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21 Things to Do in Santiago de Chile: A Complete Guide!

The San Cristobal Hill cable car offering panoramic views of Santiago, Chile, with the Gran Torre Santiago skyscraper standing tall against the backdrop of the snow-capped Andes MountainsThe San Cristobal Hill cable car offering panoramic views of Santiago, Chile, with the Gran Torre Santiago skyscraper standing tall against the backdrop of the snow-capped Andes Mountains

Have you booked your ticket to Santiago, Chile, yet?

Read this post for a list of the 21 most unforgettable things to do in the Chilean capital that will have you wanting to pack your bags immediately!

From colorful neighborhoods overflowing with street art to the stunning Andes mountains that serve as the city’s backdrop, Santiago totally won me over when I visited last year! I simply can’t wait to go back.

After seeing all there is to experience in this South American gem, you’ll be eager to visit, too!

So let’s dive right into the best activities, sights, food (and wine!), and neighborhoods that you absolutely must see in Santiago.

Get ready for a one-of-a-kind trip you’ll be remembering about for years to come!

If you are in a hurry

If you are on the go, here you have the top things I recommend booking:

1. Hike Santa Lucia Hill and enjoy the views

Fountain at Santa Lucia Hill with a neoclassical yellow and white structure, tall palm trees, and modern glass buildings in the background, Santiago, ChileFountain at Santa Lucia Hill with a neoclassical yellow and white structure, tall palm trees, and modern glass buildings in the background, Santiago, Chile

If you visit Santiago, you cannot miss Cerro Santa Lucía! The Hill is located literally in the middle of the city center, but once you are there, you literally feel like you are in the middle of a forest with luscious palm trees!

On this hill, you can also find quite a lot of attractions, so my recommendation is to take a good chunk of your day to see everything it has to offer. For example, here you can find a Japanese Garden, which has free entry.

You can also visit the Hidalgo Castle, a fortress dating back to 1816. Back in the day, it was used as a lookout to protect the city! Now you can see its surroundings for free.

Don’t forget to check out the neoclassical fountain Fuente Neptuno during your hike! When you reach the top of Cerro Santa Lucia, get ready to snap photos of the perfect view of downtown Santiago and the surrounding Mountains in the back! Stunning!

2. Admire city life in Santiago’s Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile, at dusk, featuring the Metropolitan Cathedral and surrounding palm trees against a vibrant sunset skyPlaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile, at dusk, featuring the Metropolitan Cathedral and surrounding palm trees against a vibrant sunset sky

Plaza de Armas (map) is a complete must when you are visiting Santiago! It is considered the heart of the capital city, so, as you can imagine, it is near many main attractions, including Santa Lucía Hill and the National History Museum.

Did you know Plaza de Armas is known as the Kilometer Zero? This is the starting point in which the distance to other major cities in the country is measured.

Plaza de Armas is a great place to sit down and take a rest while admiring the busy city life. The park is filled with sculptures and statues. One of the most iconic ones is the Pedro de Valdivia (Chile’s first Governo) one, so make sure you take a photo of it!

3. Discover Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral’s secrets

Close-up view of the ornate façade of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral with people blurred in motion, set against modern skyscrapers during twilighClose-up view of the ornate façade of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral with people blurred in motion, set against modern skyscrapers during twiligh

The Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago (map) is one of the most iconic landmarks you can check out when you visit Chile. It is located right in front of Plaza de Armas in central Santiago, and it is filled with history.

Back in 1541, Pedro de Valdivia ordered the building of a temple called “El Solar,” but after several fires and other natural disasters, this temple and others that preceded it were destroyed.

FUN FACT: Mapocho River is water from the Andes and divides the city into 2 in the Southern hemisphere and the Northern hemisphere.

The Cathedral that you can visit nowadays was built in the same spot as these temples between 1748 and 1906. There are many myths about the cathedral and the crypt where historical figures were buried (such as General José Miguel Carrera Verdugo – one of the founders of Chile).

I highly recommend you take this 40-minute guided tour of the Cathedral to get a real insight into the country’s history. Also, this is a unique opportunity to hear about the cathedral’s secrets while seeing it with your own eyes!

CATHEDRAL TOUR: from 10,000 CLP (US$10) per person

4. Visit the Chilean president’s seat at Palacio de la Moneda

The grand Palacio de la Moneda, Chile's presidential palace, with its neoclassical architecture and symmetrical design on a sunny day in SantiagoThe grand Palacio de la Moneda, Chile's presidential palace, with its neoclassical architecture and symmetrical design on a sunny day in Santiago

Don’t forget to visit Palacio de la Moneda when you explore Santiago! It is one of the most important landmarks in the city since it is the seat of the president.

But before being the presidential house, back when it was first built in 1805, this palace was dedicated to the creation of coins! Which explains its name, Coin Palace! The building has a beautiful neoclassic style, and it is one of the most important buildings of this style in the county!

La Moneda Palace was declared a National Monument in 1951! It was built by Joaquin Toesca, an Italian architect.

You can actually book an official free guided tour of the palace. They usually take place from Monday to Thursday, once a day, and it lasts about an hour.

Talking about history, if you want to learn a bit more about how Chile became what it is today, I highly recommend watching the documentary about the Chicago boys before your trip. After studying at the University of Chicago, they returned to Chile and played a key role in implementing the neoliberal economic model during Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship.

PRO TIP: If you want to learn about the history of Chile, then I recommend you visit the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, located in Quinta Normal Park. It has free entry and is worth a visit. This museum exists with the goal of defending human rights and remembering all the lives lost during the dictatorship that violated human rights from the year 1973 until 1990.

5. Climb Sky Costanera and admire the views

Sky Costanera Tower dominating the Santiago skyline beside the Mapocho River, with lush greenery and a clear blue skySky Costanera Tower dominating the Santiago skyline beside the Mapocho River, with lush greenery and a clear blue sky

Sky Costanera has one of the best views of the Andes Mountains since the viewpoint is located on the 62 floor! To enjoy the 985 ft. (300 m) high views, you need to pay an entrance fee of 18.000 CLP (US$15).

FUN FACT: Sky Costanera, also known as Gran Torre Costanera, is South America’s tallest building!

Also, there is a bar and cafe on top of the tower in case you want to have a drink with a view! You could try Pisco Sour, a local drink consisting of pisco, lemon juice, syrup, and egg whites!

PRO TIP: If you are after more sick views after visiting Sky Costanera, you can head to Red2One at W Santiago Hotel in Las Condes. It has one of the best views in Santiago (but pls do reserve in advance!). It is a bit touristy but for a fair reason!

PRICE: from 18.000 CLP (US$15) per person

6. Go treasure hunting at Persa Víctor Manuel flea market

In my opinion, this is one of the coolest things you can do in Santiago de Chile!

Persa Victor Manuel is a flea market located in the Franklin neighborhood, and it is super artsy and quirky! The flea market is basically inside a complex that consists of 6 warehouses; inside, you can find from vintage furniture books to old decorations.

Onsite, there is also an art gallery selling art pieces from local artists, and there are also restaurants selling food inside the warehouse and its surroundings! Sometimes, they also hold special events.

7. Relax at Metropolitan Park

Aerial view of the statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the bustling cityscape from Metropolitan Park, Santiago, ChileAerial view of the statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the bustling cityscape from Metropolitan Park, Santiago, Chile

Metropolitan Park, also known as Cerro San Cristobal is a MASSIVE urban park with loads of attractions in it. First, you need to know it is located in Bellavista, and while it is worth the hike to the top you also can get there with a cable car (map) that costs around 10,000 CLP (US$10) per person.

While there, make sure to take the funicular that goes all the way to San Cristóbal Hill and provides some breathtaking vistas of the city! It costs 8,000 CLP (US$8) each way per person and I highly recommend that you book it in advance to skip the line at the entrance!

The park is home to a Japanese Garden (free entry), which is super beautiful and worth a visit. The iconic city symbol of Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, which is worth a photograph, and the National Zoo which also has free entry.

PRO TIP: While you are in the area, you might want to visit the Teatro Municipal. It was built in 1857 and has a stunning neoclassical style. It is a functioning theater with classical music concerts and ballet. Prices start at 9000 CLP (US$10).

If you are into sports and want to make the most of your visit to the Metropolitan Park, I recommend you take a bike tour. You should definitely take this bike tour because you will explore other city parks, such as Parque Bicentenario, before getting into the Metropolitan Park! Get the camera ready for the views!

8. Go antique shopping and discover local art at GAM

To be completely honest with you, I think the best thing you can do when you travel to a new city is go to their local cultural center and just see what’s in it. Especially in big cities like Santiago – this cultural center is huge and super modern.

Centre Gabriela Mistral (GAM) has art exhibitions by local artists and other contemporary art installations, as well as concerts, plays, and other exhibitions. You can check the schedule here. And on top of that, there is an antique shop outside the cultural center. They have a lot of old Chilean items, so it is your chance to buy a souvenir. Oh, and there are cafes and restaurants on site!

By the way, if you want to learn more about Chilean history, then I have another Cultural Center to recommend! Centro Cultural La Moneda 2,000 CLP(US$2 per person) has a lot of art exhibits as well, but focuses on the history, diffusion, education, and open talks!

9. Try all the local food (and drinks!)

Overhead shot of traditional Chilean dishes, including sopaipillas and a bowl of pebre, on a wooden tableOverhead shot of traditional Chilean dishes, including sopaipillas and a bowl of pebre, on a wooden table

Santiago and Chile, in general, have great cuisine! Some of the meals I am going to recommend are hundreds of years old and were created by the native people of Chile!

Apart from giving you a complete list of the best dishes, I have great historical cafés and restaurant recommendations and some cool facts about street food in Santiago’s Central Market.

  • Empanada de pino – empanadas are a type of savory pastry that is quite common in most Hispanic countries. This one is made with onions, meat, and spices
  • Humitas – typical of the Andes region, and it consists of mashed corn, onion, butter, and basil. Sounds delicious!
  • Sopaipillas – is kind of like a donut, but not really. It is a fried pastry with a round shape and usually is served with a sauce on the side. It can be sweet or savory!
  • Pastel de Choclo – let’s say it is a pie. It is made with sweet corn, meat, olives, and onion and cooked in the oven with loads of butter!
  • Pisco Sour – an alcoholic drink made with pisco (duh!), lemon juice, syrup, and egg whites
  • Porotos con Rienda – a type of stew with beans, sausages, noodles, pumpkins, onions, and other spices
  • Mote con Huesillo – is a drink/dessert super popular during the summer. It is a syrup drink made with peaches cooked in sugar water with cinnamon. Then, when it is cold, you add husked wheat berries. NOM!
  • Terremoto – it means “an earthquake” in Spanish, so eat something before trying it because this drink will get you dizzy!!! It is made with white wine, rum, and ice cream!
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Chile is known for its wine, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec are typical of the area! Don Melchor is one of the most popular wineries in the country.

9.1 Explore Santiago’s Central Market

Vibrant atmosphere inside Santiago’s Central Market, with festive decorations, dining patrons, and live music performanceVibrant atmosphere inside Santiago’s Central Market, with festive decorations, dining patrons, and live music performance

If you are into local markets, then Mercado Central (map) needs to be on your to-do list. Also, it is one of the best places to try the dishes I just mentioned since the market has top-notch street food. It dates back to the late 1800s, so as you can imagine, the building is stunning.

The market was declared a National Monument in 1984, and here you can buy from fresh fruits and vegetables, to street food. So go with an empty stomach to try some empanadas and humita!

9.2. Visit Santiago’s coolest cafés

Intimate ambiance at Santiago’s Wonderland Café, with vintage décor, floral wallpaper, and patrons engaged in conversationIntimate ambiance at Santiago’s Wonderland Café, with vintage décor, floral wallpaper, and patrons engaged in conversation
photo credit: @wonderlandcafechile

If you want to sit in a historical cafe and have a drink, coffee, or empanadas. Here you have 3 iconic ones in Santiago that you have to try out!

  • Peluqueria Francesa: Here, you can have a meal or get a haircut! Honestly, you shouldn’t miss checking this piece of history out. It opened in the 19th century, and it is set in a real house that belonged to a French family for many years. The house has a beautiful restaurant, a barber shop, and a house museum. (food prices from US$7)
  • Confiterí­a Torres: This one is super special because it is one of Santiago’s oldest coffee shops. It opened in 1879, and its decor is stunning! You can have anything from pastries to traditional dishes (prices from US$5). It is not necessary but if you wish you can make a reservation.
  • Wonderland Café: What a beautiful café! As the name suggests, this one has an “Alice in Wonderland” theme, and it will definitely transport you to a fairy tale! All the rooms at the café feel so cozy and cute. It is the perfect place for a little break before continuing to explore the city. (prices from US$6)
  • Café Haiti: This one is quite controversial, as well as traditional for its concept! Café Haiti is a “café con piernas”. What’s that, you may ask me? A type of cafe that started back in the 90s where there is a long bar, and the servers are women wearing very short skirts and high heels. The long bar reveals the staff and customers’ legs!

9.3 Best restaurants for traditional food

Cozy and rustic interior of a restaurant in Santiago, Chile, with hanging green plants and patrons dining under warm lightingCozy and rustic interior of a restaurant in Santiago, Chile, with hanging green plants and patrons dining under warm lighting
photo credit: @ladiana.cl

Of course I could not leave you hanging about where to try all that food I recommended earlier! For street food, head to the markets, for the proper meal ones, these are my main picks:

  • Maeztranza Restaurante: Probably one of the best restaurants in Santiago if you want to feel like a local. Here you can try all the Chilean dishes, and let me tell you, it will feel like a Chilean grandma just cooked with love for you!!
  • La Diana: This one is beautiful and set in the Sacramentinos convent, which was declared a national monument. Inside the restaurant it feels like a dream, arcade games, neon lights, and crafty decor. Here, you can try the best pisco and empanadas.
  • La Picá de Clinton: They say Clinton had a coke in this restaurant. And while they serve Chilean food, the design inside has a strong diner vibe, only that the food and drinks are traditional Chilean!

10. Enjoy the city with a sightseeing tour

The historic Municipal Theatre of Santiago building in Santiago, Chile, with a foreground statue and clear blue skiesThe historic Municipal Theatre of Santiago building in Santiago, Chile, with a foreground statue and clear blue skies

Taking a tour in my opinion is the easiest way to see a city and its main landmarks as well as get an understanding of the history of the country.

Here are some of the best tours you should take during your visit depending on your budget:

If you are on a good old budget, then there is a free walking tour of Santiago. It will take you around most of the main landmarks, and the guided tour is local. At the end of the tour, you decide how much the tour was worth it and leave the tip! I took this one and it was a lot of fun!

If you don’t have a lot of time in Santiago but want to make the most of your trip, this small group tour is a great way to see the main sights and have all the attention of the guide since it will be a small group tour. By the way, they can pick you up at your accommodation, which is another great plus! It costs US$26 per person.

This hop-on and off tour costs US$60 and it is super fun, especially if you are traveling with your family and don’t want to have to drag the little ones for hours around the city. Everybody will enjoy getting on and off this cute bus! The bus ticket also includes the cable car and funicular ticket one way, so pretty cool!

A private tour is perfect for those who want to tailor a tour to their needs and interests, as well as having the guide answering all your questions! The tour includes pick up and drop off to your accommodation and lasts around 3 hours! It costs US$85.

Take a walking tour

11. La Chascona Pablo Neruda’s home

Visiting La Chascona is a real must! It was once the home of the Famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (the other 2 were in Isla Negra and La Sebastiana). Pablo Neruda was and still is one of the most iconic in Latin America and the world since he was awarded a Nobel Prize.

The house, now functioning as a museum, displays the poet’s style, and you can see all the original decorations. I highly suggest you get the audio guide at the museum so you can learn more about Pablo Neruda and his life! In the end, you can buy one of their works if you want to.

ENTRY: from 1,000 CLP (US$10) per person

12. See Chilean art at the National Museum of Fine Arts

Neoclassical facade of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile, with banners and a palm tree on a bright sunny dayNeoclassical facade of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile, with banners and a palm tree on a bright sunny day

Located in Parque Forestal, the National Museum of Fine Arts is a complete must! First of all, it has free entry, so if you want to see local art and international art in a beautiful building from 1880, this is the chance!

The museum has a permanent collection of one of the most iconic Chilean painters, for example, Francisco Javier Mandiola. As well as international artists and changing exhibitions.

PRO TIP: If you want to get the art vibe going, I also recommend you visit the Moving Arts Museum. Some exhibitions are free, and some are paid but not more than 5,000 CLP (US$5). The museum is super cool and has immersive audiovisual exhibits that will transport you to another world. Also, it would make a great Instagram pic!

Since we are talking about art in this section – street art of Santiago also has a lot to offer! If you want to see what is going on on the streets and discover cool murals in Santiago’s Street art scene, this free walking tour based on tips would be great for you!

13. Have a night out in the Bellavista neighborhood

Colorful street view in the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago, Chile, with vibrant purple buildings and sidewalk cafesColorful street view in the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago, Chile, with vibrant purple buildings and sidewalk cafes

If you want to experience a real night out like a local would, you need to head to Bellavista! During the day, you have loads of cool restaurants with local and international dishes, and the vibe is quite calm. But when it starts getting darker, the streets are filled with people!

Whether you want to have a chill night out and get some drinks or party and go dancing, this is the place to go. As far as bars, KrossBar Bellavista (map) has a super cool vibe. It’s like a hip brewery with fast food such as burgers and fries. There is also a beer garden onsite!

For dancing, Club Chocolate (map) has live DJs playing Latin music and other rhythms. Sometimes, they have live bands playing, which is also super cool!

14. Spend family time at Mirador Interactive Museum

If you are traveling to Santiago de Chile with your family and you have kids, they will LOVE this science museum! Honestly, the grown-ups will love it too! So the museum has 2 different pavilions. One of them has everything about Astronomy, which is super cool, and of course, it is interactive, so it will be so nice to see your kids playing and learning!

The other pavilion has a bit of everything, from math games to electricity, light, and electromagnetism. And in case it wasn’t enough fun, there is also a park onsite. This is literally one of the coolest things to do with your family, so don’t miss it!

You can buy your tickets here.

PRICE: from 8000 CLP (US$8) per person

15. Be amazed by the Templo Bahá’í de Sudamérica

Unique architecture of the Baha'i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile, with a view of the cityscape in the distanceUnique architecture of the Baha'i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile, with a view of the cityscape in the distance

Templo Bahá’í de Sudamérica (map) is not located in the city center, and it will take you around an hour to get there from the city center. But it is completely worth it!

This beautiful and unique temple is located on the Andes Foothill, and its mission is to create awareness about the preservation of the environment. The architecture is completely stunning; there are no words to describe it. And the surrounding nature makes it even more iconic.

Once again, a great place to take some Instagram photos and just relax and see the natural beauty of the place. The temple is completely free to visit.

16. Discover Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Close-up of wooden pre-Columbian art sculptures on display at the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art in Santiago, ChileClose-up of wooden pre-Columbian art sculptures on display at the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art in Santiago, Chile

Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is stunning. It has an extensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, even from B.C. They also have events and temporary exhibits, from chats with artists to cool movies and documentaries.

The museum building by itself is also super beautiful. It was built in 1805 and served as a Palace during colonial times. For a period, the National Library took over the building, and later in 1980 started to be used as a pre-Columbian art Museum.

You can get the tickets on the official site for 10000 CLP (US$10).

PRICE: 10000 CLP (US$10) per person

17. Taste famous Chilean wines on fun wine tours

Expansive vineyard in the Maipo Valley near Santiago, Chile, with lush green vines and mountains in the backgroundExpansive vineyard in the Maipo Valley near Santiago, Chile, with lush green vines and mountains in the background

Chile is well known to be a wine producer country in South America, so during your trip, you need to visit some wineries and taste some of the best wines. There are many day tours you can take from Santiago, so you should definitely make room during your trip for one.

Did you know Chile is one of the top 5 wine producers in the world?

One of the best wine tours is the Maipo Valley Wine Tour (US$100 per person). It will pick you up from your accommodation, and you will visit a total of 4 wineries and try different wines in all of them. Lunch is offered, but it is paid separately.

The tour lasts around 9 hours, and apart from tasting the best red wine in the country, you will also see Chile’s beautiful natural beauty and cute animals! A memorable experience where you can try Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, for example!

One of the most unique wines you can try here is the Carmenère. It is super fruity, and while it started in France. Chile is the only Latin country that produces it!

If you want to go for a half-day wine tour, Concha y Toro. This 5-hour tour will take you to Concha y Toro vines, where you will try 3 different wines as well as learn how to do a tasting! You will even try the famous Casillero del Diablo!

Try the famous Chilean wines

18. Explore Lastarria and Barrio Italian for a bohemian feel

Twilight scene of the bustling Lastarria neighborhood in Santiago, Chile, with outdoor dining and warm ambient lightingTwilight scene of the bustling Lastarria neighborhood in Santiago, Chile, with outdoor dining and warm ambient lighting

Lastarria is definitely a beautiful neighborhood that deserves a lot of attention! The neighborhood is super artsy and bohemian and has some of the most beautiful architecture dating from the 19th century on the José Victorino Lastarria Street.

There are also local artists selling their pieces on the street, and you can find unique murals all around the area.

Barrio Italia is only an easy 30-minute walk away from Lastarria, and it is as iconic as the last one. This one has the most beautiful colorful houses that look great in pictures.

You can also buy artisan crafts at Paseo Estación Italia and have a drink at one of the many hip bars and cafés! I recommend stopping by the brewery Bar Bulnes.

19. Have fun at an amusement park

Thrill-seekers descending on a water ride at Fantasilandia amusement park in Santiago, Chile, with trees and flags surroundingThrill-seekers descending on a water ride at Fantasilandia amusement park in Santiago, Chile, with trees and flags surrounding

This is perfect for those looking to do something special during their time in the city! Fantasilandia is located a 10-minute car ride away from the center, and the tickets are around 20,000 CLP (US$20) per person.

The park has all sorts of rides, from rollercoasters to water rides! So it will be fun for young people to visit too! If you have very small kids, there are also easy rides and games for them!

If you want to try another one, you also have KidZania Santiago, located in Araucano Park, in the neighborhood of Las Condes. It is a kids’ museum in which they have different themed rooms to play!

For example, a mini supermarket where they can pretend they are cashiers, or a bakery, hospital and so on! The entry costs 11.000 CLP (US$12 approximately)!

20. Travel to outer space at Planetario de Chile

The Planetario de Chile in Santiago, a modern astronomy museum with a distinctive conical roof and an educational banner at the entranceThe Planetario de Chile in Santiago, a modern astronomy museum with a distinctive conical roof and an educational banner at the entrance

This is, without a doubt, one of the cutest things you can do in Chile, especially if you are traveling with kids! The planetarium offers virtual reality and immersive screenings of the sky and also some movies!

The planetarium is part of the Universidad de Chile and was founded in 1985. It was created to spread awareness and awaken curiosity about astronomy among people of all ages.

I highly recommend you take the astronomical observation show of the night sky and the stars, which is great for people of all ages. Or one of their cute films crafted for kids!

You can check out the screenings here.

PRICE: from 10,000 CLP (US$10) per person

21. Wander to new cities on a day tour

Santiago de Chile has so many beautiful cities surrounding it that it would be a shame to miss out on some of the most iconic sights!

Here you have the top 3 cities I highly recommend to visit:

21.1 Valparaiso

A picturesque view of Valparaiso, Chile, showing colorful hillside homes and a historic church overlooking the Pacific OceanA picturesque view of Valparaiso, Chile, showing colorful hillside homes and a historic church overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Why visit: This unique coastal town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its 19th-century beautiful houses, stunning murals, and hilly streets with the most iconic views of the ocean!

The town is also home to La Sebastiana Museo de Pablo Neruda, the Plaza Sotomayor, and Playa Las Torpederas for swimming and sunbathing!

How to get there: You can go by bus from Santiago with Condor Bus, and each way tickets are around 7,000 CLP (US$7). You board in Terminal de Buses Pajaritos (map) or TURBUS Terminal (map) and arrive at Terminal Rodoviário Valparaíso (map). It takes around 2 hours each way.

Here is a great tour if you don’t want to organize the transportation yourself.

TOUR PRICE: from US$60

Visit Valparaiso

21.2 Viña del Mar

Sunny beach day at Viña del Mar, Chile, with people enjoying the sandy shores and the city's coastal skyline in the backgroundSunny beach day at Viña del Mar, Chile, with people enjoying the sandy shores and the city's coastal skyline in the background

Why visit: Did you know Viña del Mar is known as the Garden City? It is one of the most beautiful and exclusive cities by the ocean and the city where The Viña del Mar International Song Festival is celebrated. The city is next to Valparaiso and the perfect place to enjoy the beach (La Reñaca) and nature.

I remember we used to watch The Viña del Mar International Song Festival with my mom and sisters during the summer when we were little!

How to get there: For Viña, you need to take a Condor Bus from Terminal de Buses Pajaritos (map) or TURBUS Terminal (map) to Viña del Mar bus station(map). Takes 2 hours, and prices are around 7,000 CLP (US$7) per person each way.

If you don’t want to plan and want tour guides to pick you up and take you both to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar and tell you every single thing about these cities and organize everything for you, you will love taking this day tour!

TOUR PRICE: from US$100 per person

Book your Viña and Valparaiso tour

21.3 Cajon del Maipo

Stunning landscape of Cajon del Maipo, Chile, with a tranquil lake reflecting snow-capped Andean mountains under a clear skyStunning landscape of Cajon del Maipo, Chile, with a tranquil lake reflecting snow-capped Andean mountains under a clear sky

Why visit: Cajon del Maipo is ideal for anyone who loves nature and sports! This stunning canyon is surrounded by the most beautiful landscapes; you can go hiking, rafting, or simply relax around nature! El Morado National Monument has the most iconic lookout once you get to the top!

How to get there: For this one, there aren’t any public transportation options. You can rent a car, and the trip will last 2 hours. I recommend using Rentalcars or booking a tour with all transport arrangements!

The Cajon del Maipo tour will take you the whole day; you will be picked up at your accommodation and taken to the destination by car. You will also visit Ensemble del Yeso, and have a picnic and taste empanadas amidst unique natural landscapes!

TOUR PRICE: from US$100 per person

Book Cajon del Maipo tour

🏛️ Best museum: National Museum of Fine Arts
🎢 Top paid attraction: La Chascona
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity: Cathedral of Santiago de Chile
🕺 Nightlife: Bellavista
🥟 Must-try food: Empanadas and Pisco Sour

BONUS: Where to stay in Santiago de Chile

Modern architecture in Santiago, Chile, featuring high-rise buildings along a tree-lined avenue under a blue sky with scattered cloudsModern architecture in Santiago, Chile, featuring high-rise buildings along a tree-lined avenue under a blue sky with scattered clouds

In case you are figuring out accommodation, here you have some of the best hotels in the area.

If you want to explore the neighborhoods and choose the best one for you, check out our complete guide to the best 8 areas where to stay in Santiago de Chile.

  • Luxury: Ladera Boutique Hotel – Located in trendy Providencia, this hotel comes with the most stunning rooftop pool overlooking the Andes mountains. Every morning, enjoy a delicious breakfast on-site!
  • Mid-Range: NH Collection Santiago – Stay in the Vitacura area. Most rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with the most stunning views of the city! The hotel comes with an onsite fitness center and complimentary breakfast.
  • Budget: Hostel Vitalia – This budget hotel is super charming, and it is located in the artsy Barrio Italia! You can book a bed in a shared room or book a private room with a private bathroom. If you are traveling with friends, the 4 guest bedrooms are great for you!

Check the rates for Santiago de Chile

FAQs about top things to do in Santiago de Chile

Aerial view of Santiago, Chile, from a red cable car, showcasing the vast cityscape with mountains in the distanceAerial view of Santiago, Chile, from a red cable car, showcasing the vast cityscape with mountains in the distance

🗓️ How many days are enough to see Santiago?

Santiago is a big city, so I would say you need at least 3 days to see most of the attractions. If you want to take a day trip, then you need more time!

💭 Is Santiago worth a visit?

YES! Santiago is a beautiful city! Imagine walking around town and seeing the beautiful Andes mountains behind the skyscrapers. Unique!

☀️ What is Santiago de Chile known for?

Santiago is known for its delicious wine, pisco sour, empanadas, and its beautiful natural beauty! Santiago is a cosmopolitan city filled with art and culture!

🚶 Is Santiago a walkable city?

Yes, but it is a big city, so at some point, you will need a Bip Card. You can use this card to take the local bus and the metro (the stations can have beautiful murals!). One-way tickets cost around 2,000 CLP (US$2).

Conclusion

Twilight falls over Santiago, Chile, with the Gran Torre Santiago skyscraper prominently lit against the Andean mountain backdropTwilight falls over Santiago, Chile, with the Gran Torre Santiago skyscraper prominently lit against the Andean mountain backdrop

I hope you enjoyed my post – those were the best things to do in Santiago de Chile! I am sure by now you have the full itinerary for your trip!

Santiago is such a fun city, full of culture, amazing food, and great art! I am sure you will love visiting this city as much as I did!

Which of these things to do in Santiago are you most excited to try? Let me know in the comments!

Until the next adventure,

Daniela


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