Vo Hotel Barrio Italia – Only a 3-minute walk to Santa Isabel subway stop and about 5 minutes to lively nightlife and many great dining options. Boutique shops, cafes and bakeries are aplenty and found in the immediate vicinity. A buffet breakfast is included in the rate. Dolce Vittoria restaurant and cafe is the onsite dining option serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The rooms are comfortable and modern and come fully equipped with cable TV, a safe and hair dryer.
Las Condes and Vitacura are two of the more high-end Santiago Chile neighborhoods. Here, the architecture is unique and modern, and many large company have their headquarters.
The financial district is in Las Condes, also jokingly referred to as ‘Sanhattan.’ Mostly made up of office buildings, but with some great restaurants, bars and cafes scattered throughout. Isidora Goyenechea street has a higher concentration of restaurants and bars and is usually busy during the lunch hour and on the weekends. The Costanera Center is very close, and has a mall with a movie theater. Sky Costanera, the tallest building in South America, is also here, featuring 360-degree city views from the top.
The village of Los Dominicos, accessible at the end of metro line one, is a heritage site including a lovely old church and a craft market with more than 200 vendors – the best place for shopping for Santiago Chile souvenirs.
Vitacura is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city. It’s a bit more spread out and a little less accessible as there’s no subway line. If you’re in the area, Bicentenario Park is worth a visit. It runs along the Mapocho river with lush green spaces, lounge chairs, a dog park, playground, picnic areas and foot and bike paths. You can even feed flamingos and koi fish! One of the most famous (and expensive) restaurants in Chile, Mestiza, can also be found in the park.
Alonso de Cordoba Avenue the best place in this area for restaurants, bars and luxury shopping.
Courtyard by Marriott Santiago Las Condes
Courtyard by Marriott Santiago Las Condes – 4-star accommodation neighboring Park Arauco shopping mall and across from Araucano Park. The nearest metro stop is about a 20-minute walk but places like Bicentennial Park is a short 10-minute taxi ride. City or mountain views are featured with each room and include a coffee machine, minibar, working desk, safe and flat screen TV. The hotel has an indoor pool with city views and a fitness center, and an onsite restaurant.
Hotel Regal Pacific
Hotel Regal Pacific Santiago – A 5-star hotel located on the main avenue passing through Santiago and just a 3-minute walk to the nearest subway stop, Manquehue. Araucano Park and Park Arauco mall are about a 15-minute walk or 5-minute cab ride away. The hotel features an indoor pool, fitness and health center, spa, whirlpool, sauna and racket ball court. Rooms are fitted with a marble bathroom, Smart TV, work desk, sofa and minibar. There is an onsite restaurant with happy hour, live music and a lounge bar.
Boulevard Suites Hotel
Boulevard Suites Hotel – A home away from home feel with spacious apartments featuring panoramic views of the city and mountains. Great for families or those preferring more space and independence. The kitchen comes fully equipped and there is a living room and dining room. Rooms include daily breakfast, flat screen TV and safe. Manquehue metro stop is a 15-minute walk away. Araucano Park and Mall Arauco are just across from the hotel. The Costaner Center offers the best views of Santiago and is a quick 5-minute taxi ride away.
Getting Around Santiago
Santiago has a good public transportation system that includes buses, metro, bikes and taxis. There is no reason not to use public transportation (buses and metro), as they both work pretty well.
Bus and Metro
In order to use public transportation in Santiago, you need to buy a Bip! card (1550 CLP/ $2.40US) that you’ll then be able to charge with money. To do so, you can only use cash, except on the new metro line 6 where credit cards may be used as a payment method. Recharging your Bip! card can be done in metro stations and in any place in the city where you see the Bip! logo.
If you happen to be hopping on a bus and your card doesn’t have enough credit on it, don’t worry: you will be allowed to have a negative balance in buses, as it is not possible to recharge the card on the bus. Depending on the time of day and the transportation means, the price may vary between 630 CLP ($1.00US) and 760 CLP ($1.20US) per ride. There are no daily, monthly, or yearly subscriptions available.
If you wish to know the approximate waiting time for buses and check the first/last metro, the Moovit app works very well and is a life-saver in terms of planning a trip within the city.
Two things to keep in mind regarding these two means of transportation, especially true for the metro. First, the metro gets really crowded during peak hours 8:30am-10am and 5:30pm-7pm. Even though the metro is fast, modern and useful, the experience may be very unpleasant if you happen to use it during these hours. Second, the metro is very safe, but pickpockets do operate here like many big cities, so keep a close eye on your wallet/purse, camera and other belongings. Typically there is no violence, just petty theft and taking advantage of tourists that are not careful enough.
Taxi and Uber
Santiago Chile taxis don’t have the best reputation, and you do need to beware of drivers that try to scam tourists. The best option is to use a mobile app to order a ride. A very good app for taxis is called EasyTaxi (particularly competitive when Uber applies their peak pricing).
Apart from that, Uber and its competitor, Cabify, operate in Chile. The latter is a bit more expensive overall, but both work pretty well in Santiago and other cities in Chile.
Special note: As with some other cities, Taxi drivers can be hostile toward Uber drivers, therefore don’t be surprised if your driver asks you to seat in the front.
A third option is using public bikes. In most comunas in Santiago (except Las Condes), there is a system called BikeSantiago. The bright orange colored bikes are unmissable. There are several stations in the main streets and metro stations. There are a couple of plans specifically designed for tourists and visitors available at their offices/booths. They charge 5000 CLP ($7.60US) for a day, or 10.000 CLP ($15.40US) for 3 days.
Santiago Chile Airport Transfer: How to Get From Santiago Airport to the Center
The airport is situated in the west part of Santiago. Depending on the location of your accommodation, the price can vary significantly. From the airport to the city center (Plaza de Armas), the Uber Fare Estimator puts the approximate price range at 12,200-14,400 CLP ($18.80 – $22.25US).
For regular taxis, there is a ground transportation booth that will assist you. The airport has a controlled taxi system; you can take a normal black and yellow metered taxi, or buy a voucher from the booth and take a blue tourist taxi. This amount will be predetermined based on distance to your destination.
Santiago Airport Bus
There are two bus companies that operate routes to and from the airport. These are the cheapest option, and a one-way ticket costs 1700CLP ($2.65US).
Turbus has buses from the airport to the metro stations Pajaritos and Estación Central (both line 1). They leave every 10 min during the day (5am – 12am) and every 30 min at night (12:30am – 4:30am).
Centropuerto has buses from the airport to every metro station on line 1, between Barrancas and Los Héroes. They leave every 10 min during the day (6am-11:30pm) and every hour at night (11:30pm-5:30am).
Recommendation: the bus is the cheapest way to reach the city. It’s very easy to find it outside the terminal and reach your destination. They mostly servemetro line 1 stations, but this is the main line in the city as it crosses Santiago west to east.
If you arrive late at night and plan to use bus, keep in mind that the metro stops running after 11:30pm.
Santiago Chile Airport Hotels
Tours in Santiago Chile
See below to find the Best Things to do in Santiago Chile
- Santiago and Santa Lucía Hill: City Tour (4.7 / 5)
- Cajon del Maipo Full-Day Small Group Tour with Picnic (4.4 / 5)
- Viña del Mar and Valparaiso City Tour (4.2 / 5)
- Concha & Toro Wine Experience (4.3 / 5)
Best Hotels in Santiago Chile
See the lists below to find the best place to stay in Santiago Chile. Traveler ranked according to TripAdvisor.
- CasaSur Charming Hotel (3-star)
- Le Reve Hotel Boutique (4-star)
- Carmenere (3.5-star)
- Hotel Boutique Castillo Rojo (4-star)
- The Aubrey Boutique Hotel (4-star)
- Matildas Hotel Boutique (3.5-star)
- The Singular Santiago Lastarria Hotel (5-star)
- Doubletree By Hilton Santiago Vitacura (4-star)
- Hotel Ismael (3.5-star)
- Ladera Boutique Hotel (3.5-star)