Where to stay in Santiago in May?
February 15, 2011 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Hubby and I will be in Santiago, Chile from approximately May 16 to June 4. Hubby wants to drive east to check out the wine harvest but we'll be spending a fair bit of time, at least a week, in the city proper. There are ample and cheap options for apartment rentals in the period (it's off season) but I don't know the city at all and would like to find an area, if possible, that's like Barrio Norte or Palermo in Buenos Aires: Characterful (not all glass highrises and superhighways that seem to dominate so many photos of Santiago I've seen), walkable, with lots of street-level shops and restos but not a party atmosphere. Think more cafe culture than Ibiza.

I found a nice looking place in Centro near Mapacho Station but am worried that Santiago's Centro is like downtown BA- not the most salubrious place.

We're a late-40s gay couple, foodies, want to be near transit, being in anything like a gay district is not a priority but food, coffee, transit, walkability, and some charm are.

Any suggestions for apartment rentals are welcome! Also any other tips you care to share. Thanks!
posted by ethnomethodologist to Travel & Transportation around Santiago, Chile (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was going to leave this to people with more expertise, but as you've got no replies so far, my twopennorth would be: -

I would have suggested Bellavista until you said not a party atmosphere - it's fun, full of cafes and without high rises, but being close to the University I think it gets boisterous at night. I don't know Santiago that well (I've spent several weekends there, but mostly staying in nice hotels in Providencia, which is exactly what you don't want), but I have wandered about downtown on my own during the day, without feeling scared (very English-looking female in my 30s).

IIRC, the MeFi Santiago experts used to be signal and andrewcooke but I see with sadness the latter has disabled his account. You could MeMail signal for advice if he doesn't pop up in thread, though.
posted by penguin pie at 2:45 AM on February 16, 2011

Looking elsewhere on the site I linked to above, maybe Barrio Lastarria? (One enthusiastic visitor, at least!)
posted by penguin pie at 5:46 AM on February 16, 2011

Also, if I'm not mistaken, that time of year is early winter for Chile, so the wine regions will be pretty barren by then (visually). You can still visit wineries, but it's kind of a dead season. Harvest season is usually right about now.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:11 AM on February 16, 2011

Little late to the party, but since there's still 1.5 months to go:

Mercado Central is probably a little bit towards the skeevy side, especially after sundown. A few blocks East is Bellas Artes, which is nice, touristy, fairly safe, lots of character, hostels, bars, restaurants, cafes, museums and shops.

Also, while Stgo doesn't actually have a gay district, this is probably the most gay-friendly part of the town (though you should be generally OK anywhere in the city).

It's on the edge of Downtown, has a subway station (Metro Bellas Artes) and you can walk to a lot of nice places from here.

Anywhere around Cerro Santa LucĂ­a, between Miraflores, Costanera, Plaza Italia and Alameda (Av. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins) should be alright.

posted by signal at 10:50 AM on April 1, 2011

thanks- we got a place a bit south of there, Carmen y Santa Victoria. 331 Carmen. Looks about .5 km south of Cerro Santa Lucia.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 6:54 PM on April 1, 2011

Not to be too negative, but while fairly centrally located, that's not a particularly nice or characterful area.
Not bad as a base for walking or transit, but not the sort of neighborhood you'd want to hang out in. Lots of new, bland residential buidlings and car-part stores. It should be fairly safe.
posted by signal at 8:37 PM on April 1, 2011

signal, everything by way of apartment rentals was oriented towards uni students- I mapped and streetviewed this and like I say though the area might be nothing but new highrises, it is really very close to places more interesting and one block from a grocery.

Santiago has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the Americas- I'm not worried about my safety.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:43 PM on April 4, 2011

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