Santiago is a metropolis with an interesting cultural and recreational life, and not just in the daytime. At night the Chilean capital is a place with countless parties, known locally as “carretes.”
Chileans like to celebrate, whether in a house, a pub, a discotheque or an events center, regardless of whether they have a reason for doing so or not.
Let there be no doubt, carrete is a party and carretear is to party. Everything begins in the previa (pre-party), a gathering (generally in a house) where friends meet to share, drink and eat something in preparation for what is to come. In general parties in Chile are quite long and begin late, at close to 23:00 (when the majority of discos open), meaning that the previa can begin at around 21:00 or earlier.
Some people head to an afterhours venue to continue the party once it is over, after lasting through 3:00 or even later. This can be a house or else an establishment that offers food as well as alcoholic beverages. There are also places where they sell snacks to revitalize the body, such as lomitos or completos, two of Chile’s most traditional sandwiches. Chileans tend to refer to such dishes as “the slump,” as they are aimed at combating hunger and the effects of the much-feared hangover, which Chileans call “caña.”
If you are up to this Chilean-style celebration, we present you with a guide of the capital’s main nightlife neighborhoods where you can go and have an incredible time.
Barrio Bellavista: the party neighborhood
Located between the municipalities of Santiago and Recoleta, it is the maximum representation of the city’s arts scene, though in its origins – the early 19th century – it was characterized as an eminently Catholic and aristocratic area.
These days popular bars coexist with cultural centers and international gastronomy, along a much-frequented Pío Nono Street that acts as the backbone of the area.
The most famous venues include Club La Feria, Club Surreal, Club Dominica 54, Ex Oz and Patio Bellavista, a popular cultural center that also has restaurants. For its part, the street Constitución has bars like Constituciónand Raza.
Providencia: bars everywhere
This is another sector famous for its nightlife, especially because it can be easily reached by car, taxi and metro. Here the Paseo Orrego Lugo and Manuel Montt stand out, both near the municipality’s main avenue, Providencia. Vittamina Bar, Subterráneo, Club Ambar, Vicious, El Bodeguero, Xampanyet and El Cachafaz are only some of the many establishments in the area for dancing, listening to live music and also to enjoy a delicious meal and a drink.
The famous Liguria deserves a special mention, with its Chilean cuisine and good drinks served in two branches in this municipality: in Manuel Montt and Luis Thayer Ojeda.
Vitacura – Borde Río: discotheques and good food
If the goal of your celebration is to dance, then a good alternative is the municipality of Vitacura, which is also characterized by being a very safe area. There you can find bars like Pub Dublín, Forest Pub, La Previa and Alba Bar, in addition to discotheques like Club Eve, Ananda Club, Soho Loungeand Las Urracas. In addition, this district includes BordeRío, a gastronomical center with restaurants representing different specialties and which offers important discounts that are ideal for enjoying on summer afternoons.
Plaza Ñuñoa: the pleasure of a good conversation
Located in eastern Santiago, this neighborhood offers a well-known circuit of bars and restaurants. Pub Blue, Bar República, Bar Sin Nombre, the traditional brew pub HBH, Pub Armenia and Akbar are some of the most popular venues for a conversation alongside a drink, while to dance you have the Club de la Salsa and El Atico. Now, if the idea is to listen to live music you have the bars La Batuta, Rock y Guitarrasand House Rock & Bluesfor an active calendar of emergent national bands and tribute groups.
Las Condes and La Reina: dancing and drinks
Ideal for young adults, this area in the southeastern part of the capital has numerous pubs and discotheques that complement the Santiago nightlife with good music. They include Pub Licity, Bar Apoquindo, Pro-bar, Mambo Bar, Domingaand Playback. This latter venue has a recording studio so you can make your own CD. Meanwhile, for dancing there are the clubs Sala Murano, Domus, Tejazo Loungeand Club Sweet, the majority with electronic and 1980s music.
The bars in the municipality of La Reina are a good option for entertainment, which mainly stand out for their gastronomy and drinks that they offer. They include Aire Bar, Bar Bocca Pub, Bar Cheebaand Tejazo.
Downtown Santiago: places for all tastes
The municipality located in the center of the capital has many mythical nightlife centers, including the Centro Arte Alameda, with concerts by national bands; Catedral, Club La Berenjena and Barabajo, a place exclusively dedicated to Chilean Music that is located in the heart of Barrio Concha y Toro.
The flavor of Caribbean beats is present in the salsa clubs Klub Mangosta and Papagayo’s Club, while electronic and alternative music can be found in Piso 33 y Blondie, respectively.
For its part, Barrio Brasil is a traditional sector where culture and arts are mixed with nightlife and where there is an ample selection of pubs, including Baires, Al Fondo, Litros and the rock bar Pandemonium.
This post is also available in Spanish