Santiago, Chile- Travel Guide

Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile, located in the central point in the country. Popular vibrant metropolitan city nestled in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes Mountains. Well known for its rich architectural and cultural heritage, Santiago offers a mix of Spanish colonial architecture, modern skyscrapers, bustling markets, and a thriving arts and culinary scene.

19,300+ Santiago Chile Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock | Santiago chile skyline, Santiago chile people, Santiago chile  culture

When we talk about Santiago, we should start from its neoclassical La Moneda Palace, the Plaza de Armas with its stunning Cathedral is the example of brilliant architecture, and the Cerro San Cristobal hill for incredible outdoor architecture and panoramic views of the city. Along with that, the city is also brilliant when it comes to arts and culture, with numerous museums, theatres, and art galleries showcasing the country’s diverse heritage.

Chile Santiago Chilean - Free photo on Pixabay - Pixabay

There are multiple things available here and you will see further. It is very important to try that the city’s culinary scene is equally impressive, with a wide range of restaurants serving delicious traditional Chilean dishes alongside international cuisine.

It is very important to indulge into the city where it seamlessly blends tradition with modernity, offering visitors a unique glimpse into Chilean culture and lifestyle.


Top 10 Things to do in Santiago, Chile


1. Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral

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Let’s start our Santiago journey in order to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral. People of Chile believed that the Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the crucial symbols of Catholicism. Located in the city centre, it was introduced by the Spanish invaders in the 16th century. Its intrinsic features include a crypt house for bishops, a monument for heroes of the battle of La Concepcion, and also a place noted for the national celebration of Ecumenical Te Deum. A beautiful neoclassical cathedral measuring 97.83 meters in length and 29.28 meters in width is one of stunning marvelous architecture and historical significance.


2. Explore Cerro San Cristóbal

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As we knew that Chile is a mountainous country along with rich natural landscapes by the Andean mountains. Visit Cerro San Cristóbal, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of this hill in north Santiago. Total 722 hectares of land is easily accessible by funicular or hiking. National zoo of Chile, Sanctuary of the immaculate conceptions, Manuel foster astronomical observatory, house of the culture, Virgin Mary statue and the Japanese garden are popular spots here in Cerro San Cristóbal.


3. Wander around Plaza de Armas

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Another crazy activity offered by Santiago to every backpacker is to wander around Plaza de Armas. Considered the heart of Chile’s capital offers walking tours, cycling between the sights on a bike tour or customising your own itinerary on a private tour. Therefore the city main square of Santiago, surrounded by historic buildings like the Royal Court Palace and the Central Post Office are easily accessible things. Known as Great for people-watching founded in 1541 surrounded by the leafy, palm fringed plaza, and it is surrounded by the grand monuments and architectural landmarks.


4. Shop at Mercado Central

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Such a great food market in Chile, also a bustling food market renowned for its fresh seafood’s and local culinary offerings. This famous market was established in 1872, especially reserved for a food lover, offering fresh meats, salmon, hake, mussels, clams and local delicacies. Market designs by the Chilean architect Fermin Vivaceta. You can also expect restaurants and food stalls within the market including traditional Chilean dishes. Don’t miss trying the traditional Chilean dish, “ceviche.”


5. Taste Chilean wines in the Maipo Valley

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Chilean wines are globally recognized and trying in the Maipo valley can be next level experience. Famous wine making region in Chile, Maipo valley is well known for producing the quality and prestigious Chilean wines. That’s why the place is also called the “Bordeaux of South America”.  Wine here is quite juicy, rich and fruity. Located just outside of Santiago, the valley divides into 3 sub-regions like Alto Maipo, Central and Pacific Maipo. Viticulture in Chile was started in 1540 in Maipo Valley initially through wine plantations. Valley is also recognised for the deep red colour and flavour of the ripe fruits and coffees. Never miss visiting vineyards like Concha y Toro and Santa Rita for tastings.


6. Stroll through Barrio Lastarria

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If you really love walking and wish to take a leisure stroll you can choose Barrio Lastarria. It is a Lastarria neighbourhood’s cobblestone streets and European architecture create bohemian vibes. The bohemian neighbourhood is filled with charming cafés, art galleries, and boutiques. Moreover antique stores, indie boutiques as well as Gabriela Mistral cultural centres are available to explore.  Undoubtedly one of the perfect for a leisurely afternoon of exploring in order enjoy the green oasis of Parque forest, international cuisines and museum of visual arts.


7. Visit La Chascona

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La Chascona is the home of the famous former Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Today this house has been converted into a museum dedicated to his life and work and part of the La Chascona. Inside this house visitors can find personal items like a portrait of Matilda by Diego Rivera and odd sculptures and writings and English China. Name was translated from Spanish as tangle haired women. Music boxes, original chinwaves, toys, antiques, and library in the house also filled with quirky, eclectic décor.


8. Discover the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art

Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art | Chilean Museum of Pre-… | Flickr

Santiago not just offers places and museums, it will help you to learn about Chile’s indigenous cultures. Museum includes permanent collections of pottery, sculptures, textiles from Mesoamerica, Caribbean’s, African, Central and southern ends and artefacts and art pieces spanning thousands of years. You can also see some of the scripts and descriptions which are labelled in Spanish and some of them are small and dim, which is very difficult to read. Museum operates 10 am to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday with admission fees of 10,000 Chilean peso (There are discounted fees for students and children’s).


9. Hike in Parque Metropolitano

3,200+ Santiago Chile Park Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock | Santiago chile skyline

As a bustling and modern city, Santiago is a city of true nature lovers. Parque Metropolitano is the best example for that, offering great space for outdoor lovers from snow-capped Andes Mountains to lush green forest. Parque Metropolitano has a total of 20 great trails for both walking and hiking, even for family or solo travellers too. Parque Metropolitano also offers cycling, rock climbing and other outdoor activities in order to show panoramic views of the city. People who want to escape from the city hustle and bustle by exploring this large urban park, which offers numerous trails, picnic spots, and the Santiago Zoo.


10. Taste a traditional “parrillada”

Chilenazo |

Parrillada is traditional Chilean cuisine always at its best by enjoying a hearty barbecue meal at a local parrilla. There are a variety of Parilladas available like heaping mound of costillas de cerdo (pork ribs), bife de lomo, pork chops, longanizas, udder and chunchules are famous among them. Parrillada restaurants are available where you see the menu items like feast on grilled meats, choripanes, and empanadas.


Best time to visit


Unarguably, September to November and March to May are the most recommended seasons to visit. Santiago is a year round destination to explore, destinations include Snow covered mountains, ancient Cathedral, vast forest coverage and even more things to enjoy. Therefore these months have very friendly atmospheres and bring unique colors of fall.


How to Reach Santiago

There are 3 better ways to reach Santiago, Chile from any other corner of the world.


1. by Flights


Ryanair operates direct flights from the UK to Santiago. Suppose if you are from the US or Canada you can choose between Madrid and Iberia. If you can also take flights from different countries to the nearby Airport of Arturo Merino Benitez international airport.


2. by Road


You can reach Santiago from major cities in Spain and Portugal, but the majority of people will choose via Santader. However N547 and N525 which connect to A6/NVI.


3. by Rail


There are a number of railway stations but Rua de Horreo off Avendia de Lugo just to the south of the old quarters. You can travel by train even during night or day too from Madrid to Santiago. There are French trains running from Irun to via Bilbao and San Sebastian.


Santiago Weather


Santiago, Chile has a wide range of weather forecasts due to its diverse area of coverage and large geographical scales. Santiago has cool semi-arid climates normally considered as Mediterranean.

The average monthly temperature is around 19.5℃ in the summer months from January to February and 7.5℃ in the winter months. Summer months are more arid, clear and warm which help to explore the city very clearly.


I hope after discussing everything about Santiago, a place could be next on your bucket list. You will learn a lot about cities, fascinating history and culture, architecture, delicious food and beautiful snow-capped Andes Mountains. In spite of being a modern and capital city, Santiago is one of the must visit destinations for all sorts of backpackers.


Q: Is Santiago, Chile safe?

A: Santiago is generally considered as the safest city when you compare with other Latin American cities. if you see the Global Peace Index Chile is one of the top country under that. Along with crime rates and theft are decreased over a period of time.

Q: Where is Chile Located?

A: Chile is a Latin American country located in the western seaboard of South America.

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