Santiago is the capital of Chile and the largest city of this narrow country. It sits in between the Andes & the Chilean Coastal Range.
It is often the starting point for further adventures to the northern desert, to Patagonia or to other surrounding countries. However, Santiago has its own tourist attractions and is worth spending a few days in.
I’ve lived in Santiago and definitely have my top places to see, and top things to eat/drink. Click here to see my article about Santiago cuisine & drink.
There is something for the lovers of art, music, nature, food, cityscapes and shopping.
Where to stay?
- Barrio Lastarría – for people who like to be in the centre of things, near bars and places to party (caution, the centre of Santiago has political unrest at the moment 2019/2020)
- Providencia & Ñuñoa – my favourite places to stay in Santiago. Quite safe, near the centre and good train lines + great restaurants
- Las Condes & Vitacura – the more affluent areas of Santiago. A bit further away from tourist areas & the centre but very safe. If you intend to Uber everywhere, this area would be very comfortable
Top 18 things to see in Santiago
- Cerro Santa Lucía – a beautiful park in the middle of the city with a fort/castle & great views
- Cerro San Cristóbal – get the cable car to the top of this hill for views of Santiago & the Andes. A large Virgin Mary is on top. Try go up on a clear day
- Barrio Lastarría – a trendy & picturesque suburb of Santiago with great food, bars & antique markets
- Centro Cultural de La Moneda – underneath the President’s Palace is this cultural museum. The architecture itself is impressive, with cool cafes, shops & exhibits on
- Palacio de La Moneda – the president of Chile’s seat
- Eating & Drinking in Santiago
- Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino – an amazing museum of the cultures in Central & South America before the Spanish arrived
- Plaza de Armas & the Metropolitan Cathedral
- Bahá’i Temple – beautiful temple, peaceful garden & great views at sunset
- La Chascona, the nobel prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda’s house in Santiago
- Museo Bellas Artes & the MAC – free entry & exhibits worth seeing
- Museum of Memory & Human Rights – this emotional museum documents the military dictatorship in Chile that gives you an insight into the complex problems Chile faces today
- Parque Bicentenario – a new park that is beautiful, safe, and home to koi fish, flamingos, and swans
- Quinta Normal Park – a large park with paddle boats, museums, palm trees and street vendors offering up fresh juice & food
- Patio Bella Vista – a pretty patio of shops, bars & restaurants. Prices are higher here
- Pueblito Los Dominicos – shop in this old farm converted to a beautiful handcraft market
- Costanera Centre & the sky deck with panoramic views of Santiago. The tallest building in Latin America with great shopping and 360 degree views of Santiago
- Inés de Suárez Park – a residential park for locals that is great to relax in. Spend an afternoon with the cutest dogs here!
Unfortunately, there is political unrest in all of Chile at this moment in time. Chile was once considered one of the safest and most stable South American countries. Due to rising prices and low wages, combined with huge inequality the people of this country are not happy with the current system. I hope that things change soon so that this beautiful country can be what it deserves to be.