Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my latest adventure in the vibrant city of Santiago, Chile. As I explored this bustling metropolis, I couldn’t help but be captivated by its rich history, stunning architecture, and lively culture. So, without further ado, let’s dive into my carefully curated list of the top 10 things to do in Santiago.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Santiago has something for everyone. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my personal experiences and recommendations for the top 10 things to do in Santiago, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this incredible city. From exploring the historic city center to indulging in the local cuisine, these top 10 things to do in Santiago will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So, grab your suitcase and let’s embark on this unforgettable journey together!
Exploring the Historic City Center
If you’re looking for the top 10 things to do in Santiago, exploring the historic city center should definitely be on your list. Santiago’s city center is a vibrant and bustling area that is steeped in history and culture. Here are some of the top things to do in the historic city center:
1. Visit Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas is the main square in Santiago and is surrounded by some of the city’s most important buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National History Museum. This is a great place to start your exploration of the city center.
2. Take a Walking Tour
One of the best ways to explore the historic city center is on foot. There are several walking tours available that will take you through the most important landmarks and attractions in the area.
3. Visit La Moneda Palace
La Moneda Palace is the seat of the Chilean government and is an important symbol of the country’s history and culture. Guided tours are available, and you can also watch the changing of the guard ceremony.
4. Explore the Central Market
The Central Market is a must-visit for foodies. Here you can find a wide variety of fresh seafood and other local delicacies. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and soak up the local atmosphere.
5. Visit the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is home to a vast collection of artifacts from the pre-Columbian era. It’s a great place to learn about the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of Chile.
6. Take a Cable Car Ride
For a unique perspective on the city, take a cable car ride up to Cerro San Cristobal. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of Santiago and the surrounding mountains.
7. Visit the Santa Lucia Hill
Santa Lucia Hill is a beautiful park located in the heart of the city. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery, and there are several historic landmarks and monuments to explore.
8. Explore the Barrio Lastarria
Barrio Lastarria is a trendy neighborhood in the city center that is known for its bohemian vibe and artistic community. Here you can find a wide variety of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.
9. Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts
The National Museum of Fine Arts is home to a vast collection of Chilean and international art. It’s a great place to learn about the country’s artistic heritage and see some amazing works of art.
10. Take a Day Trip to Valparaiso
While not technically in Santiago, Valparaiso is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Chile. This colorful and vibrant port city is known for its street art, historic architecture, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Exploring the historic city center is just one of the many top 10 things to do in Santiago. With so much to see and do in this vibrant and exciting city, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Unwinding in Santiago’s Green Spaces
Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is known for its bustling streets, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, there are several green spaces where you can unwind and relax. Here are the top 10 things to do Santiago in its green spaces:
Parque Bicentenario: Located in the Vitacura neighborhood, Parque Bicentenario is a beautiful park that offers stunning views of the Andes Mountains. You can take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or rent a bike and explore the park’s many trails.
Cerro San Cristobal: This hill is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santiago. You can take a funicular to the top and enjoy panoramic views of the city. There are also several hiking trails, a zoo, and a botanical garden.
Parque Forestal: This park is located in the heart of Santiago and is a popular spot for joggers, cyclists, and picnickers. It’s also home to several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Jardín Japonés: This Japanese garden is a peaceful oasis in the middle of Santiago. It features a koi pond, a tea house, and several traditional Japanese structures.
Parque Quinta Normal: This park is home to several museums, including the National Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Science and Technology. It also has a beautiful lake, a botanical garden, and several playgrounds.
Parque Araucano: This park is located in the Las Condes neighborhood and is a popular spot for outdoor concerts and festivals. It also has several playgrounds, a skate park, and a bike trail.
Parque Mahuida: This park is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains and offers stunning views of the city. It has several hiking trails, a picnic area, and a playground.
Parque Padre Hurtado: This park is named after a famous Chilean priest and is a popular spot for families. It has several playgrounds, a lake, and a picnic area.
Parque Metropolitano: This park is one of the largest urban parks in the world and is home to several attractions, including the Santiago Cable Car, the National Zoo, and the National Observatory.
Cerro Santa Lucia: This hill is located in the center of Santiago and is a popular spot for tourists. It has several walking trails, a castle, and several lookout points with stunning views of the city.
So, if you’re looking to unwind and relax in Santiago, be sure to check out these top 10 green spaces. They offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and are a great way to connect with nature. Don’t forget to add them to your list of top 10 things to do Santiago!
Savoring Chilean Cuisine and Nightlife
When it comes to experiencing the best of Santiago, savoring the local cuisine and enjoying the vibrant nightlife scene are must-do activities. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Santiago for foodies and night owls alike:
1. Try Traditional Chilean Dishes
No visit to Santiago is complete without trying some of the traditional Chilean dishes. Head to Mercado Central, a bustling market filled with seafood restaurants, to try the famous Chilean seafood stew, Caldillo de Congrio. For meat lovers, the hearty dish of Charquicán, a beef and vegetable stew, is a must-try.
2. Visit La Vega Central Market
La Vega Central Market is a food lover’s paradise, with vendors selling fresh produce, meats, and seafood. Take a stroll through the market and sample some of the local fruits, such as cherimoya and lucuma.
3. Enjoy a Wine Tasting Tour
Chile is known for its excellent wines, and Santiago is the perfect place to enjoy a wine tasting tour. Visit the Concha y Toro Winery, just outside the city, to sample some of the best wines in the country.
4. Experience the Nightlife in Bellavista
Bellavista is Santiago’s bohemian neighborhood, known for its lively nightlife scene. Head to one of the many bars or clubs in the area to experience the local party culture.
5. Try Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour is Chile’s national drink, made with pisco, lime juice, sugar, and egg whites. Head to a local bar and try this refreshing cocktail for yourself.
6. Visit Patio Bellavista
Patio Bellavista is a trendy shopping and dining complex in the heart of Bellavista. With over 70 restaurants and bars, it’s the perfect place to sample some of the city’s best cuisine and enjoy the nightlife.
7. Take a Cooking Class
Learn how to cook traditional Chilean dishes by taking a cooking class. Many local restaurants and cooking schools offer classes where you can learn how to make empanadas, pastel de choclo, and other local favorites.
8. Visit the Central Market
The Central Market is a historic market in the heart of Santiago, known for its fresh seafood and local produce. Take a stroll through the market and sample some of the local delicacies.
9. Enjoy a Rooftop Bar
Santiago has many rooftop bars with stunning views of the city. Head to one of these bars to enjoy a cocktail and take in the panoramic views.
10. Try Chilean Street Food
Chilean street food is a must-try when visiting Santiago. Head to a local food truck or street vendor and try some of the local favorites, such as completo, a hot dog topped with avocado and mayonnaise.
Santiago is a foodie and nightlife lover’s paradise, with plenty of activities to keep you busy. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Santiago for an unforgettable experience.
Discovering Santiago’s Art and Culture Scene
Santiago is a city that is rich in art and culture. From museums to street art, there is something for everyone. Here are the top 10 things to do in Santiago to discover its art and culture scene:
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts – This museum is home to a vast collection of Chilean art, as well as works from other Latin American countries and Europe. It’s a must-visit for art lovers.
Explore the Bellavista Neighborhood – This bohemian neighborhood is full of street art, galleries, and cultural centers. Take a walk around and discover the vibrant art scene.
Check out the Street Art – Santiago is known for its street art, and there are many areas where you can see it. Some of the best places to check out are Barrio Brasil, Barrio Yungay, and Barrio Lastarria.
Visit the Museum of Memory and Human Rights – This museum is dedicated to the victims of the Pinochet dictatorship and is a powerful reminder of Chile’s recent history.
Take a Walking Tour – There are many walking tours available in Santiago that focus on the city’s art and culture scene. It’s a great way to learn more about the city and discover hidden gems.
Visit the National Museum of History – This museum is housed in the Palacio de la Real Audiencia and showcases Chile’s history from pre-Columbian times to the present day.
Attend a Cultural Event – Santiago is home to many cultural events throughout the year, including music festivals, theater performances, and art exhibitions. Check out what’s on during your visit.
Visit the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center – This cultural center is named after Chile’s Nobel Prize-winning poet and is a hub for the arts in Santiago. It hosts exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances.
Explore the Central Market – The Central Market is not only a great place to try Chilean seafood, but it’s also home to many artisanal shops selling traditional Chilean crafts.
Take a Day Trip to Valparaiso – Valparaiso is a colorful port city located just a couple of hours from Santiago. It’s known for its street art, bohemian vibe, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Santiago’s art and culture scene is diverse and vibrant, and there are many ways to discover it. Whether you’re interested in museums, street art, or cultural events, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Santiago to experience the city’s art and culture scene.
Venturing into the Andes Mountains
If you’re looking for an adventure outside of Santiago, look no further than the Andes Mountains. This majestic mountain range is a must-visit destination for any traveler to Chile. Here are the top 10 things to do Santiago in the Andes Mountains:
Hiking to the top of Cerro San Cristobal – This is one of the most popular hikes in Santiago, and for good reason. The views from the top are breathtaking, and it’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the outdoors.
Skiing or snowboarding at Valle Nevado – If you’re visiting Santiago during the winter months, a trip to Valle Nevado is a must. This ski resort is located high in the Andes Mountains and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in South America.
Taking a scenic drive through Cajon del Maipo – This stunning canyon is located just outside of Santiago and is a great place to take a scenic drive. You’ll see towering mountains, rushing rivers, and beautiful waterfalls along the way.
Visiting the Baños Colina hot springs – These natural hot springs are located in the Andes Mountains and offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The views from the hot springs are also incredible.
Going on a horseback riding tour – There are several companies that offer horseback riding tours in the Andes Mountains. This is a great way to explore the area and see some of the stunning scenery up close.
Taking a helicopter tour – For a truly unforgettable experience, consider taking a helicopter tour of the Andes Mountains. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape and see things that you wouldn’t be able to see from the ground.
Visiting the El Morado Natural Monument – This protected area is located in the Andes Mountains and is home to several glaciers, lakes, and waterfalls. It’s a great place to go hiking and explore the natural beauty of the area.
Going on a mountain biking tour – If you’re an adrenaline junkie, consider going on a mountain biking tour in the Andes Mountains. You’ll get to experience the thrill of biking down steep mountain trails while taking in the stunning scenery.
Visiting the Embalse El Yeso reservoir – This stunning reservoir is located in the Andes Mountains and is a great place to go for a picnic or a swim. The views of the surrounding mountains are also incredible.
Taking a day trip to Portillo – This ski resort is located in the Andes Mountains and is a great place to go for a day trip. Even if you’re not skiing or snowboarding, the views from the resort are worth the trip.
Venturing into the Andes Mountains is one of the top 10 things to do Santiago. With so many activities to choose from, there’s something for everyone in this stunning mountain range.
Day Trips and Excursions Beyond Santiago
While Santiago has plenty to offer, there are also many exciting day trips and excursions to explore beyond the city limits. Here are some of the top 10 things to do Santiago’s surrounding areas:
1. Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
Just a couple of hours from Santiago, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar are two charming coastal towns that are definitely worth a visit. Valparaiso is known for its colorful houses, street art, and funiculars, while Viña del Mar boasts beautiful beaches and gardens.
2. Cajón del Maipo
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Cajón del Maipo is the perfect day trip from Santiago. This stunning canyon offers hiking trails, hot springs, and breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains.
3. Isla Negra
Pablo Neruda, one of Chile’s most famous poets, had a house in Isla Negra that is now a museum. The house is filled with his personal belongings and offers a glimpse into his life and work.
4. Colchagua Valley
Wine lovers won’t want to miss a trip to the Colchagua Valley, one of Chile’s most famous wine regions. You can visit vineyards, taste some of the best wines in the country, and learn about the winemaking process.
5. Portillo Ski Resort
If you’re visiting Santiago during the winter months, a day trip to Portillo Ski Resort is a must. This ski resort is located in the Andes Mountains and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in South America.
Pomaire is a small town known for its pottery. You can visit local workshops and see how the pottery is made, as well as buy some unique souvenirs to take home.
7. Sewell Mining Town
Sewell Mining Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once a thriving mining town. Today, you can take a tour of the town and learn about its history and the lives of the miners who worked there.
8. El Yeso Reservoir
El Yeso Reservoir is a stunning turquoise lake surrounded by mountains. You can take a day trip to the reservoir and enjoy a picnic, hike, or even go horseback riding.
9. La Campana National Park
La Campana National Park is a beautiful park located just outside of Santiago. It offers hiking trails, stunning views, and a chance to see some of Chile’s unique flora and fauna.
Rancagua is a historic city located just an hour from Santiago. It’s known for its beautiful architecture, museums, and cultural events.
These are just a few of the many day trips and excursions you can take from Santiago. With so many options, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests and travel style. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do Santiago’s surrounding areas!
In conclusion, this vibrant and culturally rich city has something for everyone, and I hope my list of the top 10 things to do in Santiago has inspired you to pack your bags and embark on your own Chilean adventure. From the stunning views of Cerro San Cristobal to the bustling markets of La Vega Central, Santiago is a city that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to explore even more.
As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing these top 10 things to do in Santiago firsthand, and I can assure you that each one is worth the time and effort. So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Santiago has something to offer you.
Don’t forget to share your own Suitcase Stories with me as you explore the top 10 things to do in Santiago, and remember that the best way to truly experience a city is to immerse yourself in its culture, history, and people. So, get out there and start creating your own Santiago adventure, and be sure to let me know which of the top 10 things to do in Santiago was your favorite!
Until our next journey, happy travels and keep exploring the world, one Suitcase Story at a time.