Santiago is one of South America’s most vibrant and interesting cities. Located at the base of the Andes the city has an impressive backdrop, but Santiago’s lively centre makes it interesting in its own right. This top things to do in Santiago guide outlines the best the Chilean capital has to offer.
1. Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas is Santiago’s main square and a good starting point in which to start your Santiago adventure. The Cathedral de Santiago is the main attraction here, a landmark that’s hard to miss as it towers above the square.
There are usually lots of events going on in Plaza de Armas, especially at weekends. During your visit to Santiago, make sure you stop by here and take a good walk around so you don’t miss anything fun going on.
Santiago’s Bellavista neighborhood is one of the most fun and exciting places to be in the city. The district is known for having an artistic flair, and there’s street art plastered across the neighborhood to prove it.
The area is a good spot for nightlife in Santiago, as there are lots of quality bars and restaurants dotted about. Don’t miss La Chascona here, a house that belonged to the famous poet Pablo Neruda.
3. Museum of Memory and Human Rights
Chile is a country that’s gone through a lot of unrest over the last 50 years or so. More specifically, General Pinochet’s dictatorship forced a military government, but opponents of his regime were tortured.
Santiago’s Museum of Memory and Human Rights stands as a memorial to these people and the unspeakable things that happened to them. Visit the museum to learn more about their stories and this significant period in Chile’s history.
The region of Chile’s surrounding Santiago is world-famous for its wine. Delicious blends are cultivated here and exported all over the world, and you can discover many of them in a day trip from the city centre.
A number of these vineyards have been running since the end of the 19th century, and are still operated by the members of the original family that first opened the wineries. Make sure you book tours or tastings ahead of your arrival so that you’ve got your place reserved.
5. Mercado Central
Any market-loving traveler make sure they visit the Central Market (Mercado Central) while visiting Santiago. This bustling place makes a good setting for a stroll, where you can potter and peer at all the produce on offer. The fruit and vegetables make a colourful spectacle, but if you’re into fish and seafood, the fishmongers are a must-see. Browse the fresh catch of offer, and watch the vendors expertly chop and fillet it.
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