Santiago, Chile – As the sun rises over the Andes, the pastel-coloured buildings in Bellavista and Barrio Italia come to life as the city wakes up.
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What’s there to do in Santiago?
1. Join a walking tour
If you would like to acquaint yourself with the city, a walking tour is an excellent starting point. Numerous local tour companies offer well-organized tours with friendly and knowledgeable guides. A sightseeing tour of the city center will give you an overview of the area, information on the city’s most famous landmarks, and insight into local history.
2. Spend a morning at one of Santiago’s beautiful parks
The largest and highest is the Parque Metropolitano, northeast of the city center. The park has two outdoor pool complexes, a botanical garden, an observatory, and the national zoo. Saint Cristobal Mountain, at the southwest end of the park, is the city’s highest point.
3. Climb Santa Lucia Hill
Located in the central district of Lastarria, Cerro Santa Lucía is a striking feature of the cityscape. With excellent views of the Andes in the background and two 200-year-old fortresses, it is understandably a popular tourist destination.
The first Spanish settlers in Santiago gathered their homes around.
4. Take in Santiago’s Plaza de Armas and adjacent Metropolitan Cathedral
Santiago ,Chile All the best cities in Chile boast a lovely central plaza, and Santiago is no exception. The Plaza de Armas is located in the middle of the business district of Santiago and it showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage.
In the park, hawkers sell snacks and souvenirs while old men play chess. Businesspeople can be found on the benches, enjoying their lunch break.
5. Seek out Santiago’s street art
Street art is abundant throughout Santiago, Chile and can be seen by both locals and visitors. Graffiti artists in the city showcase its artistry and character, which is not limited to museums. Its influence comes from all over the world, showcasing Santiago’s increasing international appeal.
The central neighbourhoods of Santiago, such as Lastarria, Brasil and Bellavista, as well as Paseo Bandera, are home to many of the city’s beautiful murals.
6. Make a morning visit to the Mercado Central
The Mercado Central in Santiago is a massive, well-visited marketplace. Located in the north end of downtown near the Mapocho River, it is the lively hub of commerce in the city. Here you will find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Its seafood market is quite exceptional, as are its food stalls, serving up national specialties such as curanto, a hearty stew of seafood, meat, and potato typically eaten in Chiloé in the south. Beyond the food, the central market is an excellent place to peruse all that Chile produces, from flowers to woolen textiles.
7. Visit one or all of the city’s world-class museums
Santiago, Chile When it comes to Chile’s fine art, Santiago is a treasure trove. Any visitor would be hard-pressed to choose just one of these historical places. They are some of the most famous buildings in Chile.
Those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of Chile’s turbulent history over the past fifty years should visit the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos.
8. Visit the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre
Santiago, Chile Among the city’s museums, the Centro Gabriela Mistral is particularly noteworthy. Not only does it house art exhibitions, but it also hosts premieres, concerts, and theatre performances. The centre is named after Gabriela Mistral, a renowned author, educator, humanist, and diplomat who became the first Latin American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945.
9. Spend some time in Barrio Italia for Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile Just southeast of the city centre is the upscale neighbourhood of Barrio Italia. It’s home to lovely cafes, trendy bars, and excellent restaurants. Additionally, it’s the district for antique shopping. Here you can find an abundance of antiques and restored furniture.
Chile is blessed with many wonderful areas in which to stay, but for visitors looking for the best possible experience, Barrio Italia is hard to beat. This vibrant district offers a wide range of accommodation, from budget-friendly hostels to elegant boutique hotels.
10. Eat lunch at a local Fuente de Soda for Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile Fuentes are diners serving massive sandwiches and draft beer that date back to the early 20th century. They got their start as soda fountains, and most have linoleum floors, wood-panelling, and walls adorned with kitsch and memorabilia. Service is brisk, and the clientele is local.
Martuca in Barrio Providencia is a great place to find sandwiches. You can choose from a variety of meat, cheese and vegetable combinations, as well as an impressive selection of local and international microbrews.
11. Enjoy an exquisite dinner at Santiago’s top restaurant
Santiago, Chile On the other hand, Santiago’s dining scene is home to Boragó, which is considered the best restaurant in the city. This establishment is highly praised for its use of local ingredients and flavors in its dishes. Guests can choose to have up to seven courses at Boragó, with optional wine pairings.
12. Do a proper pub crawl in Bellavista for Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile In recent years, the Bellavista neighbourhood north of the river has seen an increase in upscale gastropubs. the many brewpubs in Santiago, Kunstmann Kneipe, Jardin Mallinkrodt and KrossBar are some of the best. They offer several types of draft beer, as well as excellent food options like charcuterie boards and craft burgers. More low-key bars such as José Ramón 277 are popular among young professionals and students for their sandwiches and beers.
13. Take a deep dive into Santiago’s nightlife
Santiago, Chile The capital’s nightlife is regionally renowned. Things get going late, as the local dinnertime isn’t until 10pm. If you show up to a bar or club before midnight looking to dance, you may be the only one out on the floor. But once things get going, they won’t stop until the sun is well up.
In many places, cafes and restaurants are used during the day for general dining. However, once night falls, these same places are cleared of tables and chairs to make room for the arriving pisco-fueled dance crowd.
14. Survey the surrounding region at the Costanera Center
Santiago, Chile No matter where you are in the Santiago metropolitan area, you will be within sight of South America’s tallest building, the Costanera Center Tower. From the 62nd story, the view of the sprawling city and the snow-covered Andes is dramatic indeed. Nearly all of Santiago’s points of interest are withing view.
15. Join in the celebrations at the Santiago a Mil Festival
Santiago, Chile Every January, the capital hosts one of the top summer events in the country, the Santiago a Mil Festival. For three weeks, entertainers from around the world congregate in Santiago to put on world-class music, theatre and dance performances. Many of these events are free of charge.
16. Absorb the cityscape from the striking Bahá’í de Sudamérica temple
Santiago, Chile High above Santiago lies one of the city’s most picturesque feats of architecture – the Bahá’í de Sudamérica temple. This place of worship, belonging to the Bahá’í faith, has won dozens of awards for its intriguing design.
Where is Santiago and how can you get there?
Chile’s capital is located in the center of the country, 116 kilometers east of the port city Valparaíso. cities in North America, Europe, Australia, and several cities in South America.
Getting around Santiago
Santiago has South America’s largest metro system, as well as a comprehensive bus network. Fares start at 720 pesos (around $0.88 USD) and allow free transfers to other metro lines and buses within a two-hour time window. Metro hours are 7:00-23:00 Monday through Saturday and stop an hour earlier on Sundays.
Taxis are a popular and affordable way to get around. Some taxis use meters, others do not. If you take an unmetered taxi, be sure to agree on a fare before getting in.
What day trips can you do from Santiago?
While there are many things to do in Santiago, Chile, some of the best activities can be found in the areas nearby the capital.
There are many vineyards in the area between these two cities, making for some great wine country. Emiliana is one of Chile’s most renowned organic wineries, and offers excellent tours, tastings, and winemaking workshops. Matetic is a boutique biodynamic winery with a delicious restaurant and high-quality wines.