Santiago de Chile, or Santiago for short, is one of the most dynamic capitals in South America. Thanks to its healthy economy, carefree lifestyle, and local’s appreciation for culture, it’s a great city to visit. Santiago is usually a mere pit stop for travelers looking to explore the more remote parts of the country; but I highly recommend that you take a few days to get to know it anyway. You might end up pleasantly surprised about what you might find there. Here are some of the best attractions in Santiago, Chile worth visiting.
Best Attractions in Santiago, Chile
Some of the best attractions in Santiago are parks. The city prioritizes a healthier lifestyle by having designated green spaces for each neighborhood. Adjacent to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is Parque Forestal; atop of Cerro San Cristobal is the sprawling Parque Metropolitano de Santiago, which is more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park. The most beautiful of these manicured parks however, lies in the elegant Vitacura neighborhood. Parque Bicentenario hits it with stunning views of the city skyline on one end; and of the Andes Mountains on the other. Parque Bicentenario is best-visited early morning or as dusk.
Plaza de Armas
The city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, is a hub of activity at any time of the day. Street performers, various vendors, locals and tourists alike are always present in the square. That’s because it has been the central meeting point for locals for centuries. It also contains some of the oldest and most beautiful architecture in the city. Here you will find the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office Building and the Palacio de la Real Audiencia de Santiago, seat of the city’s local government. Take a peak inside the cathedral or simply take in the energy the square exudes; and you’ll understand immediately why this is one of the best attractions in Santiago.
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
This small but excellent museum that focuses on archeology and natural history deserves a spot on the best attractions to see in Santiago for two things: first is the location, which sits right in the heart of the historic district and near most hotels and other forms of accommodations. That makes it very accessible to tourists. Second is the depth of its permanent collection. The whole underground level is dedicated to Chilean indigenous tribes; starting with the Aymaras from the north; to the Mapuche from the central and southern valleys. The museum charges a small fee of 4500 Chilean pesos (roughly equivalent to $7 USD) and includes special exhibitions.
Where have your travels to Santiago taken you?