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The Official Santiago Neighborhood Guide (Updated 2017)

Please note, while there are many other neighborhoods in Santiago to live, we are covering the neighborhoods that are most desirable to expats and foreigners coming to live in Chile emphasizing the ones best suited for professionals, students,  retirees, and vacationeers coming to Santiago, Chile.

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Where should I live in Santiago? What are the best neighborhoods in Santiago to live? What are the best areas for foreigners without cars? What areas are safe? How much are the rents to live in Santiago? We tackle all these questions and more in our comprehensive guide to living in Santiago.

Neighborhoods are called Barrios in Santiago. The 5 most popular barrios for expats and foreigners to live in Santiago include: Downtown, Bellas Artes / Lastarria, Providencia, Las Condes, and Vitacura. In general, prices go up as you head east toward the mountains. Below we’ll tell you about all the best areas in Santiago to help you narrow down the best place to stay.

Downtown / Barrio Bellas Artes / Lastarria Area

Bellas Artes / Lastarria, toward the eastern part of downtown Santiago, is a hip, bohemian-worthy residential area with neo classic architecture resembling Europe. It’s bohemian but in the artistic, upscale, and trendy sense with personality. Cobble stone streets are filled with coffee shops, restaurants and street venders. Along with Parque Forestal and Museum Palacio de Bellas Artes, Bellas Artes / Lastarria is home to artisan shops, bookshops, independent theaters, and cool bars, and great cuisine. Because of its unique appeal, it’s become a favorite neighborhood to many foreigners as a favorite place in the city to live. It’s is close to other fun neighborhoods such as Bellavista and touristic sights of downtown. It is a neighborhood that you can’t miss, if you come to Santiago.

barrio bellas artes

Unlike the Downtown, Centro portions of Lima or Buenos Aires, downtown Santiago isn’t dangerous or dingy for the most part. For a group vacationing to Santiago for days or even weeks, downtown is the place to be. They are many very safe area to stay and it’s the best place to explore the city with plenty to do within walking distance. I’d recommend staying near metro U. De Chile, Bellas Artes, or Lastarria. I have seen many families staying in Lastarria – there are plethora of nice restaurants and a weekend artisan market for buying books, food, etc.

La Moneda, the Chilean presidential palace, sits directly at the La Moneda metro station. Recent renovations to the palace grounds and parks on both sides makes it quite a nice area to visit. Alemeda Avenue, or officially named grand Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, is the main street in downtown Santiago. Some of the nicest places to live downtown are just south of this main street in Barrio Paris y Londres. The quaint, Parisian feel to these streets makes it a nice place for a stroll. And because of the proximity to government offices, many foreigners coming to Chile for government programs such as Start-up Chile choose to live in this area.

Toward the northern end of downtown Santiago sit two large, busy markets, the Mercado Central and La Vega. Mercado Central is a bustling fish and seafood market with some good seafood restaurants and La Vega is a huge market that takes up 3 different buildings . You can find fresh vegetable, fruit, meats, spices and more at La Vega and it’s much cheaper than the supermarket.

Type of properties that you will find:

  • Furnished apartments are primarily found in this area.
  • Many apart hotels and boutique hotels.

Type of buildings:

  • Many older buildings with some units newly remodeled.
  • New buildings in the surroundings of Bellas Artes, include various amenities, pools, gyms (basic gyms), barbecues, roof top decks.

Type of rentals:

  • Rentals in Chile usually don’t include utilities, meaning that over these you have to pay shared building expenses (gastos communes), electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, and heating bills yourself.  You should ask your realtor or landlord for approximately expenses (utilities and building expense can vary).

Prices:

Barrio Bellas Artes / Lastaria is a competitive price rental area. There are many people who want to live in this area with no so many units available.

  • 1 bedroom unit from $300.000 to $450.000 (USD 600 to USD 900 approximate prices).
  • 2 bedrooms from $400.000 to $600.000 (USD 800 to USD 1.200 approximate prices).
  • 3 bedrooms and more from CLP $500.000 to $800.000 (USD 1.000 to USD 1.600 approximate prices).

Check apartments downtown now.

Providencia Area 

Providencia is an upscale area, busy with a combination of family friendly residential, restaurants, and nightlife. The main street is Nueva Providencia that’s buzzing at all times of the day. Luckily, if you live a few streets off of the main one, you won’t have as much trouble with noise and crowds. Classic architecture makes this an area attractive to walk around with nice parks and squares throughout.

providencia santiago chile

Type of properties that you will find:

  • There are more unfurnished apartments in this area but you can still find many furnished apartments.

Type of buildings:

  • Mainly old buildings between 25 to 55 years for at least 85% of the properties. The rest are new complex with various amenities, gyms (basic gyms), barbecues, etc.

Type of rentals:

  • Rentals in Chile usually don’t include utilities, meaning that over these you have to pay shared building expenses (gastos communes), electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, and heating bills yourself.  You should ask your realtor or landlord for approximately expenses (utilities and building expense can vary).

Prices:

  • Providencia is a medium price rental area.
  • 1 bedroom unit from $450.000 to $650.000 (USD 900 to USD 1.300 approximate prices).
  • 2 bedrooms from $600.000 to $800.000 (USD 1.200 to USD 1.600 approximate prices).
  • 3 bedrooms and more from CLP $650.000 to $1.200.000 (USD 1.300 to USD 2.400 approximate prices).

Check apartments in Providencia now.

Las Condes

A large, wealthy district surrounded by parks, great shopping malls including Parque Arauco Mall and Alto Las Condes. Las Condes region begins with the recent addition is the Gran Torre Costanera tower, currently the tallest building in South America, with 70 floors, and finally ends all the way into the mountains. Most of Las Condes business activity is situated along or nearby Apoquindo Avenue. The further you go from this street, the more residential buildings you’ll find.

las condes2

El Golf, inside of Las Condes, is one of the most costly area in Santiago and begins are metro Tobalaba and ends at metro Alcantara. It’s nick-named Sanhattan because of all the commercial high rise buildings. The area reminds one of an American city like Miami. With skyscrapers, upscale restaurants, and lots of American chain restaurants, it’s easy to forget you are in South America. This is the business capital of Santiago, has become home to the country’s economic elite.

El-golf2

Type of properties that you will find:

In El Golf, you’ll find smaller units in new buildings. Outside of El Golf, you’ll find much larger units appropriate for families but in older buildings.

Type of buildings:

  • Mainly buildings with various amenities, pools, gyms (basic gyms), barbecues, roof top decks. However, in El Golf, these amenities are less common.

Type of rentals:

  • Rentals in Chile usually don’t include utilities, meaning that over these you have to pay shared building expenses (gastos communes), electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, and heating bills yourself.  You should ask your realtor or landlord for approximately expenses (utilities and building expense can vary).

Prices:

  • Las Condes is a medium price rental area.
  • 1 bedroom unit from $450.000 to $850.000 (USD 900 to USD 1.700 approximate prices).
  • 2 bedrooms from $800.000 to $1.100.000 (USD 1.600 to USD 2.200 approximate prices).
  • 3 bedrooms and more from CLP $1.000.000 to $1.800.000 (USD 2.000 to USD 3.600 approximate prices).
  • Unfurnished apartments consider 20 or 40% less than the price for a fully furnished apartment.
  • El Golf area is the most expensive zone for apartments in all Santiago.  Fully furnished apartments prices can by high and vary a lot. Unfurnished apartments are less common.
  • 1 bedroom unit from CLP$550.000 to CLP $850.000 (USD $1100 to USD $1.700 approximate prices).
  • 2 bedrooms from CLP $900.000 to CLP $1.500.000 (USD $1.800 to USD $3.000 approximate prices).
  • 3 bedrooms and more from CLP $1.100.000 to CLP $2.300.000 (USD $2.200 to USD $2.600 aprox approximate prices).

Check apartments in Las Condes now.

Vitacura

08 de Marzo del 2011. Avances Parque Bicentenario Foto:Victor Alegria D.
A residential district with lots of families with mostly middle to upper class Chileans. Vitacura is good if you plan to work from home or have a family, but it’s not close to the metro and is one of the most expensive places in the city. A car is needed to live in this area, as distances are great. There are some buses that offer transportation downtown, but expect an hour or more commute without car.

Santa Maria de Manquehue and Lo Curro are nice areas the houses are quite varied and distinct.
Jardín del Este is a popular choice for Chilean families. Foreigners will find new apartments but houses are usually pretty hold.

Great shopping and the best restaurants can be found in this sector. It’s also home to Santiago’s Fifth Avenue, Alonso de Cordova.

Type of properties that you will find:

  • Houses, in Vitacura core, Santa Maria Manquehue and Lo Curro.
  • Unfurnished apartments, near Bicentenario, Alonso de Cordova, and some around Santa Maria Manquehue.
  • Furnished apartments are found around Bicentenario area.

Type of buildings:

  • Combination of old (houses mostly 25-30 years old), remodeled and new constructions.

Type of rentals:

  • Rentals in Chile usually don’t include utilities, meaning that over these you have to pay shared building expenses (gastos communes), electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, and heating bills yourself.  You should ask your realtor or landlord for for approximately expenses (utilities and building expense can vary).

Prices: 

  • Vitacura area the prices can vary.
  • Bicentenario area, the apartment rents are in the mid to high range of $ 900.000  to $ 1.2 million pesos for unfurnished. A furnished apartment can go up to 1.7 million pesos.
  • Santa Maria de Manquehue area, 3 bedrooms apartments can be found from CLP $900.000 to CLP $2.300.000 (USD $1.800 to USD $2.600 aprox approximate prices). Houses will start in 1.5 million up to 2.5 million pesos.
  • Lo Curro site,  prices will climb up to USD 10.000.

Check apartments in Vitacura now.

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