The capital of Chile is one of the the most culturally and artistically rich cities in South America. We have prepared a small guide to help you enjoy and explore your Santiago travel like a local.
Tourist Attractions during Santiago travel
Costanera Center, located in the central business district of Santiago, Chile
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1. Soak up the city view on the rooftop of Costanera Center.
2. Central points at the city center include Plaza de Armas, Cerro Santa Lucía, and Cerro San Cristóbal
Palacio de la Moneda
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3. La Moneda Palace / Palacio de La Moneda, to witness the center of Chilean politics. To hear more in-depth of its historical significance, tours are offered on weekdays. Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda also houses great cultural and art exhibitions.
Museo al Cielo Libre – Santiago Travel
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4. Museo al Cielo Libre in San Miguel is an open air museum, in the form of murals running up buildings for a long stretch. In artsy Santiago-style, this dedication to street artists is a must-stop for graffiti lovers.
1. Persa Biobio is a huge flea market where a weekend lunch stop to any of the numerous food stalls will afford you a cheap, satisfying fix.
2. El Hoyo for traditional Chilean food at a great price (if you’re into pork, try the pernil).
Liguria – Santiago Travel
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3. Liguria might be as local as one could get, with the place having no tourists in sight while being very well-known by the locals. Serves local, classic Chilean food as well as a variety of alcoholic drinks. Great for social gatherings.
4. Del Beto, for high-quality Chilean food.
5. El Fogón del Gaucho is a meat-specialized restaurant for all the carnivores out there!
1. La Vega Central Market (a.k.a Feria Mapocho) is the main produce market in the city. Only a few things can get as local as a couple hours at this market.
Barrio Lastarria – Santiago Travel
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2. Bellavista & Barrio Lastarria are the best neighborhoods to soak up the cultural and artistic energy Santiago emanates. Not only are they great spots for both people-watching and being in the middle of all the happenings, but also to appreciate the city views in these hills, Santa Lucia & San Cristobal.
3. Check out these specific recommendations for exploring Barrio Lastarria.
4. For the history geeks, or socio-politically inclined: Cementerio General (cemetery) houses many iconic figures of Chile.
5. Wineyards Viña Cousiño or the Concha y Toro because who hasn’t heard of (or tasted) the wonders of Chilean wine?
Expectations vs. Realities
Santiago might be the safest of South American cities and hence Santiago travel would be pretty relaxed. There are neither the corrupt police that the continent is infamous for, nor any violent robberies. Major facilities, i.e. hospitals are clean and roads well kempt.
On a less hopeful note, despite being a big city (and the American continent), English won’t get you anywhere.
Transportation during Santiago travel
Follow these advice to avoid taxi scams. Or make your life easier by opting for Uber, which is already widely used in Chile.
speaking of which…
Destinations worth venturing out to
Chilean geography offers a great variety: from nature-filled beaches and National Parks, to mountains and the city. Try out some of the following options apart from your Santiago travel if you want to venture out.
Valparaiso is another big city in Chile, 116 km from Santiago. Here’s a cheap, reliable bus company for the ride. Some of its notable landmarks are:
1. Museo a Cielo Abierto showcases unique graffiti and street art.
2. Fishing Caleta and Quintay are fishing villages near one another that offer delicious seafood (remember that Chilean cuisine has many seafood bases).
1. Palmas de Ocoa is a beautiful park with a great reserve of the Chilean Palm
Cajón del Maipo
(Image courtesy: chile.travel)
2. Cerro Carpa, Pochoco, Provincia, Cajón del Maipo, and the Farellones area have mountains apt for hiking or ski resorts.
(Image courtesy: revistaenfoque.cl)
Bonus tip: Sewell is a Unesco-declared copper mine town-turned-ghost town. 150 km from Santiago, it’s also called city of stairs – for being elevated 21,000 m above the sea level, next to the mountain chain “Los Andes.”
After all that research, plus fretting about both useless and valid issues – it’s natural to remain ambivalent on whether or not you’re really setting off. Truth is, travelling requires a bit of letting-go. Just leave it – not just the home you’re departing, but many of your ‘securities’ as well, i.e. certainty. Liberate yourself by embracing the unfamiliar!
Planning to travel to Santiago? You can use the Talk Travel App and directly talk to a local to help you with your travel planning and have a much more enjoyable experience during your Santiago travel.
Let us know if you have any other suggestions to be added to this guide.