- Jonathan Chum
Santiago, Chile is an amazing city with a lot to offer. Here are some of the things that I recommend you do in Santiago:
La Vega Central
La Vega Central is the largest market in Santiago and a great place to buy Chilean souvenirs. It's also a great place to get a feel for the local culture. You can find anything here, from fresh produce and seafood to artisanal goods made by local artisans.
If you're not feeling adventurous enough to go all-out on your lunch break, this place might be more up your alley: it offers everything from casual dining to upscale restaurants with Michelin-rated chefs. If you do decide to dine there during your visit, make sure you try one of their famous sandwiches---they're delicious!
The Andes Mountains
The Andes Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world, stretching over 4,500 miles (7,242 km) from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego. They're also home to some of the highest peaks in South America with Aconcagua reaching 6,961 m (22,841 ft). The Andes are popular destinations for hiking and mountain climbing.
La Moneda Palace
While the name may be familiar, La Moneda Palace is more than just the seat of government. It's a national historical monument and an example of neoclassical architecture. The building was designed by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca and was inaugurated on December 21, 1805---the day after Chile declared independence from Spain.
The palace has been home to 14 presidents in Chile's history so far, including current president Michelle Bachelet who took office in 2006. Since then she has worked at making strides toward reconciliation with her country's indigenous Mapuche people
Santa Lucia Hill
Santa Lucia Hill is a hill in the center of Santiago, Chile, located to the east of downtown. It is one of the highest points in the city, at an altitude of 1,040 meters.
The hill was first fortified by Spanish conquistadores and its name comes from Santa Lucía (Saint Lucy), whose image was venerated at this site. In 1812 it was taken over by patriots during their fight for independence from Spain. The fortification was nicknamed "La Cabaña" (the cabin) due to its simplicity and served as a refuge for Chilean patriots during that period.
La Chascona, Pablo Neruda's house
La Casa de Pablo Neruda (known as La Chascona), is the Chilean poet's home in the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago. It's where he lived with his wife Matilde Urrutia, and it's now a museum and a national monument.
Museo Historico Nacional
The Museo Historico Nacional is Chile's national museum of history. There you'll learn about Chile from its pre-Hispanic era to its most recent history---and everything in between! This museum also has an IMAX theater, which shows both English-language films and documentaries on Chile's natural wonders and cultural heritage year-round.
Chilean National Zoo
The Chilean National Zoo is the most visited attraction in Santiago, with over 1.5 million visitors each year. The zoo has over 1,500 animals representing 250 species and includes penguins, lions, tigers, kangaroos, and giraffes. Located in Quinta Normal Park (the city's first public park), this zoo is a must-visit for animal lovers looking to get up close and personal with some of the planet's most endangered creatures while enjoying some fresh air outside the city center.
Parque Metropolitano is located in the middle of Santiago, at Avenida Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins and Avenida Nueva Costanera. It covers more than 1,500 hectares and has many attractions including a lake, zoo, outdoor market, and food court. The park also has several playgrounds for children to play at while their parents relax nearby on the banks of the lake or under trees with a good book.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the top five things to do while in Santiago. We put a lot of thought into crafting this list and wanted to make sure that we included something for everyone, whether you're looking for adventure or just want to relax. If you're planning a trip there soon, then hopefully this post has helped inspire some ideas!