The city is a beautiful mixture of rich history, European influence and majestic miracles of the natural realm, vibrant culture, and great tourism infrastructure, leaving you with loads of things to see and experience.
Surrounded by the Andes mountains, Santiago no doubt is one of the most beautiful capital cities you ever visit.
Plaza de Armas
All distances within Santiago are measured from Santiago’s Plaza de Armas, where locals gather for picnic lunches, play chess, or relax and painters sell their work under the high palm trees. it is a very multicultural area.
The square is surrounded by many important and beautiful buildings, such as the gorgeous Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office and the Royal Court Palace.
Costanera Centre Sky viewpoint
For one of the best, and absolutely the highest, views in Latin America, go to the Sky viewpoint. At 304 m tall, the Sky center offers 360-degree views of the city under, as well as the surrounding Andes.
If you’re on a budget, you just go to the food court in the Costanera Centre Mall. They have an outdoor seating area that still has a great view, even if it isn’t the tallest in Latin America.
Cerro San Cristóbal
While Rio de Janeiro has it’s Christ the Redeemer, Santiago has the Virgin Mary and the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception. This huge white statue is sat on Cerro San Cristóbal, some 300 meters over the city.
You can take a cable car up to the statue, or chose to reach it the hard way hiking up.
From the Pío Nono entrance, it will take you about an hour to hike up the hill.
From the top of the summit, the view over Santiago town and mountain horizon is absolutely breathtaking.
In the park, you also will find a Japanese Garden, Zoo and even a few pools that are open in the summertime.
It’s open on Mondays from 1:30-5:30 PM and Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 AM-5:30 PM. Tickets cost about $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.
Home of Pablo Neruda
In the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago, you’ll find La Chascona. Once home to the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, it’s now a museum that’s open to the public.
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
The best place for finding artworks and artifacts from pre-Columbian Central and South America is at Santiago’s Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino. Exquisite sculptures, textiles, jewelry, and other amazing artifacts can be found in this marvelous museum that is open every day.
Quinta Normal Park
Quinta Normal Park is a green 88-acre area located in the Santiago district of the same name. It also has several of the city’s most interesting museums.
The Railway Museum, The Museum of Science and Technology, The National Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Memory and Human Rights just to mention some.
These museums allow you to wander through interactive exhibitions and hosts some remarkable relicts, including a 17-meter whale skeleton and the world’s oldest mummies.
Without a doubt, one of the best experiences to do in Santiago is to eat seafood in Mercado Central. This bustling market has been in business since way back in 1872 and continues to be a popular place to shop and eat.
It is located in the city center and is recognized as a historical landmark. It was also called the 5th best market in the world by National Geographic.
This open-air flea market stars local food stands and attractive microbreweries. It is located at Parque Bicentenario one weekend per month and offers a wonderful opportunity to discover small independent producers.
Santa Lucia Hill
Walking Santa Lucia Hill is definitely one of the best things to do in Santiago Chile. This large park is located in the city center just a few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas and is a great place to spend your afternoon.
Party in Bella Vista
Santiago has a lively nightlife scene, from high-end nightclubs to street bars. One of the best neighborhoods for a party night is Bella Vista. It’s an active district filled with bars, restaurants, clubs. For the local and traditional party nightlife, go to the Salsoteca Maestra Vida.
Cheer for a football game!
As one of the world’s most popular sports, and in Chile, it’s almost a religion. Catch a match and share the enthusiasm with passionate fans, cheering on one of the six country’s famous teams, including the “Big Three”: Colo-Colo, La “U” or La Catolica!
Root for La “U” at the Estadio Nacional
La Universidad de Chile’s La “U” Team rents out the National Stadium (known by the locals as el Estadio Nacional), which can welcome up to 50,000 people for its home games.
Cajon del Maipo
About 25 km south-east of Santiago, you can find a massive canyon on the Rio Maipo. It is very popular by locals of Santiago who often come here for their outdoor activities.
You can enjoy camping, hiking, rafting, skiing, and cycling at Cajon, as well as visit the delicious winery nearby.
Presidents palace - Palacio la Moneda
The Palacio La Moneda is one of Chile’s most important buildings. This impressive Neo-Classical cultural center also hosts many interesting exhibitions.
Trip to the coast
Once you’ve seen the capital, you can take a day trip from Santiago to the coast to enjoy the lovely beaches. Two breathtaking destinations worth visiting - Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.