Lastarria and Bellavista, the best areas to stay in Santiago
Lastarria is one of the most ideal areas for tourists as everything is covered, from shopping to accommodation and from tourist attractions to restaurants, no wonder visitors make this neighbourhood one of the top places to stay in, especially as it is one of the safest areas of Santiago. Even though Lastarria can get busy, there is always a feeling of calmness as it has the advantage of tranquillity as green covered residential houses break up the fever of overcrowding. Lastarria is part of the historic centre of Santiago and therefore there are a number of historic monuments and architecture including the Cathedral of Santiago, which was constructed back in the mid 18 th century and is a great example of Tuscan-Roman style. The cathedral is found by the main plaza, Plaza De Armas and this happens to have some of the best restaurants in the city, which is also a fun place to watch the world go by and if you would like to buy something then there is the Central Market, where you find clothes, jewellery, food, souvenirs and much more. Also close to the Plaza De Armas is the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, which features various cultures like the Inca and Maya civilisations through a combination of artefacts. Other things to see are the Palace of Fine Arts, where you can see famous artwork by Rembrandt, Violet Le Duc and many others and the Cerro Santa Lucia, which was intended as a military fortress with a watchtower back in the 19 th century. Today, most of the ruins have gone but there are neoclassical and gothic buildings as well as one of the best views of the city. There are also some excellent parks with the best being Forest Park as it has many highlights like sculptures, 6,000 various trees, fountains, monuments, playgrounds and good views of the Mapocho River. For shopping, head to the metro station as it is full of shopping malls and shops that line the streets and you can pretty much get anything in this area.
At night, the area really comes alive and if you have the chance then do try and catch a show at the Teatro Municipal, which is a historical venue for international plays, operas and dances. The best restaurants and bars can be found on Jose Miguel street and check Rosal street for accommodation.
The Bellavista neighbourhood is known for its artistic scene with many people living here that are to do with the subject and is generally a safe area to stay in. This sets the setting for the area, which has tree-lined streets and colourful and bright traditional homes. One of the major highlights is La Chascona, which is a home belonging to a famous poet called Pablo Neruda and has turned into a museum that displays various objects and items that belong to him. Other things to see include the Palacio Cousino, which is an old palace that mixes Spanish and French architecture. Bellavista is one of the best areas for shopping and Avenida Bellavista is where you will find plenty of global brands with a wide selection of shopping malls, markets and general stores. The street is also home to various art galleries, cinemas, theatres and the Calle Dardignac street has plenty of restaurants where you can get all types of food from all over the world. Bellavista is a perfect place to stay if you like a little piece and quiet as well as being very close to many attractions that are only a few minutes away and for the best hotels and hostels, try Dardignac. Dardignac has a brilliant choice of places to stay at, which cater for all types of budgets and the street conveniently has an extensive selection of bars and clubs that stay open till the early hours of the