Chile have managed to achieve development without impairing their characteristic personality. One of these is the Barrio Lastarria, an area offering the largest array of cultural activity in the city of Santiago, located in the heart of the capital alongside the historic Santa Lucía hill.
Apart from the renowned architectural wealth of the sector, which led it to be awarded the denomination of Typical Zone in 1997, in just a few square blocks it concentrates a huge urban circuit that includes museums, cultural centers, cafés, restaurants, cinemas and theaters, design stores, antique stalls, bookstores and small shops. A potent combination of beauty and services that gives life to this European-style neighborhood that never loses its peacefulness in spite of being very close to the center of town.
In fact, and to heighten its attraction even more, the residents and Santiago Innova, a business generator and accelerator, seek to promote the brand “Barrio Lastarria-Bellas Artes” (Lastarria-Beaux Arts district) at an international level.
The following is a guide to the wide variety of activities that can be enjoyed in this vibrant and multifaceted district.
Culture is expressed in Barrio Lastarria through its many art exhibitions. There are six major institutions just a few blocks apart that offer multiple cultural choices: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, with a collection of over two thousand examples of contemporary Chilean art; Museo de Santiago Casa Colorada, with five exhibition rooms that narrate the complete history of the city of Santiago; Museo de Artes Visuales, located in the pictures Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, offering stable and visiting exhibitions of national and foreign artists; Museo Arqueológico de Santiago, and Museo La Merced.
This area offers both tourists and local inhabitants a wide array of exhibitions, music and art. The exhibitions change every week. Recommended visits: Centro Cultural Posada del Corregidor; Instituto Cultural Banco Estado; El Observatorio de Lastarria and Centro Arte Alameda.
For stage lovers, Barrio Lastarria has two amphitheaters offering varied spectacles. One of them is Teatro Ictus, which has put on over 70 plays during its existence; and Teatro Lastarria 90, which has two separate halls of up to 80 seats each.
Cuisine is undoubtedly a major attraction of this circuit, varying from traditional Chilean fare to sushi. Some of the more renowned restaurants in the area are: Ópera, Gatopardo, Les Assassins, Casa Abarzúa, El Diablito, Victorino and Catedral.