The 10 Things You Can’t Miss in Santiago

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Mar 29, 2016

by EMMA ROFFEY, Writer

Santiago, Chile’s electric capital, is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations to visit in South America. From vibrant street art to trendy cafés, here are ten places to visit in and around the humming metropolis. 

Explore the Italian quarter

Home to colourful cafés and antique stores, it’s hard to leave Santiago’s Italian quarter, Barrio Italia, empty handed. After you’ve spent the morning window-shopping, grab a table at the local favourite, El Hoyo, and enjoy traditional Chilean cuisine. 

Take in the views at Cerro San Cristóbal

Cerro San Cristóbal is one of Santiago’s most famous destinations. Take the funicular to the top of the hill where you’ll find the iconic 22-meter Virgin Mary statue and stupendous vistas of the city. Once you’ve made your way to the summit, meander through urban parks or cool down in one of the two public swimming pools.

Visit Museo de la Moda

Consider yourself a style buff? The Museo de La Moda will delight you. Located in Santiago’s metropolitan centre, this family run museum boasts an astonishing collection of clothing with pieces worn by Michael Jackson and Madonna.

SEE ALSO: Watch Vlogger Chloe Morello's Guide to Santiago

Sample local produce at La Vega Central

For a true market experience head to Santiago’s bustling La Vega. Make your way through the stalls overflowing with fruit, vegetables, spices and Chilean fare, as vendors try to convince you their produce is the freshest in the market. 

Enjoy a seafood lunch at Mercado Central

Mercado Central has been an active bazaar since 1872 and today plays host to some of the best seafood Santiago has to offer. Stick to the smaller vendors along the edge of the marketplace for a true taste of local flavours.

SEE ALSO: Try Five of the World's Best Restaurants in Latin America

Get your culture fix at the National Fine Arts Museum

Lose yourself among the 3,000 artworks on display at the National Fine Arts Museum. The gallery showcases some of the most reputable artists from Chile and its South American neighbours. 

Explore the street art of La Pincoya

Santiago is a haven for street art and the city walls have become a canvas for spreading political messages. The best place to catch a glimpse of the larger-than-life works is La Pincoya in Huechuraba.

Take a day trip to Valparaíso

While in Santiago you must visit the coastal town of Valparaíso. Multi-coloured homes line the cliff faces with small eateries and galleries nestled in between. Don’t leave without visiting La Sebastiana, the quirky former residence of poet Pablo Neruda.

Climb Cerro Santa Lucia

The steep staircase may look intimidating but a climb to the peak of Cerro Santa Lucia is an incredibly rewarding experience. Enter through the neoclassical gates, and make your way to the hill’s summit, where you’ll find a rambling park dotted with grand structures, two forts and pre-colonial monuments.

Bag a gem at Parque Arauco 

Break up the sightseeing with some retail therapy at Santiago’s Parque Arauco. Not only will you find some of the worlds top luxury brands, you can spend your hard earned Pesos on some distinctly Chilean products.

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