Transportation in Santiago de Chile is available in many different ways. Compared to other cities in South America, the transportation system is quite developed with a good metro, a bus network and more. In this guide, we’ll explain what you need to now about getting around in Santiago.
When it comes to long distance transportation, the market in Chile is dominated by flights and buses, which have a modern standard and very frequent departures. Train connections are very rare as there are only very few active rail tracks. The only relevant train from Santiago de Chile is the TerraSur, which connects the city with Chillan with several stops. Usually, there are three to five trains per day. Other than that train, getting around in Chile is the easiest by car, airplane or bus.
The most important means of transportation in Santiago is the metro. At the moment, there are six metro lines in Santiago de Chile with one more under construction and a further two in various planning stages. The metro is relatively modern and offers an easy and comfortable way to get from the suburbs to the city center.
It’s also the easiest and quickest way to get from the business center Vitacura to the old town and other major attractions in Santiago. Tickets for the metro are relatively cheap and allow you to navigate through the city without paying a lot for transportation. The metro is also clean and safe and thus my preferred way to get around in Santiago de Chile.
Existing metro lines in Santiago de Chile:
The bus system of Santiago is called Transantiago and is sharing a fare system with the metro since 2016. This allows free transfers between the different means of transportation and is making connections way easier. Santiago de Chile uses a special system for its bus routes as there are different colors for buses connecting the suburbs with the city center and those that stay either in the city center or in the outer areas of the city.
In addition, the express buses marked with an E, which stop less frequently and thus allow quicker rides from the suburbs to the city center. Tickets for buses can either be bought in the bus, or via the integrated fare system with so-called BIP! cards. Those, you can use for the metro as well as the bus. The prepaid cards are quite cheap and can be recharged at every metro station and several further places throughout the city.
Taking a taxi in Santiago is one of the easiest ways to get around in the city. Taxis are relatively expensive for South-American standards, but not so much compared to European or Northern American cities. Most taxis are safe and relatively comfortable, but there are a couple of old taxis, too. When taking a taxi, especially as a foreigner, be sure to negotiate the price before boarding. Tourists are often subject to fraud when it comes to taxi prices, so definitely be prepared and check whether the taxi meters are properly used when not negotiating a fixed price. Also be sure to buckle up as the traffic situation in Santiago still isn’t the safest.
With Santiago being a modern metropolis, there are several alternative ways to get around the city quickly and easily. My favorite way is using Uber as the cars are better, there is no fraud and the prices are a little lower.
Yet, Santiago has a lot more to offer, including a funicular to the Cerro San Cristobal. More modern means of transportation include hop-on-hop-off buses as well as city bikes.