Throughout the city, there is a huge variety of businesses and stores where you can find everything from the finest commodities to second hand products.
It is common for people to go to the malls that are plentiful throughout Santiago. They are substantial evidence of the commercial boom that has warped the city in the last two decades.
The community of Las Condes is home to three successful malls with a forth in the making. In other popular sectors of the city, appear many malls that stand at the center of communities like La Florida, Maipú, Estación Central and Puente Alto. However, very few foreigners go to these far areas.
Santiago downtown and Providencia are other areas of the city where malls are abundant.
Differing from malls, other types of shops exist which offer an abundance of products to browse and buy. They are scattered throughout neighborhoods like Patronato—where Chinese and Korean supermarkets are mixed with fun and original clothing stores— Recoleta and Estación Central areas. These zones offer lower prices on an array of commodities to fit the budget of the lower income population, even though high earners are frequently attracted by the low prices. Please take extra precautions if you visit these neigborhoods since they have reputation of frequent petty crimes.
If you are looking for exclusivity, you will enjoy strolling along Alonso de Cordova and Nueva Costanera in the community of Vitacura. On these streets, you will find the exclusive international designer clothes and other boutiques with original pieces and accessories.
Away from this area that tempts you to spend fortunes, you can find other small stores that carry exclusive products as well. For example, in Santiago downtown and Providencia, there are many small but sweet stores that carry everything from books, clothes, sport gear and collector’s items to food, flowers and much more.
Of course we should mention the plentiful artisan markets, one located at the base of Santa Lucia Hill and the other in Pueblo Los Dominicos, at the end of the Metro Line 1 in Las Condes. The latter is a restored colonial building where you can find diverse Chilean handicrafts and folklore.
A Chilean original tradition lies in the stores that sell the famous Lapislazuli, a gem stone that is native to Chile and used in beautiful jewelry and accessories that make ideal gifts and souvenirs. Within the Bellavista neighborhood, there are artisan markets and stores dedicated to this precious stone where you can find a variety of products made from or decorated with this royal blue stone. In the airport when leaving Chile, you can also find Lapislazuli souvenirs, of course for a much higher price!
Last but not least, we recommend that you check out the plethora of used books sold on San Diego Street in the center of Santiago.