Subway system is cheap and efficient making it a great way to get around but be very careful with your wallet/purse. Pickpockets are very quick. I was very much on guard but took my hand off my pocket for about 30 seconds on a crowded train. This was just long enough for someone to snip the wallet. Don't carry much cash, cards and don't wear jewellery especially chains.
Some stations are a piece of art.
There is one, near the Mercado Central, by the rive ( Puente Cal y Canto) where you my see a part of Santiago history and where normally you also may find exibithions.
This is Metro de Santiago, santiago's subway or undreground or u-bahn or subte (as you wish), the best transportation around downtown and central areas of Santiago. It's cheap, fast, safe and clean.
There is also MetroBus, a system of buses to complement accessibility of Metro, to the rest of the city.
How much cost a ticket???
Single fare depends on the time of the day the metro is used:
7:15-9:00 and 18:00-19:30 (hora alta) : 400 pesos (about 0.5 US dolars). Other times : 310 pesos. Student ticket : 100 pesos. There is also an "inteligent" card available for 1.000 pesos (tarjeta multivía) which deduct the appropriate fare automatically, you can charge this card whit more money whenever you want, but it is not recomended if you are going to stay here just for few days. Metrobus ticket 590 pesos (single fare using metro and metrobus).
Downtown is walkable but if you wanted to travel further afield to other Santiago's comunas, it's recommended for you to take the metro. A single journey costs around 380 CLP (November 2008) or at peak time 420 CLP (November 2008). The metro is reliable and safe but absolutely packed and busy at rush hour (7.15 am - 9.00 am) and (5.30 pm - 7.30 pm) and is not ideal for those who suffer with claustophobia to travel the metro at those times. If you're staying in Santiago for a longer period of time and plan to use the metro regularly, it's a good idea to invest in a BIP card, which cost around 800 CLP (November 2008) plus how much you want to top up on the card. The fares are deducted from the card until it runs out. It is strongly advised that you only top a minimum needed in case your card is either lost or stolen. You can use the BIP card on buses as well and a single journey on the bus usually costs around 330 CLP (November 2008) per journey.
One of the pieces of infrastructure that has impressed me the most about Santiago is its Metro System. The Metro is fast, frequent, clean and safe. What more could a tourist or expat want in a transport system in a large city? The Metro company is constructing new metro stations and lines at quite a rapid pace after taking 20 years to contruct the two main lines. The pictures below offer a very useful Metro Map and also a picture of the Metro symbol which you will find above all station entrances.
The Metro offers one off tickets that you need to purchase at the "boleterias" at each station or if you are staying in Santiago for awhile and will use the metro a lot I recommend buying a Metro Card which costs 1000 CLP and then you pay to recharge it. The cost of each fare is slightly less using the card.
The Metro is open from 6:30 a 22:30 Monday to Saturday and 8:30 a 22:30 Sundays and Holidays.
The Metro has a different cost depending on the time of day travelling (rather than the distance). From 06:30 - 07:15 hrs.; 09:00 - 18:00 hrs. and 19:30 - 22:30 hrs costs 340 CLP per ride. Between 07:15 - 09:00 hrs. and 18:00 - 19:30 hrs. is the rush hour time and costs 430 CLP per ride.
Please be careful of pickpockets on the metro. I have never been stung however I have heard many stories from friends about this problem. If you are a guy don't keep money/wallets in your trouser pockets (especially not the back pocket) or in a suit jacket pocket. Guys seem to be targetted more than women and I think this may be because women usually have a handbag tightly clasped whereas men don't tend to carry bags.
Santiago Metro is regarded as "the most effective public transportation system in South America". This is not an overstatement. The system consists of 5 lines, covering 108 stations and still expanding. For the tix, you can either buy the 'single' bip! boleto or bip! refill card. Go ask the station agent at the ticket kiosk (Espanol only!!) and get your cash ready.
6:00a - 11:00p, Mon - Fri
6:30a - 10:30p, Sat
8:00a - 10:30p, Sun and holidays
FARES: (depend on time of the day)
Rush hours (Horario Punta), 7:00a - 8:59a, 6:00p - 7:59p, 460CLP
Normal hours (Horario Valle), 6:30a - 6:59a, 9:00a - 5:59p, 8:00p - 20:45p, 400CLP
Low-use hours (Horario Bajo), other than above, 380CLP
My advise is to avoid the morning rush hours (7:00-9:00) cuz it can be a total haste!
The excellent Metro is the best way to travel around Santiago. Since it was inaugurated by Augustin Pinochet in 1975, it has become the biggest metro network in South America, with five lines and 107 stations with a further 16 under construction. It is used by 2.5 million passengers per day. Line 1 is San Pablo to Escuela Militar, Line 2 Vespucio Norte to La Cisterna, Line 3 Tobalaba to Pl. Puente Alto, Line 4 V.Mackenna to La Cisterna, and Line 5 Qunita Normal to Vicente Valdes. Trains run from 6:30 to 22:30, at 2-3 min. intervals during the rush hour, and 4-8 min intervals for the rest of the day.
Tickets are on sale from 6:00 to 23:30 Monday-Saturday and 8:00 to 22:30 on Sundays. The fare depends on the time of the use of the Metro. The cost of a ticket in the unitario (rush hour, 7:00-8:59:59 and 18:00-19:59:59) is C$420 (US $ 0.76) and in the unitario rebajado (6:30-7:14:59, 9:00-17:59:59, 19:30-22:30 and Sat–Sun) is C$380 (US $0.69). Senior citizens, school and university students pay C$130 (US $0.24).
Personally, I thought it was one of the cleanest, most efficient and user-friendly metro systems I have ever travelled on.
The "Metro de Santiago" is the largest metro system in South America. There are 5 different lines that cover most of the metropolitan area and provide easy access to downtown Santiago. The metro is fairly new (the oldest station dates back to 1975 but many stations were added in the past 4 years) and I thought it was rather clean, and felt very safe using it. Tickets are a little less than US$1 (380 or 420 Chilean pesos depending on the time of the day - it's more expensive during peak hours), which makes it a very cheap, fast and convenient way of traveling through the city!
I used the Santiago subway station several times, it was ideal to make trips from one side of the city to the other side in no time.
Also it was handy to come back at night coming from the Plaza de Armas to the hotel (near Baquedano subway station).
Th subway system in Santiago is pretty easy. At several places there are maps with the different lines (also in your guide book, if it is a decent one ...)
Then you go to the ticket booth and buy your ticket.
There were to different prices (for normal ticket), depending on the hour.
Normal hours : 6.00 till 6.59, 09.00 till 17.59, 20.00 till 23.00
Rush hours : 07.00 till 8.59, 18.00 till 19.59
Price during Normal hors : 380 pesos
Price during Rush hours : 420 pesos
Price for students : 130 pesos
Price for older people : 130 pesos (normal hours), 420 pesos (rush hours)
PS : the ticket booth picture is a bit blur, as it was not really allowed to make pictures there . .
Santiago has a good subway station. This is very interesting to visit the city.
As in every big city, you can walk your feet off, that's why it can be very handy to use the subway from time to time. Then you have mre time to enjoy the city and it is less tiring.
Is it dangerous ? wel I would say not more then in subway systems in other big cities. You need to watch your stuff, and beware during the busy hours.
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