Published on May 14th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut0
5 Things to do in Santiago de Chile’s Hip Lastarria District
The city of Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest metropolis, is a hotspot for culture and creativity (not to mention the primary point of entry for most international visitors). And one of the most interesting neighborhoods to explore is Lastarria, a historic and centrally located district that’s grown in popularity in recent years.
During my most recent visit to Chile, I stayed for two nights in a lovely hotel located in Lastarria, and also enjoyed this enchantingly walkable neighborhood, which is lined with interesting historic architecture (you’ll soon be able to read even more of my Chile travel tips and reports in TravelAge West, the leading travel industry publication and site in the western USA).
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Here are my five tips on how to enjoy Santiago’s Lastarria neighborhood.
1. Stay in the Zone. There are now at least three hotels in the Lastarria district that can serve as a perfect base for exploring the neighborhood, and each one has its own personality. I stayed at Luciano K, a stylish boutique hotel set in a historic 1920s edifice that was the tallest building in Santiago when it opened (at only eight stories!). The neighborhood’s top luxury choice is the Singular, a handsome property that belongs to The Leading Hotels of the World, while the Cumbres hotel offers the most modern ambiance, as well as a terrific rooftop pool.
2. Get some Culture. Among the museums and cultural institutions in this Santiago neighborhood is MAVI: the Museo de Artes Visuales (Museum of Visual Arts), which has more than 1,500 works from the 1960s through the 21st century, including painting, sculpture and graphic arts. Just across the street from the Lastarria neighborhood’s boundary is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (the National Museum of Fine Arts), which is housed in a beautiful Beaux-arts building that dates to 1910 and houses an impressive collection of Chilean and other South American art; also nearby is the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center), which hosts a variety of performances, including dance and theater, as well as photography and other art exhibits.
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3. Satisfy your Taste Buds. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Bocanariz, an attractive and casual eatery with an extensive menu and a wine cellar with nearly 400 Chilean wines. It’s the perfect place to get acquainted with Chile’s fine varietals while savoring tasty international and Chilean cuisine. French flavors are the specialty at Les Assassins, while Italian dishes are the delight at Squadritto. For vegan delights, try Café Girasol, which serves sandwiches, quiches, empanadas and salads. And don’t forget the rooftop restaurant at the Hotel Luciano K; this stylish venue has an impressive international and Chilean menu, and is a great place to enjoy a stylish vibe and Santiago’s pleasant temperatures. Weekend nights are the best time for enjoying nightlife in Lastarria, but it’s worth going out on any afternoon or evening. You can sip homemade pisco sours at El Diablito, or enjoy food, drinks and live music at Opera Catedral.
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4. Go Shopping. The area in an around Lastarria is dotted with lots of diverse, independent shops. You can pick up a hand-painted cell phone case at Pelham, browse original women’s clothing at Atelier Carlos Pérez and pick out handmade jewelry at Aji. You can also take home some of Chile’s famous wines by stopping at the Santiago Wine Club, which stocks varietals from Valle del Maipo, Colchagua, Casablanca and Curicó.
5. Admire the Architecture. This historic neighborhood is graced with narrow, uncrowded streets that are perfect for strolling. The varied architecture provides lots of interesting photo opportunities, and it’s also adjacent to Cerro Santa Lucía, the iconic hill that played a key role in Chile’s history and is today a pleasant place to enjoy the view.
For more information about Chile travel, visit the Chile tourism Website.