Santiago is definitely in my top 3 favorite cities in the world. People always talk about Paris, New York, Los Angeles, but there is something special about Santiago that will make you want to move there and never look back. It’s modern and cosmopolitan and yet quaint and family friendly, for bar-hopping crowds to museum lovers, it’s a big metropolis with a small-town feel, and sure it sounds confusing but you’ll understand me when you visit it. And no, I’m not overselling it. It’s not the cheapest city in the world, nor is the most romantic or chic and avant-garde, but it’s real and honest, nobody is putting on a show, you will feel like a very lucky local, someone who just happens to live in a city blessed by nature with amazing people all around you. For me, Santiago became more than just another city to visit, it suddenly felt more like home than any other place, including my actual hometown, which is why I decided to live there in 2019. So, you have been warned: you may go and visit, but there’s a big chance that you’ll never want to leave.
The Tallest Building in South America
If you are planning a honeymoon, a family vacation, a solo trip, Santiago will cater to every kind of travel experience you are looking for. I will list the BEST places to go, in my opinion, and while there are a lot of day trips you can take to places outside the city like Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, wineries, or visit Cajón de Maipo, the Atacama Desert, the volcanos in Pucón, and many other amazing things, but for this post, I will talk about only the things in the city of Santiago. Grab your pisco sour and come with me!
Hands down my favorite place throughout the city with the sweetest berries you’ll ever eat! Here at La Vega, you will find several butcher shops, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and everything else you need to cook a great meal at your AirBnB, besides restaurants to taste the local cuisine. You will truly feel like a Chilean in this place.
After leaving the Cal y Canto subway station, you can turn left and go across a bridge, getting to La Vega or you can turn right and cross the street, going to the Mercado Central, they are literally 10 minutes apart from each other. It’s basically the biggest fish and seafood market in the city with a ton of options, as well many, many, many restaurants in a big area with no walls Separating them, all trying to convince the client to choose their restaurant instead, it’s loud but it’s fun. Here you can eat the famous Centolla, a giant crab.
Cerro Santa Lucía
Cerro means hill, and Santiago is very famous for them. Cerro Santa Lucia is located near the subway station with the same name, and it’s a location where you can enjoy a beautiful green park with small squares. At the entrance of the Cerro, there’s a fountain and two stairways that will lead you to the top of the hill, from where you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the central part of the city and the Andes.
Cerro San Cristóbal
Want to hike a little more? This is a bigger hill that Santa Lucia, with even more exceptional views. Located in the Bella Vista neighborhood, it also houses the National Chilean Zoo (you need a ticket to visit it). You will take a cable car ride to the top of the Cerro and find a religious sanctuary that will absolutely make you feel at peace, regardless of what religion you follow.
If you’re into bar-hopping, bustling restaurants with people all around you having a great time, just get off the subway at Baquedano station because this is the place for you. Here you can also find, besides the Cerro San Cristobal, many stores to buy the unique Lapis-Lazuli: a truly gorgeous, small, blue, semi-precious stone with white streaks, made into beautiful jewelry pieces.
Museo de la Memória y Los Derechos Humanos
A visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights is not a lighthearted type of touristic attraction but if you do have the time and you are a history lover, like me, this is an interesting place to see. Dedicated to showing the world the human rights violations occurred during the Chilean Dictatorship which lasted from 1973 to 1990.
Parque Arauco and Costanera Center
The two most famous malls in the city. You will go crazy! Parque Arauco is a beautiful place, with great stores and also features the Luxury District of Santiago, with Stores like Armani and Louis Vuitton, among others. Costanera Center is the highest Skyscraper in South America, quite an engineering marvel since Chile has about 100 daily tiny earthquakes. After you visit the mall, go up to the Sky Costanera on the 62nd
floor and get a breathtaking view of Santiago and the beautiful Andes mountains.
The central station of Santiago, you can get on buses, trains and subway line from this very spot. Absolutely enormous and beautiful, filled with people, day and night, and is located in one of the cheapest neighborhoods of Santiago. It’s the best place to buy souvenirs and gifts for family and friends, and find great deals on clothes, gadgets, and accessories. Go to one of the many restaurants and try the famous Lomo a lo Pobre, a steak with a fried egg on top. There are so many other places where I absolutely guarantee you will have a wonderful time and I could go on and on about them, but these are the ones that truly represent this dreamy city. How about you? Let me know what’s your favorite place in Santiago. And if you are wondering whether or not to go, don’t waste any time. Book your plane ticket and go check out this list of places. I’m sure you will find some special places of your own!