SEE: Top 5 Must-Dos In Santiago

Famous seafood markets, hip cafes, and vibrant street art.

Santiago Chile

Instagram/dushyant_gupta

Though not as famous as Rio or Buenos Aires, Santiago is fast becoming an up-and-coming hot destination in its own right. During the last few decades, Chile’s capital city has undergone a serious cultural metamorphosis making it worthy of a visit – from extraordinary fine dining, gorgeous gardens, famous seafood markets, world-class museums, hip cafes, vibrant street art and much more. Here are the top five must-see’s in Santiago, Chile!

SEE ALSO: A Journey Along The Infamous El Camino de Santiago

1. Plaza de Armas

Corner of Monjitas & 21 de Mayo, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile (map) 

Hours: Open 24 hours

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Plaza De Armas! 🇨🇱

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For nearly 500 years, Plaza de Armas is considered the symbolic heart of Chile’s historic capital city. Constructed in 1541 (the same year the city was founded), the plaza has a tumultuous history, which at one point featured gallows during Spanish colonial rule. Today, a bronze statue of South America’s famed libertador (liberator) Simón Bolivar on horseback, beautifully shaded by scores of Chilean palm trees, is the proud centerpiece of the plaza.

Tip: Don’t forget to visit Catedral Metropolitana – a neoclassical cathedral, built between 1748 and 1800, overlooking the Plaza de Armas.

2. Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral

Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 227, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile (map, website)

Hours: Mon-Sun 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

Call: +56 2 2566 5500

An absolute must-see for any visitor to the city is Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral. This beautiful cultural arts center was constructed and named after Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. GAM features two huge exhibition spaces and spacious outdoor plazas, a lovely bookstore, chic café and delightful antiques fair. For museum enthusiasts, this pleasantly contemporary cultural center is an exciting new addition to the city’s rich art scene.

3. Museo de la Moda

Avenida Vitacura 4562, Vitacura, Región Metropolitana, Chile (map, website)

Hours: Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Call: +56 2 2219 3623

Traveling fashionistas need to look no farther than Museo de la Moda! A visit to the extraordinary Museum of Fashion features exquisite and exotic designer pieces worn by some of the world’s greatest artists, fashion icons and world leaders – such as Jean Paul Gaultier’s “cone bra” designed for Madonna and a beautiful evening gown worn by Princess Diana in 1981.

4. La Chascona

Fernando Márquez de La Plata 0192, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile (map, website) 

Hours: Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Call: +56 2 2777 8741

La Chascona is the famed house built for Pablo Neruda’s mistress Matilde Urrutia when they needed a secret hideaway to spend time together. The historic building of La Chascona – loosely meaning “messy hair,” named after Matilde’s curly hair – features ship cabin-shaped dining room and living room modeled after a lighthouse, plus collections of glass, shells and an array of artworks. To visit the home of Neruda’s secret paramour, be sure to book a tour ahead of your visit.

5. Cerro San Cristóbal

Providencia, Recoleta, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile (map) 

Hours: Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Call: +56 2 2730 1331

Do not leave Santiago without visiting Cerro San Cristóbal! Located north of Río Mapocho, this nearly 2,900 foot (870 meter) high viewpoint offers gorgeous 360-degree panoramic views of the cityscape below. The ride up to the top of the mountain is simply spectacular on the funicular train, which can be boarded from Plaza Caupolicán (located at Pío Nono in Bellavista). Not to mention, Parque Metropolitano, the city’s largest park, is located here, along with two swimming pools, a botanical garden and a zoo.

 

Jerry Alonzo Leon

Contributor

Jerry's favorite country to travel to is Spain. When he's on the road, he keeps it real simple with a pen and a pad. His travel style is spontaneous, easygoing, and always in search of a great adventure.

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