Surfing around town

The best free WIFI spots in central Santiago

The coolest, quietist and classiest spots in Santiago to sit and surf the net can be tough to find. This guide will help you find the right spots, with a list of the best places to go, and resources showing Internet locations around the capital.

Friday, March 04, 2011  
 Café Literario Parque Bustamente. Café Literario Parque Bustamente.

For a complete list of all the nicest WIFI hotspots, wireless cafés and bars, visit this Google Map, which will provide you with all the geographical detail you want.
 
This is a list of our favorite 5 places in town.

 

Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral - Santiago Centro
Av. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 227.
www.gam.cl
 
With its spacious, air-conditioned rooms, the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre has been a top spot since its opening in September 2010 for people who need to work away from the heat and bustle of the city centre.
 
Spacious desks provide the perfect working place. The centre also houses two theaters, an arts library, five classrooms, a recording studio, two shops, a restaurant and a new home for the Museo de Arte Popular Americano of the Universidad de Chile.

 

Café Literario Parque Bustamente and Balmaceda – Providencia
Avenida Providencia 410 / Avenida Bustamante 335.
www.providencia-biblioteca.cl/Activi_bustamante.htm
www.providencia-biblioteca.cl/Activi_balmaceda.htm
 
Santiago’s Literary Cafés are our favorite places to work. Cafés Balmaceda and Bustamante are two low-slung, modernist cement structures, one nestled among the trees alongside the Mapocho River and the other proudly in the centre of Parque Bustamente. Both offer magnificent locations and a studious atmosphere to make the most of your day.
 
Each Café has a library, coffee bar (serving beer as well), lecture room and several classrooms for various independent academic meetings that take place. Poster-boards on the walls will inform you of goings on around town, from classes in the Mapuche peoples’ language, Mapudungun, to Indian dance classes.


 
El Tavelli del Drugstore - Providencia
Providencia 2276, a couple of blocks east of metro Pedro de Valdivia.
(0)2 231 5830
 
The Tavelli is a Santiaguo institution selling a variety of products like ice-cream, tarts and pastries. Their store in Providencia has an excellent outdoor space to smoke. A couple of sockets inside for laptops are often fought over at peak times.
 
Santiago’s trendiest come here to enjoy the crowd, make conversation and people watch.


 
Café Literario Mosqueto - Santiago centro

Mosqueto 440, Bellas Artes Metro.
 
Mosqueto is a leafy, near-pedestrianised street right in the heart of town, minutes walk from the Plaza de Armas, Lastarria, Recoleta and the Plaza de Armas. This café was designed to appeal to writers and literary types, many of whom can be seen in the shade of the awnings, reading novels and sipping espressos.
 
Free internet, very good coffee and the uncanny ability it has to make you look well-read are what make this café a top destination for us. The brilliantly quiet street and neighborhood feel don’t hurt either.


 
Secret tip – most of the famous plazas in town
Plaza de Armas, Plaza Pedro de Valdivia, Plaza de Armas de Maipú, Plaza Brazil and Plaza Peru.
 
A recent tour of the city by research organisation Chile Technologico just registered a growth of 120 percent in public hotspots between 2005-2010. Amazingly, they found a wide array of non-protected wireless networks available for passers by in many of Santiago’s neighborhoods.
 
Turn up to any outdoor space in the above list and logging on should be easy. Your computer detects wireless networks automatically. Just search for the network with good signal, but with no padlock sign, and you’re away.
 

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