A Quick Travel Guide to Santiago, Chile

By Camille Poire | BLOG

Nov 04
quick travel guide to santiago chile

The last few months have changed a lot about travel. Despite these changes, travel lovers are eager to explore new locations. Suppose you are looking for a destination rich in culture, history, and a beautiful ambiance for your Instagram feed. In that case, you may want to consider taking a trip to Santiago de Chile.

Being the capital of Chile, Santiago is a prominent and illustrious city with over 7.2 million people spread through its metropolitan area and scores of skyscrapers, including the tallest building in South America, the Gran Torre Santiago. There's so much to do in the city of Santiago! So, here's our quick travel guide to Santiago, Chile to help you navigate this exciting destination.


Plan and Research Your Trip Accurately

A few days in Santiago should allow you to explore the beautiful sights of Santiago, to get a feel of tasty Chilean dishes and drinks, and to enjoy the blissful nightlife. If you're here on a longer trip, a week's stay in Santiago should enable you to explore even more pleasant attractions, resorts, or vineyards. You can take day or overnight tours to other fascinating places, including Viña del Mar, San Pedro de Atacama, and Valparaíso.

santiago de chile travel guide

Santiago de Chile is an all-year destination that manages to avoid the extreme high and low temperatures found in other parts of the country. Despite the efficient taxi services running through the city, Santiago is easy to explore on foot. It is easy to find a hotel in Santiago Chile to fit your style and budget.

Best Things to Do in Santiago de Chile

Chile's capital has something for everyone to enjoy, with both historical and modern buildings and communities, thought-provoking museums, bustling nightlife, idyllic parks, and lively markets. Here is a quick list of some fun things to do while you are in Santiago de Chile.

Visit Palacio de la Moneda

The Neoclassical La Moneda Palace is the city's most popular building. Completed in 1805, the magnificent building was used as the presidential palace in 1958 and became the official seat of the government. There are free tours available for tourists, but you would have to book a time slot in advance. After visiting the palace, you can explore the vibrant La Moneda Cultural Centre in the south, which houses art galleries, exhibition rooms, and cinemas.

Take a Look at Pre-Columbian Art

The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is one of the most beautiful museums the city and country offer. The museum specializes in an incredible variety of arts, crafts, jewelry, and iconography created by the indigenous peoples of Latin America 10,000 years before Christopher Columbus arrived.

A few of the many highlights include:

  • The atmospheric bas-relief of the Maya
  • The finely carved wooden statues of Easter Island
  • The shiny Aymara silverware

Take a Stroll on Plaza de Armas

santiago de chile plaza de armas

Santiago's main square is vibrant and surrounded by colonial buildings like the cathedral, post office, etc., flanked by towering palm and eucalyptus trees. Plaza de Armas hosts schoolchildren, highly competitive chess games, street performers, and many other characters, giving you a chance to interact with the local people.

Take Part in Festivals and Unique Events

Semana Santa (Easter) is an important festival in Santiago and throughout Chile. Independence Day (18th September) is a national holiday celebrated with loud street partying. The city also holds the biggest LGBTI+ celebrations with a busy schedule leading to the Pride Parade and the International Film Festival in August.

Final Words

These are only a handful of our favorite things to do in Santiago. Other highlights include admiring the panoramic views of the city from the top of the Cerro San Cristobal hill, or for history buffs, learning about the victims of human rights violations under Pinochet's regime at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights - an emotionally harrowing but essential journey to understand this page of Chile's history.

santiago de chile

Meanwhile, literature lovers and those interested in exploring Chilean culture further will enjoy visiting La Chascona, the house-turned-museum of the country's famous poet Pablo Neruda. And after a busy day of exploration, don't forget to stop in a local joint to try a traditional pisco sour cocktail.

The city is also within a two-hour drive from some of the continent's best winter sports resorts, including El Colorado, La Parva, Portillo, and Valle Nevado. If you plan to include some skiing or snowboarding on your next trip, this is one more reason you should consider visiting Santiago de Chile.

Read more:
10 of the Top Places to Visit in the World in This Lifetime
How to Make Your Next International Trip More Immersive
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Rating: 4.65 (17 votes)

About the Author

Hey, I'm Camille! I'm a 30-something "ex-French" girl turned world explorer. In 2013, I quit my life to travel the world - and I haven’t stopped since! I have lived in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, and Colombia, and have visited 50+ countries as a location-independent travel writer and affiliate marketer. I like sleeping in hammocks, riding scooters, eating all the foods, and scaring my mother trying adventure sports! I now share this journey with my nomadic boyfriend Mr B, with whom I recently bought a home base in the mountains of Bansko, Bulgaria.

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