Bars and souvenirs
During the daytime, this is the place to look for the perfect piece of 'lapis lazuli'; the deep blue gemstone is a popular souvenir to bring home from Chile. The shops around Patio Bellavista sell clothing, jewellery and souvenirs, and this is therefore a great area to buy some lapis lazuli. After shopping, grab a seat under the big red umbrellas of the cafés on the square for some people watching and a glass of freshly squeezed juice or a cup of coffee. Pío Nono is also a popular evening destination and is said to have the highest concentration of bars in all of Chile.
DJs, jazz and pizzas
It may be a challenge to choose among Bellavista’s large number of cafés, but there are some favourite spots to visit. One of the most famous clubs is Bar Constitución at Calle Constitución; every night live bands perform here, and on weekends popular DJs draw a crowd to the dance floor. Backstage is the place to go for live jazz and Santiago’s largest pizzas. These cartwheel-sized pizzas with a diameter of 60 cm are perfect for sharing. Salsa fans will enjoy Dos Gardenias; named after a Buena Vista Social Club song, the bar organizes various salsa evenings per week.
The entrance to La Chascona
Pablo Neruda’s house
The cultural highlight of Bellavista is La Chascona: this house was the residence of Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda (1904-1973). It now houses a museum full of curiosities that the poet collected over the course of his life. La Chascona literally means 'woman with tangled hair', a reference to the hairstyle of Neruda's third wife. The couple met in the nearby Parque Forestal and for many years maintained a relationship in this house before marrying. Guided tours of the house are available in English, Spanish and French. ¬Reservations are recommended.