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Shopping in Santiago

Santiago is one of the most expensive cities in South America. International clothing brands, CDs, electronics and cosmetics are all readily available, although they are imported, so expect to pay at least what you’d pay at home, perhaps more. If you want to save money, buy local products and brands.


For local shopping, you can go about anywhere in the city. Spend the afternoon haggling with local shop owners and boutiques along the streets of the Bellavista neighborhood, especially in the artisan fair. The fish and seafood at Mercado Central attract hordes of tourists, for obvious reasons: the hustle of the market fascinates newcomers and you can sample local cuisine before scooting off to another site.


In Santiago, look to buy jewelry, carvings and ornaments made of lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone only found in Chile and Afghanistan. You can also buy Mapuche silver jewelry. Several jewelry stores are in Patio Bellavista and along Avenida Santa Maria.


Most supermarkets have a fairly good range of wine and pisco priced from $3 to $25. If you’re looking for something special, try El Mundo del Vino.


Avoid buying books. There’s a hefty government tax on books and they are incredibly expensive throughout the country.


By Noleen Turner
I'm originally from Northern Ireland but have lived in Santiago de Chile for over two years. I work in marketing communications and as a writer and...
21 Aug 2009

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