When traveling to Chile, we found Santiago to have the best international airport as well as many options to get to and from other cities within the country. Since we were landing here after our international flight from Houston, we decided to spend a quick 48 hours here to begin our trip. We are outlining the top 5 things to do in Santiago, Chile!
1. Visit Cerro San Cristóbal
This is the second highest point within the city of Santiago. It’s a beautiful place to get an aerial view of the city. One of the fun ways to visit this hill is to take the funicular up to the top!
We timed it so we visited late afternoon. In hindsight, wish we would have waited another hour to watch the sunset from the top!
There is a nice walk at the top with a park and a gorgeous Statue of the Virgin Mary at the top.
Instead of taking the funicular on the way down, we chose to take the 45 minute walk. It’s a gorgeous walking path with little structures to see along the way. Such a gorgeous way to spend the afternoon.
At the bottom of the hill is a zoo and other attractions. While we did not visit them ourselves, it is a nice area if you are wanting to stay there for the day.
2. Santa Lucía Hill
This area was one of my favorite things to do in Santiago, Chile. The hill was left after an old volcano several millions of years ago. Today there are beautiful gardens along walking paths in addition to an old fort.
You can walk up to the fort and there is an active cannon at the top. We learned the hard way that the cannon fires at noon each day! Why the hard way? As we were walking up those stairs it went off shaking the ground and nearly knocking us off our feet! Funny now but at the time we had no clue what was happening!
On the back side of the hill there are fountains and several seating areas. Such a nice place to relax for the afternoon.
3. Grab a Drink at the Singular Hotel
If you are looking for a place to stay, we highly recommend the Singular Hotel! It was our favorite accommodation during our 10 days in Chile. Even if you aren’t staying here, we recommend going to the outdoor patio for a drink.
The patio has a gorgeous setting with a wonderful view of Cerro San Cristóbal in the background. As the sun sets, the hill starts glowing and it’s a beautiful way to end the day especially with a glass of Chilean wine in hand. This was one of our favorite things to do in Santiago, Chile!
While we didn’t dine here, it’s also a full service restaurant. You can book a reservation and enjoy this gorgeous setting during dinner. Based on the bites plate we had with our wine, the food is amazing!
4. Patio Bellavista
If you are looking for a lively area with restaurants, bars and shopping, Patio Bellavista is for you! There are several spots here for food and drink throughout this area which make it a top thing to do in Santiago, Chile. We also were able to get many souvenirs due to the many shops along the paths.
5. Taste the Local Cuisine
For the foodies out there, a visit to Boragó is a must! We loved indulging in the 18-course tasting menu which included several game and seafood dishes of the region.
One of Brian’s favorite dishes was the Chorillana from Catedral. The dish is sliced beef served with french fries and a fried egg. It’s his favorite food groups so of course he enjoyed every last bite!
Aside from the amazing Chilean wine, we loved having a pisco sour as a cocktail each evening!
6. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
While we didn’t go inside, it’s still worth it to walk to this area of Santiago. There are several areas to explore outside the museum.
Valparaiso definitely takes our vote for the best street art, but the areas around the museum have some colorful pieces to admire as well!
Overall 48 hours was the perfect amount of time to spend in the city. We found we were able to see the highlights but were ready to move on to the next location. Next time you are flying into Chile, don’t overlook Santiago as an area to spend a couple nights!
Have you been to Santiago? Share your favorite things to do in the city with us!