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Things to do in Santiago

Things to do in  Santiago

Welcome to Santiago

Santiago, Chile’s thriving capital, unites the best of modern city life with a prime geographical position between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Mixed into the melting pot of colonial architecture and Latino flair, Santiago highlights such as Bellavista, thronged with street art and chic bars; San Cristobal Hill (Cerro San Cristobal); Plaza de Armas; and Mercado Central (Central Market) top the list for most travelers—and are easy to tick off, plus more, on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Just 1.5 hours west of Santiago, Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage port city with a historic quarter full of winding alleys; colorful houses; and 19th-century funiculars (cable railways), which take you up Concepción and Alegre hills. Neighboring Viña del Mar, or the Garden City, boasts pretty parks and historic architecture—visit both in one day on a day trip from Santiago. And no visit to Santiago is complete without a jaunt into its valleys. Maipo Valley, or El Cajon del Maipo, is a beautiful natural spot for camping, hiking, and a variety of sports. Just as impressive as the gorge is its array of famous wineries: the vineyards and cellars of Concha y Toro Winery, Santa Rita Winery, and Undurraga Winery all offer wine-tasting tours.

Top 10 attractions in Santiago

#1
Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar

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Nicknamed the Garden City and located just an hour from Santiago, Viña del Mar is a charming seaside town famous for its flowers and its beach. Top attractions include the seafront Wulff Castle, the Flower Clock (Reloj de Flores), and Francisco Fonck Museum, the entrance of which is marked by a stone moai statue from Easter Island.More
#2
La Moneda Palace (Palacio de la Moneda)

La Moneda Palace (Palacio de la Moneda)

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The presidential palace known as La Moneda Palace (Palacio de la Moneda)is one of Santiago’s architectural icons. A giant Chilean flag billows before the white, neoclassical building, which houses movie theaters, art galleries, and an independent bookstore. Look for the statue of former president Salvador Allende at the southeast corner of Plaza de la Constitución.More
#3
Santa Lucia Hill (Cerro Santa Lucia)

Santa Lucia Hill (Cerro Santa Lucia)

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Threaded with staircases and punctuated by plazas, the 230-foot-high (70-meter-high) Santa Lucía Hill is a landmark of downtown Santiago. Climb the 200+ stairs to the Torre Mirador viewpoint for panoramic views over the city and Andes beyond, catch the ceremonial cannon fire at noon, and people watch in the colorfully tiled Pedro de Valdivia Plaza.More
#4
San Cristobal Hill (Cerro San Cristobal)

San Cristobal Hill (Cerro San Cristobal)

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The Santiago skyline is dominated by San Cristobal Hill (Cerro San Cristobal), a forested mountain rising 2,821 feet (860 meters) above the city. The site is protected as part of the Santiago Metropolitan Park (Parque Metropolitano), one of the most famous city parks in Chile. Today, the park serves as a scenic escape above the smog that can grip Santiago on winter days, and offers fantastic views across this city of 6.5 million to the Andes Mountains.More
#5
Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

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The site on which the city was founded back in 1541, Plaza de Armas is both the heart of Santiago de Chile’s historic district and the epicenter of the modern city. The leafy, palm-fringed plaza is surrounded by grand monuments and architectural landmarks, and it’s abuzz with activity at all hours of the day and night.More
#6
Concha y Toro Winery

Concha y Toro Winery

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Open since 1883 and ranking among South America’s largest wine producers, Concha y Toro Winery is one of Chile’s most famous winemakers. The winery has vineyards all over the country and produces a huge variety of wines, including the world-renowned Don Melchor cabernet sauvignon. Its Pirque winery is a favorite Maipo Valley destination for oenophiles.More
#7
Santiago Central Market (Mercado Central de Santiago)

Santiago Central Market (Mercado Central de Santiago)

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Located in downtown Santiago, the Central Market (Mercado Central is a great place for visitors to get a peek into the hustle and bustle of local life. Its wrought iron interior houses fruit and vegetable vendors, a fish market, and multiple restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious, authentic, and affordable meal.More
#8
Bellavista

Bellavista

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Bohemian Bellavista—sandwiched between San Cristóbal Hill and the Mapocho River—is one of Santiago’s most walkable neighborhoods, known for varied nightlife, some of the city’s most colorful street art, and numerous boutiques. A particular Bellavista highlight is La Chascona House-Museum, Pablo Neruda’s former residence.More
#9
Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

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Santiago's Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana is considered one of the finest pieces of religious architecture in South America. This is the cathedral’s fifth incarnation (not including numerous additional touch-ups since a church was first dedicated on this spot in 1561. The structure has dominated the west side of the Plaza de Armas for centuries and serves as the heart of the city.More
#10
Plaza de la Constitucion

Plaza de la Constitucion

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At the heart of Chile’s political landscape, the Plaza de la Constitucion is a vast, paved square occupying a full square block in the center of Santiago’s civic district. Surrounded by government buildings like the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and the Banco Central de Chile, the most impressive site of all is the square’s Palacio de la Moneda.Designed by the Italian architect Joaquín Toesca and built in the late 18th century, the Palacio de la Moneda is said to be one of the finest neoclassical buildings in South America. Originally intended as the Royal Mint, today the palace houses the Chilean presidential offices.Every second morning, here’s where you can see the changing of the guard set to the Chilean national anthem, and while you can’t go inside the palacio, you can wander its inner courtyards. In front of the south side of the Palacio Moneda, it’s worth visiting the Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda. Opened in 2006, the cultural center features temporary exhibitions of South American art and photography.More

Trip ideas

Top Wineries Near Santiago

Top Wineries Near Santiago

How to Spend 3 Days in Santiago

How to Spend 3 Days in Santiago

Valparaiso Tours from Santiago

Valparaiso Tours from Santiago

Top activities in Santiago

Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard from Santiago
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Private Tour: Viña del Mar and Valparaíso Tour with Wine Tasting in Casablanca Valley
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Small-Group Cajón del Maipo Full-Day Tour and Picnic
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Small Group Tour: Cajon del Maipo with Hotsprings and Picnic - Includes Entrance
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Small-Group Tour to Valle Nevado and Farellones from Santiago
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Horseback Private Wine Tour and Country Grill from Santiago
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Private Santiago City Half Day Tour
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Private Transfer from Santiago Airport or Hotel to San Antonio Hotel or Port
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City Tour of Santiago de Chile
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City Tour of Santiago de Chile

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Half-Day Small-Group Panoramic Santiago Tour
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Private Tour: Valle Nevado and Farellones from Santiago
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Recent reviews from experiences in Santiago

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¡Perfecto!
Philip_H, Apr 2022
Private Tour: Santiago City Sightseeing
We got to see key Santiago sights in a few hours - changing of the guard at La Moneda and taking the teleferico up San Cristobal Hill were highlights!
star-5
Nice Tour with Alex
Minho_C, Apr 2022
Private Santiago City Half Day Tour
He spoke perfect English and I was able to learn the historic, geographic and culturistic aspects of Chile and Santiago.
star-5
Great Views and Nice guide (Fabian)
Minho_C, Apr 2022
Small-Group Cajón del Maipo Full-Day Tour and Picnic
Fabian spoke perfect Spanish and English, and took us to one of the most beautiful lagoons/mountains at Santiago.
star-5
See where Chilean wine you drink in the US is from
Steve_G, Mar 2022
Premium Concha y Toro Winery Tour with Wine and Cheese Tastings from Santiago
English language Tour was very good, though the guide was a bit over the top.
star-4
Beautiful tour unbelievable sights.
Raul_H, Mar 2022
Small-Group Cajón del Maipo Full-Day Tour and Picnic
He was excellent in his knowledge of the area and he spoke great English.
star-5
Best thing I did in Santiago
Zelda_Z, Mar 2022
Santiago Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
I wanted to see cultural things, so we agreed on a tour that would take us to lots of places I wanted to see.
star-4
A fantastic day out
Trevor_H, Feb 2022
Inca Lagoon in Andes Mountain Range - Visit Local Vineyard with Tasting included
This time we stopped at Panorama Rio Juncalillo, a popular viewpoint, to see the heavy lorries negotiate the twists and turns of the 17 hairpin bends as they wended their way up and down the side of the mountain.
star-5
Great diverse tour, wonderful tour guide - Valparaiso region is a must-see when in Santiago area.
Mark_B, Jan 2022
Full Day Tour Valparaiso - Vina del Mar and Casablanca Valley from Santiago
We drove along the coastline but also made stops to see the flower clock, fish market, Moai (Easter Island statue there), and rode a short funicular in Valparaiso.
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One Perfect Day in Santiago!
Linda_T, Jan 2022
Full-Day Tour of Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar from Santiago
I only had one day in Santiago before boarding a cruise and really wasn’t looking to see churches and museums so I picked this tour and I am so glad.
star-5
Great introduction to Santiago!
Judd_J, Dec 2021
City Tour Santiago Walking + Typical Tastings + Teleférico and Funicular
Great way to see central Santiago with a knowledgeable guide.
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Best Tour in Santiago
Joann_W, May 2020
Private Tour: Santiago City Sightseeing
Our guide Carol was very informative and spoke perfect English.
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Well worth it.
John_D, Mar 2020
Private Santiago City Half Day Tour
Great way to see Santiago.
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Santiago orientation tour
Robert_H, Mar 2020
Small Group Santiago City Tour
This was a great way to see the main sights and also learn about the culture and history of Santiago.
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Lovely tour
Collin, Mar 2020
Private San Cristobal Hill & Metropolitan Park Santiago Bike Tour
Great way to see Santiago, better than the hop on and off bus by a long shot.
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Fabulous walking tour in Santiago!
Lisa_D, Feb 2020
Private Santiago 3-Hour Walking Tour
Would recommend him highly to those looking for a English speaking guide who’s full of passion and energy with lots of experience and knowledge of the Santiago area.
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Valparaiso / Vini Del Mar
Munawar_H, Feb 2020
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar: Panoramic, Hill and Coast
Talked in Spanish and English.
star-5
Good way to see the coast
Robert_H, Feb 2020
Full-Day Tour of Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar from Santiago
Good way to see the coast at Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar if you are staying in Santiago.
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Excellent tour north of Santiago
chippierson, Feb 2020
Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard from Santiago
Lots to see in Valle de Aconcagua and the drive to Portillo and Laguna Del Inca was outstanding!
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Port to Santiago City.
glangford35, Feb 2020
Private Transfer San Antonio port to Hotel or Santiago Airport
Although driver had only limited English he used his phone app to communicate with us along the way, very considerate and helpful of him.
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Friendly, Helpful & Professional
hc8585, Jan 2020
Transfer in Private Minivan from Santiago Airport (SCL) - Santiago de Chile City
He was very friendly and his English is perfect.
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All about Santiago

When to visit

Chile’s capital is at its brightest and boldest during September's Fiesta Patria, when traffic halts, offices close, and streets fill with makeshift shacks fitted with dance floors and open barbecues. Alternatively, the springtime months of October and November guarantee plenty of cool and sunny days that prove perfect for exploring.

Time Zone
CLT (UTC -3)
Frequently Asked Questions
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