2-day itinerary with great tips on what to do in Santiago and be enchanted once and for all by the Chilean capital
The Chilean capital has certainly become one of the most sought after destinations by Brazilians in recent years. With affordable airfare prices, and the unmistakable beauty of the Andes Mountains that embrace the city, Santiago undoubtedly has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.
Don't speak Spanish and have no idea how the country's transport system works? A solution that guarantees the arrival of the visitor safely to the accommodation booked is to hire a transfer service in Santiago. In fact, the Brazil Transfer specializes in receiving Brazilian tourists at the destination, in comfortable cars and with drivers who speak Portuguese.
What to do 2 days in Santiago
We started our script by Santiago through the city centre. With many tourist attractions packed into a single region, the place is often the starting point for travelers. Therefore, more precisely the Plaza de Armas, the ground zero of the city and the main square in Santiago. On the corner between the streets (sidewalks) Paseo Puente and Catedral we find the Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago. This important church has been at this point since the foundation of Santiago, having been renovated over the years due to the constant earthquakes.
In Plaza de Armas we still have three old government buildings, namely Correo Central, Museo Histórico Nacional and La Ilustre Municipalidad de Santiago. In fact, the post office building, built in neoclassical style, was the home of the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, founder of Santiago.
Certainly, several monuments are scattered around the square. The main one is the Monumento a la Libertad de América or the Victoria de Ayacucho. It is located inside the fountain that is right in the center of the Plaza de Armas, marking the “zero kilometer” of the country. In fact, it is from this location that the distances to the south and north of the Chile.
However, the best way to get to the center of Santiago from other neighborhoods, take the subway, getting off at Plaza de Armas station (green line).
Also, another must-visit when we talk about what to do in Santiago on the first day is the Palacio de la Moneda, the home of the Chilean government. This is because in all its surroundings are still the buildings of ministries and secretariats. The palace was officially opened in 1805, being the only building of pure Italian neoclassical style existing in America.
La Moneda was bombed during the military coup led by Augusto Pinochet, on September 11, 1973. The then President of the Republic, Salvador Allende, killed himself inside the palace during the invasion. That is at least what history tells us.
Above all, it is very simple to reach the palace from the Plaza de Armas. It's just a few minutes that separate both places. By metro, just get off at La Moneda station (red line).
Anyway, now we continue with what to do in Santiago to the Bellavista neighborhood, famous for its bohemia. But the region is not just about bars, as the neighborhood offers two incredible and enriching options for tour: Cerro San Cristóbal and La Chascona Museum, the home of the legendary poet Pablo Neruda.
We'll start by climbing Cerro Cristóbal, which is about 280m high and is a great spot to see the city of Santiago from above. First, the place is more than a viewpoint. Few people know that San Cristóbal is the capital's green lung. Its set of mountains forms the Parque Metropolitano de Santiago, the largest urban park in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world, with about 722 hectares.
We can climb it by bicycle, on foot and by taxi, if necessary. But what is really indicated is to go up it through the funicular. The ascent is steep, so that we can see Santiago little by little. There is even a funicular stop for those who want to visit the National Zoo of Chile.
Finally, after enjoying all that the hill has to offer, it's time to visit what was one of the homes of the most famous Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Pablo Neruda. La Chascona, as it is called, has become a museum which offers visits to the premises of the house. Thus, inside there is an art gallery with works by Chilean and foreign painters. In addition to original crockery and cutlery used by Neruda in his dining room.
To get to both attractions, just get off at Baquedano metro station (red line) and go straight along Rua Pio Nono. In conclusion, walking from the city center to Bellavista is simple if you are a walking enthusiast.
Now, there's nothing like taking the opportunity to have a good wine and enjoy the popular bars in the Bellavista neighborhood.
Another neighborhood that cannot be missed when we ask ourselves about what to do in Santiago is Providence. In other words, the location covers a large territorial area, with many restaurants, bars, parks, universities, shops and various commercial galleries. Walking along Providencia and Nova Providencia avenues is a very interesting tip.
Parallel to Avenida Providencia is Avenida Santa Maria, on the banks of the Mapocho River. In this way, a lot of green area is part of the site, especially the Sculpture Park. In addition to many trees, plants and flowers, the park has more than 30 sculptures inside, many of them awarded and sculpted by renowned artists. What makes the attraction a true open-air museum.
Continuing from Providencia towards the Las Condes neighborhood, we will arrive in the region known as Sanhattan, a mixture of Manhattan and Santiago. The name is due to the beautiful commercial buildings in the region. It is there that we will find the Costanera Center, the tallest building in Latin America, with a height of 300m. And it is in this building that we find the Costanera Mall, the largest mall in South America. And, at its top, the Sky Costanera, the largest viewpoint in Latin America. So, take the opportunity to visit this five-story mall and watch the sunset from the viewpoint.
As it is extensive, Providencia has several metro stations. They are: Salvador, Manuel Montt, Pedro de Valdivia and Los Leones. Costanera is right outside Los Leones station.
Of course, we cannot leave out Chilean wineries from the tips on what to do in Santiago. Therefore, we separate here two accurate indications.
The first one is Concha y Toro, the favorite of Brazilians. The winery is responsible for the Casillero del Diablo line, which made Concha y Toro reach around 130 countries. The place offers two types of tours: the Traditional and the Marques de Casa Concha. Both offer guided tours and wine tastings.
THE tour Traditional lasts for 1 hour and costs around $12,000 pesos, including two premium wine tastings. The Marques de Casa Concha tour lasts an extra half hour and costs around $22,000, including three premium wine tastings and a tasting of four Marques de Casa Concha vintages conducted by a sommelier.
Concha y Toro is located in Valle del Maipo, about 22km from the center of Santiago. You can get there through tours with tourist agencies. But it's also easy to get there on your own. Just take the metro to Las Mercedes station (blue line) and from there a taxi for a short 5 minutes.
Another winery that deserves a visit is Santa Carolina, declared a Historic Monument of Chile in 1973. On the other hand, its wines are easy to find in Brazil. Santa Carolina also has two different types of tours.
The Standard tour costs around 1TP3Q12,000 pesos and lasts approximately 45 minutes. The Premium tour costs around $35,000 pesos and lasts approximately 60 minutes. You can get there through tours at tourist agencies or by subway, getting off at Rodrigo de Araya station, on line 5.
Golden tip: Don't buy wine at winery stores. After all, prices are up to three times higher than the same labels found in supermarkets in Santiago.
Santiago restaurant tips
Did you hit that hunger during the tour? So we are going to offer you two excellent restaurant recommendations in Santiago: Mestizo and Le Bistrot de Gaetan.
Mestizo specializes in contemporary versions of traditional Chilean cuisine, with influences from Mediterranean cuisine. It is located in Parque Bicentenario, in Vitacura.
Le Bistrot de Gaetan specializes in French cuisine. It is located at Santa Magdalena, number 80, in Patio del Sol, in the Providencia neighborhood.
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