Congratulations! You’ve arrived in Santiago, now to enjoy! Check out these recommendations to make the most of your time in this unique city.
Cerro San Cristobal
Visible from all over the city, The view from the summit is a must-see for all visitors to Santiago. Best enjoyed after taking on the one hour walk to the top, you can also take the funicular railway to the statue of the Virgin Mary. Enjoy the view with a picnic, take a stroll through the Japanese garden, a real oasis of tranquility in such a lively city, and marvel at how they even got the statue up there in the first place!
The number one going out spot in Santiago, Barrio Bellavista is a trendy area filled with bars, restaurants and nightclubs where there is a always something to see and do! Spend a night in the bars of Calle Pio Nono, just across the river from Baquedano metro station, where you can get great food and drink at low prices while soaking up the atmosphere of Bellavista, a place where there is always a party!
Another unmissable Santiago highlight is El Mercado Central, a sprawling series of stalls where getting lost within the maze of the market is almost inevitable, and certainly advisable for a fun experience! Make sure to check out the food sections with three market halls being dedicated to fish, meat, and fruit and vegetables. Enjoy a hearty Chilean dish such as Cazuela, a delicious meat stew, in one of the many restaurants and buy some incredible fresh produce at outrageously low prices!
Cerro Santa Lucía
Built towards the end of Spanish rule in Chile, Cerro Santa Lucía is a wonderful little gem in the very heart of Santiago. Spend an hour or two strolling around the park, taking in the 19th century architecture and delicately detailed fountains, and finally climb the steep stairs to the top of the old fort for a great panoramic view of Santiago.
Museo de La Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos
As you may know, there are dark aspects to Chile’s past, into which El Museo de La Memoria gives a deeply interesting insight. Located outside Quinta Normal, a park quite literally filled with museums, a visit tothe museum is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about what life was like during and after the Pinochet era.
The dominant figure of the Santiago skyline is of course the Costanera Centre, and what better way to watch a sunset than from the open air viewing deck 300 metres above the city! Relax as the changing of the light turns the Andes a lovely pink shade and watch thousands of people from a birds eye view! Afterwards pop down to one of the many restaurants inside or outside of the Costanera Centre for a bite to eat.
For those looking for a challenging hike, Cerro Manquehue is the perfect way to spend the morning, a steep climber’s dream towering above the city, it is undoubtedly the best place to get both a view of Santiago and La Cordillera. Unless you have somebody who can drive you there, take a collective taxi from Escuela Militar metro to the beginning of the path and be prepared for some stiff legs and breathtaking views!
Baha’i house of worship
A hidden gem stowed away on the edge of the city, the Baha’i House of Worship feels a world away from the buzz of Santiago Centro. Take a walk around the tranquil surroundings and let the peacefulness of the temple flow over you, all whilst enjoying another yet another incredible view of Santiago.
Chile is one of the best wine producers in the world and you can’t leave Chile without having enjoyed at least a few glasses of wine! You might be surprised, but within Santiago there are a number of easily accessable vineyards which offer great tours and of course wine tastings. Check out Santa Rita and Cousiño Macul vineyards for tours and tastings in Santiago.
Cajón del Maipo
Located a stones throw from Santiago, Cajón del Maipo is one of the worlds best outdoor watersports locations. You’ll have no problem finding a tour operator offering a wide variety of activities, from kayaking to rafting. If you don’t want to get wet, you can horse ride or trek in jawdropping Andean surroundings around Embalse El Yeso.
Other great spots to check out
Santiago has so much to offer that it is impossible to reduce it down to just ten sights. If you’re not already exhausted from scaling the cerros, sipping wine at the vineyards, or partying in Bellavista, make sure to check out the trendy bohemian Barrios Lastarria and Italia, visit El Museo Pre-Columbino for a taste of the history and native cultures of Chile, or hit the slopes at one of the many world class ski resorts outside of Santiago! Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your time in Santiago, one of the worlds greatest cities.
If all those ideas weren’t enough to whet your appetite, check out this excellent varied selection of tours and activities here!
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