Welcome to Santiago, strayed Amigo! Maybe you don’t have so much time here? It would be unfortunate if you spent most of your time in the WRONG Barrios. We give you a blog series of the lowdown of what to do in each Barrio (neighbourhood). Offering our local knowledge and giving our top recommendations so you know what to expect and where to go.
Introducing BARRIO BREAKDOWN #8 BARRIO FRANKLIN – PERSA Bio-Bio
A flea market-lovers’ paradise. In Chile, for flea markets, we use the term Mercado Persa (Persian Market), which are small shop locations that sell all kinds of items, similar to a street market. You should ask for Persa Biobío if you would like to get a more “flea market” experience.
12 Persas, 2 Malls del Mueble, and el Mercado Matadero. The displays of clothes, food, furniture, and antiques all have in common the efforts of thousands of workers. They put all of their efforts into their work so that this neighborhood continues to be one of themost eccentric places of Santiago for identity, tradition, and creativity. This neighborhood is easily reachable by Metro: just take line 2 until Estación Franklin and start walking east toward the square that form the streets Franklin, Santa Rosa, Placer and Eduardo Matte. Some of the most established shops are open daily. However, the best time of the week to visit is Saturday and Sunday mornings between 10AM and 2PM where the place becomes truly alive.
Club Matadero Cueca, the national dance of Chile ever present during the 18th of September Chile’s national holiday. It is danced here with a twist, they called it “cueca brava”, not the same type of dance that you will see on a stage where lovely ladies dressed with flowered dresses stage a feminine escape of the courteous men that dance with her. The “cueca brava” is more liberated and rebellious, where the lyrics of the songs come from the poorer neighborhoods using language of people from these areas.
Where to Eat – the “food court” at Franklin with San Isidro: popular, noisy, and with a food smell that you can follow a block ahead. This food court has stands with food from all over the world (Lebanese, Thai, Mexican, Colombian, Peruvian and Vegetarian). Not forgetting the ever present traditional Chilean sandwiches and hot dogs.
Get all your fresh veg, fish and meat at Mercado Matadero-Franklin (San Diego, Arturo Prat, Figueroa y Biobío streets). This place was originally founded in 1847 as a main Slaughterhouse and distribution center of meats. It reopened years later as a fresh food market where you can find pescados (fish), mariscos (shellfish), verduras (vegetables), frutas (fruits) and fresh meats. You will also find traditional Chilean food at cheap prices, where almost all the stand owners are family members.
Fulfil your inner art lover at: Factoría de Arte Santa Rosa: located on the second floor of an ex-textile factory observing the intense movement of the street, this cultural exposition and development center is located where you will be able to find expositions by emerging Chilean artists. Occasionally they organize popular art sales, called Persa de Arte.