Barrio Yungay is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Santiago, and also one of the most charming! Surrounded by parks, it’s mostly colonial type stone houses and sidewalks lined with tall trees, it’s a beautiful environment for walking around! You could start by the Quinta Normal park, there’s a subway station there with the same name, and right by it is the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos. It’s a relatively new museum that reflects on the many years of violent dictatorship Chile experienced from 1973 to 1990. It’s an important part of world history and though heavy, very much worth the visit. The entrance is free of charge. In Quinta Normal you can also find the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Science and Technology. From there just walk east trough the cozy neighborhood and enjoy all the great cafés, bars and restaurants it has to offer!
Don’t miss the narrow alley between Calle Maipú and Calle Esperanza, called Lucrecia Valdés, you’ll fall in love with it! And right around the corner on Maipú 357 is the amazing café/restaurant/art gallery/boutique called Espacio Gárgola. Situated in a beautiful, grand colonial house worth the visit just to see the inside, you can have yummy pastries or a traditional chilean lunch and feel inspired!
Right across the street from this gorgeous abandoned house, on Compañia 2858, is the bar Cervecería Nacional where they specialize in good craft beer from small breweries. They serve great food and match it with the best beer to bring out all the flavors, definitely worth a visit, even for us non beer drinkers! Half a block away, on the corner of Compañia and Libertad is the oldest barber in Santiago, Peluquería Francesa, still operating. A charming spot where you could get a beard trim or haircut, a beautiful building and with a great restaurant next door, do not miss it, trust me. The serve great food but also afternoon tea and breakfast!
Barrio Yungay is a place to get lost in, I walked around for hours covering every block, just looking at all the murals, street art and graffiti. It’s a neighborhood where people have taken over the public spaces but also the private house walls, it’s decorated beyond belief, and it is beautiful! Yungay has bookstores, art galleries and so many other cultural activities, you will not get bored! If you visit on the weekend chances are people will have taken over the streets with dancing and music, enjoy and get to know the chilean culture! On the street Maipú 462 there’s a restaurant, El Huaso Enrique, where you can experience the traditional folklore dance of “Cueca” for yourself. You don’t have to know how, just go and follow the lead. It’s a very relaxed environment where everyone goes to have fun!