Santiago de Chile, the capital of Chile, is a vibrant and bustling city that offers visitors a unique blend of modernity and tradition. From its soaring skyscrapers to its colonial architecture, Santiago is a fascinating destination that has something to offer everyone. In this article we will be discovering the best of Santiago de Chile.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best of Santiago de Chile. We’ll explore the city’s rich culture, from its world-class museums to its lively arts scene, and introduce you to the delicious flavors of Chilean cuisine. We’ll also guide you through the city’s stunning landscapes, from the towering Andes Mountains to the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Whether you’re an adventurous traveler looking for outdoor adventures, a history buff interested in exploring the city’s fascinating past, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, Santiago de Chile has something to offer everyone. So join us as we embark on a journey of discovery through one of South America’s most exciting and dynamic cities.
A bit of history of Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile has a rich history that dates back to the early 16th century when Spanish conquistadors first arrived in the area. The city was founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia in 1541, who named it after Saint James (Santiago in Spanish), the patron saint of Spain.
In the centuries that followed, Santiago grew into a bustling colonial city, with grand plazas, ornate churches, and impressive civic buildings. It also played an important role in the struggle for Chilean independence, with many key battles taking place in and around the city.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Santiago underwent a period of rapid modernization, with the construction of grand boulevards, ornate buildings, and parks. The city also became a center of culture and learning, with the establishment of universities, museums, and theaters.
What to do in Santiago de Chile
Today, Santiago is a thriving metropolis that blends the old and the new, with historic buildings standing alongside modern skyscrapers. It is a city that is proud of its heritage and culture, and visitors can explore its fascinating history through its many museums, galleries, and historic landmarks.
Plaza de Armas
This historic square in the heart of Santiago is surrounded by impressive buildings and monuments, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the Palacio de La Moneda, the presidential palace.
Palacio de la Moneda
The Palacio de la Moneda is one of the most iconic buildings in Santiago de Chile. Originally built in the 18th century as the Casa de la Moneda, the building was converted into the Presidential Palace in the 19th century. Today, the Palacio de la Moneda is the residence of the President of Chile.
The Palace is known for its impressive neoclassical architecture and its role in Chile’s history. In 1973, during the government of President Salvador Allende, the Palace was bombed by military forces supporting the coup led by Augusto Pinochet. Since then, the Palace has been restored and has become a symbol of Chilean resistance to the dictatorship.
Visitors can tour the Palace and explore its impressive halls, including the Hall of Presidents and the Audience Hall. They can also visit the Palacio de la Moneda Cultural Center, which houses exhibitions of art and photography, as well as a cinema and a theater. In addition, the Palace has a gift shop and a café.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) is one of the most important art museums in Chile, located in Santiago. It was founded in 1880 and its collection includes over 5,000 works of art from Chilean and international artists.
The MNBA’s collection spans from the colonial period to contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase different themes and artistic movements. In addition to its exhibition spaces, the MNBA offers a variety of educational programs, guided tours, and workshops for visitors of all ages.
The MNBA is located in the Parque Forestal, a beautiful park in the heart of Santiago. It is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm, and admission is free since 2015!
Cerro San Cristóbal
This towering hill in the heart of Santiago offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can take a cable car or funicular to the top, where they’ll find a statue of the Virgin Mary and a small chapel.
This bustling market is a great place to sample Chilean seafood and other local specialties. As well as shop for souvenirs and handicrafts. The Mercado Central is a lively market located in the heart of Santiago de Chile. Founded in 1872, the market has been a central hub for seafood and fresh produce for over a century.
The Mercado Central is housed in a beautiful wrought-iron building, designed and built in the late 19th century by a French architect. The building is a landmark in Santiago and is considered a masterpiece of Chilean architecture.
Inside, the market is bustling with activity, with vendors selling fresh seafood and other products from all over Chile. In addition, the Mercado Central is also home to several small shops selling souvenirs and a number of restaurants and bars where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink.
This colorful neighborhood is home to many art galleries, restaurants, and bars, and is a great place to soak up the bohemian vibe of Santiago. One of the most iconic landmarks in Bellavista is the Cerro San Cristobal, a large hill that towers over the neighborhood. Visitors can take a funicular to the top of the hill, where they can enjoy stunning views of the city and the Andes mountains.
At night, Bellavista comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs offering live music and dancing until the early hours of the morning. It is a great place to experience the energy and excitement of Santiago’s nightlife.
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
This museum houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian art from across Latin America, including ceramics, textiles, and metalwork. The museum’s collection includes a wide variety of artifacts, including ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and other objects from various cultures such as the Incas, Mapuches, and Aztecs. The exhibits explore the cultural and artistic achievements of these ancient civilizations and provide a unique window into their way of life.
In addition, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and educational programs. It includes workshops and lectures on topics related to pre-Columbian art and culture. The building that houses the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is also a work of art in itself. Located in the historic heart of Santiago, the building was originally built in the 19th century as a colonial-era palace. It was extensively renovated and refurbished in the 20th century to become a state-of-the-art museum space.
“Animita Romualdito” refers to a roadside shrine dedicated to an unknown person called Romualdito who died in under discussion circumstances. Romualdito is a myth with miraculous abilities. There are several theories about the myth’s origin. The shrine is located on a busy street in the La Legua neighborhood. It has become a popular pilgrimage site for locals who come to pay their respects and leave offerings such as flowers, candles, and other items. The shrine has a reputation for being a place of miracles and has become an important part of the local culture and folklore in Santiago de Chile.
However, it’s important to note that the shrine is located in a neighborhood known for its poverty and high crime rates. Visitors should exercise caution and be respectful when visiting.
Cajón del Maipo
The Maipo Canyon is a stunning natural wonder located just outside of Santiago de Chile. This scenic valley just outside Santiago offers hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities, as well as stunning views of the Andes Mountains. The canyon, which is part of the Maipo River basin, stretches for over 50 kilometers and is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the region.
The canyon is characterized by its steep, rocky cliffs and its crystal-clear river, which winds its way through the rugged landscape. Visitors to the area can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and white-water rafting.
One of the most popular activities in the Maipo Canyon is hiking. There are numerous trails that wind through the canyon, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Some of the most popular trails include the El Morado Natural Monument, which features a stunning glacier and turquoise lagoon, and the San Francisco Glacier Trail, which offers stunning views of the Andes Mountains.
Where to stay in Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile offers a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences.
- Hotels: Santiago has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels with all the amenities. Many hotels are located in the Providencia and Las Condes neighborhoods, which offer easy access to restaurants, shops, and business centers. Budget hotels can start at around 40 USD per night, while more upscale hotels can range from 90 USD to over 200 USD per night.
- Hostels and guesthouses: These are a popular option for budget-conscious travelers. Santiago has a wide range of hostels and guesthouses, especially in the Bellavista neighborhood, which is known for its bohemian atmosphere and lively nightlife. These are usually the most budget-friendly option, with prices starting at around 15 USD per night for a shared dorm room. Private rooms in hostels and guesthouses can range from 30 USD to 70 USD per night.
- Airbnb and vacation rentals: Many travelers opt to rent apartments or houses through Airbnb or other vacation rental websites. This can be a good option for families or groups who want more space and privacy. Also for travelers who want to experience living like a local in Santiago. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in a central neighborhood like Providencia can cost between 50 USD and 80 USD per night. Larger or more upscale apartments can cost 100 USD or more per night.
- Apart-hotels: These are apartment-style hotels that offer more space and amenities than traditional hotel rooms. Many apart-hotels are located in the Providencia and Las Condes neighborhoods They can be a good option for travelers who want more space and the convenience of hotel services. These can be a more expensive option, with prices ranging from 50 USD to over 150 USD per night, depending on the location and level of luxury.
How to get to Santiago de Chile
There are several ways to get to Santiago de Chile, depending on where you are coming from and your preferences. Here are some of the most common options:
Santiago de Chile has a major international airport, the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL), which is located about 15 km (9 miles) northwest of the city center. Many airlines offer direct flights to Santiago from major cities in North America, Europe, and other parts of South America.
Santiago has a large bus station, the Terminal de Buses Santiago, which is located in the Estación Central neighborhood. Many long-distance buses connect Santiago with other cities in Chile, as well as neighboring countries like Argentina and Peru.
Chile has a limited passenger train network. There is a train service that connects Santiago with the coastal city of Valparaíso. The train station in Santiago is located in the Alameda neighborhood.
If you are driving to Santiago, there are several major highways that connect the city with other parts of Chile. However, note that Chile has strict border controls and entry requirements for foreign vehicles. So it’s important to do your research and make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and permits.
Enjoy our discounts in Santiago de Chile
Useful information about Santiago de Chile
Where can I stay for acommodation in Santiago de Chile?
Santiago de Chile has several neighborhoods that offer different types of accommodations for travelers, depending on their preferences and budget.
- Bellavista: It is famous for its vibrant nightlife and bohemian atmosphere. Bellavista is a great neighborhood for young travelers looking for budget-friendly accommodations, such as hostels and guesthouses. It is also home to several restaurants, bars, and art galleries.
- Providencia: This is a more upscale neighborhood that offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, apartments, and Airbnb rentals. Providencia is known for its trendy shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as its proximity to Santiago’s main attractions.
- Las Condes: This is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Santiago. It has upscale hotels, luxury apartments, and high-end shopping malls. Las Condes is a great neighborhood for travelers looking for a more upscale experience. It has easy access to Santiago’s financial district and business centers.
- Santiago Centro: This is the historic center of Santiago, and it offers a mix of budget-friendly and upscale accommodations. Santiago Centro is home to many of Santiago’s top attractions. Including the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and the Palacio de La Moneda.
Is Santiago de Chile safe?
Santiago de Chile is generally a safe city for travelers. Like any major city, it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Here are some tips for staying safe in Santiago:
- Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, cameras, or other valuables in public places, as this can attract the attention of thieves.
- Use caution when using public transportation, especially at night. Avoid taking buses or taxis that are not marked or official. Be aware of pickpockets on crowded trains or buses.
- Stay in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone at night, especially in neighborhoods that are known to be less safe.
- Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or a money belt.
- Be aware of the risks associated with earthquakes, which can occur in Santiago and other parts of Chile. Make sure you know the emergency procedures and have a plan in case of an earthquake.
When is the best time to visit Santiago de Chile?
Summer (December to February) is the high season in Santiago, with warm and sunny weather and lots of outdoor activities. However, it’s also the busiest time of year, with lots of tourists and higher prices for accommodations and flights.
Fall (March to May) is a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures. The fall foliage can also be beautiful, especially in the parks and gardens around the city.
In Winter (June to August) Santiago can get quite cold in the winter, with temperatures dropping below freezing at night. However, it’s a good time to visit if you want to ski or snowboard in the nearby Andes mountains. They are only a short drive away.
Spring (September to November) is a good time to visit if you want to see the city’s parks and gardens in bloom. The weather is mild and pleasant, and there are fewer tourists than in the summer.
Best experiences in Santiago de Chile
This place has everything a visitor needs to have a great experience. Its natural beauty draws visitors from around the world- along with its numerous important sites and cultural heritage. As far as things to do in the place go, there are plenty of activities available for visitors.
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