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Capital city of Chile, Santiago is its cultural and administrative centre. Santiaguinos are proud citizens of their city, although they can criticise it very easily because of its famous smog. But when it rains, the smog goes away and you can see the beauty of the Maipo valley. Surrounded by high mountain peaks and with the Mapocho River passing through, Santiago has a lot to show. Five million people live in this huge valley, almost one third of the total population of the country. Santiago has a Mediterranean climate, with very hot summers and cold winters. There is very little humidity, so it doesn't normally rain in the summers, but winters can get very wet. Snow is very strange in the city. There is an easy way to move around the city, Santiago has a very modern Metro that passes through a large part of the city, and also a bus transport system called the Transantiago. ...read more.


Palacio la Moneda; the government house, Plaza de Armas; the principal plaza of Santiago and the Cathedral are very known places of the city. You can also get to Cerro San Cristobal peak, by a ferry, and see all of Santiago City. There is also a zoo at the top of the famous hill. There are lots of neighbourhoods around the city. Providencia, Vitacura and las Condes are the most typical ones for shopping and having a relaxed time with your family. In the centre is where you can find many different things, from street shopping to huge stores. Here is where most offices are located. Bellavista is the bohemian part of Santiago, including lots of pubs, restaurants and art museums. Also in El Bosque you can find most fine restaurants in the street Isidora Goyanecchea, located not apart from Providencia. You may feel as though you are walking in a modern city in Europe when shopping in Alonso de Cordova, one of Santiago's best places to buy fashionable clothes. ...read more.


In Mercado Central, where the noise is very loud, you can enjoy excellent Chilean food, for low prices. I recommend pastel de choclo and empanadas. Mote con huesillo or sopaipillas are the best snacks you could buy. Tourists should always be careful when walking around the city, you should not wear much jewellery and always take care of your money and purses. Even though Santiago is a safe city, not all people are good. To eat a variety of Chilean fruits and vegetables, have a big glass of wine; or pisco sour, and a big dish of paila marina, you can go to La Vega and have all this for a very low price. Here is where you can live the real atmosphere of the city, seeing people of different trends with different styles. As you can see Santiago is a big city, with a lot to give and show. You will not regret coming, even if it is only for a few days. Alex Mayne-Nicholls 2F ...read more.

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