Most Popular Things to Do in Santiago

Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is a dynamic and cosmopolitan destination that seamlessly blends modernity with a rich cultural heritage.

Visit La Moneda Palace:

Start your journey in Santiago with a visit to La Moneda Palace, the seat of the Chilean government. This neoclassical architectural marvel is a symbol of Chile’s history and political significance. Explore its stunning courtyards, manicured gardens, and intriguing underground cultural center. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place every other day and is a captivating spectacle.

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Stroll through Plaza de Armas:

Located at the heart of Santiago, Plaza de Armas is the city’s main square and a bustling hub of activity. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you wander through the square, lined with historic buildings, palm trees, and street vendors. Admire the majestic Metropolitan Cathedral and the Central Post Office, both of which exhibit stunning architecture.

Explore the Historical Neighborhoods:

Santiago boasts several distinct neighborhoods, each with its unique charm. Head to Bellavista, known for its bohemian vibe, colorful street art, and trendy bars and restaurants. Discover the historic Lastarria neighborhood, renowned for its beautiful architecture, boutique shops, and art galleries. Finally, explore the tranquil neighborhood of Providencia, characterized by tree-lined streets, charming cafes, and excellent shopping opportunities.

Ascend Cerro San Cristobal:

For breathtaking panoramic views of Santiago, take a funicular or hike up Cerro San Cristobal, the city’s largest green area. Once at the top, marvel at the awe-inspiring vistas of the sprawling cityscape nestled between the towering Andes Mountains. Visit the iconic Virgin Mary statue and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the park. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the incredible sunset views.

Visit the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art:

Delve into Chile’s fascinating pre-Columbian history by visiting the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, including ceramics, textiles, and religious objects, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples of the region.

Indulge in Culinary Delights:

Santiago is a gastronomic paradise, offering a wide range of culinary experiences. Sample traditional Chilean dishes such as empanadas, pastel de choclo (a savory corn pie), and the delectable seafood stew known as cazuela de mariscos. Explore the Mercado Central, a bustling market where you can savor fresh seafood and local delicacies. Additionally, be sure to visit the trendy neighborhoods of Barrio Italia and Barrio Lastarria, which are known for their excellent restaurants and charming cafes.

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Discover the Arts and Culture Scene:

Santiago’s thriving arts and culture scene will captivate art lovers and enthusiasts. Explore the Museum of Fine Arts, showcasing an extensive collection of Chilean and international artwork. Visit Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, a hub of artistic activities including theater performances, concerts, and exhibitions. For a taste of Santiago’s vibrant street art, take a stroll through the bohemian neighborhood of Bellavista, where colorful murals adorn the walls.

Immerse Yourself in Chilean Wine Culture:

Chile is renowned for its exceptional wines, and Santiago serves as the gateway to the country’s world-class vineyards. Take a day trip to the nearby Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, or Colchagua Valley, where you can indulge in wine tastings and tours of the picturesque vineyards. Learn about the winemaking process, sample a variety of wines, and savor a delicious lunch paired with the perfect glass of Chilean wine.

Explore the Central Market:

No visit to Santiago is complete without a visit to the Central Market (Mercado Central). This bustling market is a haven for seafood lovers, offering an array of fresh seafood stalls and seafood restaurants. Enjoy a traditional Chilean lunch of ceviche, grilled fish, or succulent shellfish while immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of the market.

Relax in Parque Forestal:

Escape the bustling city streets and unwind in Parque Forestal, a picturesque park stretching along the Mapocho River. Take a leisurely stroll or rent a bike to explore the park’s pathways lined with lush trees and beautiful sculptures. Admire the stunning architecture of the Fine Arts Museum and enjoy a picnic or simply sit back and enjoy the tranquility of this urban oasis.

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Visit Pablo Neruda’s House:

Literature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to La Chascona, one of the homes of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. This quirky and whimsical house-turned-museum showcases Neruda’s unique taste and love for art. Explore the rooms filled with personal belongings, artwork, and collections, and learn about the life and works of this Nobel Prize-winning poet.

Enjoy Outdoor Adventures:

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Santiago offers plenty of opportunities for adventure. Embark on a hiking or biking excursion in the nearby Andes Mountains, where you can explore picturesque trails, crystal-clear lakes, and breathtaking viewpoints. During the winter months, hit the slopes in the nearby ski resorts for a thrilling skiing or snowboarding experience.