The Andes mountain ranges make Chile one of the most admirable travel destinations in the world. And because it is technically impossible for a foreigner to access Chile without passing through the capital, Santiago, this city has really grown both in infrastructure and culture.
Without a doubt, Santiago is among the most convenient cities in Chile to navigate and discover as a solo traveler. It is large, clean, culturally accommodative, modern, and with some of the richest histories of the indigenous South American people. Also, there are beautiful parks, enchanting neighborhoods, museums, and hidden treasures to visit. If the city leaves you with such a good impression, you can order a wall art canvas for your home, to remind you of the good time that you spent there.
Once you decide to visit Santiago all by yourself, the question that pops into your head is whether or not you will be safe. To be brutally honest with you, the answer is YES! You will be very safe here. Just be sure to hang around the city and discover its hidden treasures before you move on to Patagonia or the Atacama Desert.
Related Article: Living in Santiago: Why you Should Consider It
That being said, what are the important things to know when traveling solo in Santiago?
Here are a few:
Where Will You Be Staying?
Santiago is generally safe and calm, so you can choose to stay anywhere depending on your budget. However, it is important that you find accommodation within the city center because most attractions are walking distances from there.
Staying far away from the central business district would mean limited access to most public amenities as well as shopping streets. On the flip side, booking accommodation too close to the central area would mean expensive food and accommodation fees. Take your time to decide if you want to pay more and see/do more or pay less and see/do less.
Which is the Best Way to Get Around Santiago?
The Metro subway is the most common transport system in Santiago, although there are others such as the Transantiago city buses. The two options are cheap, but the buses aren’t as comfortable or as convenient as the subway.
If your budget allows, the best transport means in Santiago are the Taxis. These can be hailed on the street, but it is always safer to ask the doorman at your hotel to call one for you.
The taxis are more expensive than the subway or buses, as you correctly imagined, but they will take you to attraction sites that neither a bus nor the subway would take you. They are also the most comfortable and convenient means of transport here.
Which are the Best Things to Do and See in Santiago?
Santiago is among the most peaceful and tranquil places on the planet where you can take your troubled mind to heal. The city offers you tons of fun activities that will help you shift your focus from the anxiety that is damaging your productivity in life, to the beauty of Mother Nature. By the time you will be landing back home from Santiago, you will already have a good foundation to consult with a life coach for a complete positive turnaround in your life.
Traveling solo gives you the freedom to choose what you want to see and do at any given time. So, what would you like to see and do in Santiago? To start you off, a tour of the city’s zoo or climbing to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal could be ideal for you. You will then discover other key places as you get used to life in the city.
For the students of history, it is important to learn a bit about the Pinochet dictatorship of the late 20th century at the Memory and Human Rights Museum. If, on the other hand, you are a foodie, a day at Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos will be delightful as you will have a unique chance to experiment on Chileans’ culinary prowess. You can also buy some Chilean handicrafts from the wonderful craft gift shops that are located here. Once you are done, check out Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda and compare your culinary experiences in the two regions.
- It is polite and respectful to dress and behave as per the conservative norms of the Chilean people. If you dress inappropriately, the locals might avoid interacting with you.
- Learn some Spanish before departing for Santiago. That will be a lifesaver at some point.
- Leave your valuables and travel documents in your hotel room as pickpockets are in abundance here. If you must count money, at least don’t do it in the open.
- For as much as possible, be safe in your hotel room before darkness sets in.
- Tipping is important but not mandatory.
When you get back home from Santiago, don’t allow your fondest memories of Chile and specifically Santiago to fade away. Make a point of ordering a memorabilia wall art canvas for your home decoration.
Article written by Lilly Herbert