Planning a getaway to Santiago, Chile’s largest and capital city? Santiago is a vibrant city that sits in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The metropolis is energetic, sophisticated, and bursting with life.
The destination is becoming more and more popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Our local travel experts at Say Hueque have created multiple different tours and travel experiences ranging from four days to nearly two weeks! Despite how long you’re planning to visit, take a look at our guide below explaining how to spend 24 hours in Santiago!
We recommend starting the day with a trip to the local markets to take in all of the sights, sounds, and smells. Some of our favorites are Mercado La Vega Central, Mercado Tirso de Molina, and Mercado Central. The fish supply is very diverse and everything is of the highest quality. Stroll around as you get to experience this daily ritual of Santiago residents as they arrive in the morning to begin prepping their next meal. Expect lots of friendly vendors offering a seemingly endless variety of ingredients for you to choose from.Whether you’re a foodie or not, exploring these markets provides the opportunity to get a true sense of a destination’s culture, sample local fare, and if you’re lucky, maybe even meet some locals and practice the language!
Visitors can also browse clothing, handicrafts, and yerberias (shops selling a mix of herbs, “magic” potions, and traditional remedies). So whether you’re shopping for yourself, or looking to find the perfect souvenir, you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye!
Morning – Early Afternoon
After an eventful morning at the market, take a walk down Calle 21 de Mayo to reach the historic district of Santiago. Enjoy the Chilean architectural heritage as you stroll along, and soak in the city’s 500 years of history. Some of the most popular attractions in the city can be found in this area, including the Palacio de la Moneda, the Plaza de Armas, the Catedral Metropolitana, and several of the city’s important administrative buildings, so there is plenty to do!
At this point, you’ll most likely be hungry again for some lunch. There is no shortage of restaurants in this part of town and you’re sure to find a healthy selection of different culinary options, spanning from traditional Chilean food to international cuisines to fast food establishments.
- Blue Jar. Chilean and international food. Located in Almirante Lorenzo Gotuzzo 102. Esquina Moneda
- El Ají Seco. Peruvian food. Located in Enrique Mac Iver 366
- El Naturista. Traditional food and breakfast anytime. Located in Moneda 846
- Domino. Fast Food. Located in Ahumada 146
- Ravera Pizzería. Fast Food. Located in Portal Fernández Concha 976
Once you have selected a dining destination, you can work on burn off those calories by climbing the nearby hills for the best views of Santiago. Don’t forget to bring along your camera and extra batteries! You will also want to stop by Parque Metropolitano de Santiago. It is the largest city park in Latin America and one of the largest in the world, with roughly 1,800 acres (722 hectares) of green space, paths, and hills.
The Cerro San Cristóbal is also a top tourist attraction, and is part of a mountains chain that comprises an important part of the city’s landscape. From San Cristóbal Hill, you can visit the Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepción, the Zoológico Nacional, or take a dip in the two swimming pools. Or, you can always simply sit back and take in spectacular panoramic views from one of the vantage points. Outdoor enthusiasts can walk the 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) to the top, or guests can take a cable car all the way up.
When evening rolls around, explore the neighborhoods of Lastarria or Bellavista for wine, craft beer or cocktails. Located at the foot of Cerro San Cristóbal, these two neighborhoods are the heart of cultural life in Santiago. There are plenty of bars where you can stop to enjoy a libation and chat up the locals. Another option would be to visit one of the emblematic sites of Santiago, La Piojera, located in the city center.
As in many Latin American countries, the nightlife in Santiago continues through the evenings and creep into the early hours of the morning (something that will take a bit of getting used to if you’re visiting from North America). There are also several areas where you can enjoy the rumba in Santiago: Bellavista, Vitacura, and Brasil. But trust us, there is no shortage on bars, clubs, or pubs.
Even if nightclubs aren’t your thing, the bohemian atmosphere of the area makes it just a nice place to explore. And if you struck out getting souvenirs earlier in the day, there are also some shops in these neighborhoods known for selling handicrafts and clothes.
So there you have it! Whether you only have 24 hours to spend exploring Santiago, or a few days to enjoy Chile’s capital, you’re sure to enjoy your visit! As always, get in touch if you want to learn more about Santiago de Chile tours and excursions!