We arrived in Santiago airport with a day long layover. We said to ourselves, well we have never been to Chile before, so what a better way to kill time than go out and enjoy the city. With limited time, we chose to visit the main attractions the city has to offer.
Santiago Walking Map
Top Attractions in Santiago de Chile
Our first stop was the Palacio de La Moneda, which is the Presidential Palace. They offer daily guided tours during the week, but you need to schedule them at least one week in advance via email.
In the square in front there is a traditional changing of the guard ceremony every two days, at 10AM weekdays and 11AM on weekends. It occurs on odd-numbered day in odd-numbered months and even-numbered days in even-numbered months.
You should also walk around the block, it is pretty nice and you can see many more of the grand government offices.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago
The second stop was the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago. This historic neoclassical cathedral might look simple on the outside, but has breathtaking artistic work on the inside.
Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas is the central plaza within the city. There are always people doing artistic shows or selling local crafts throughout the plaza. There are two additional buildings that flank the plaza, besides the cathedral mentioned below:
- Central Post Office Building
- Palacio de la Real Audiencia de Santiago
Cerro Santa Lucia
The next stop was the center of the city to Cerro Santa Lucia. From the top of this hill you get a panoramic view of the whole city, due that it is in the center of Santiago! While walking to the top, you can see many murals and statues while enjoying the natural park composing the hill. You can get there via taxi or metro, the closest metro is Santa Lucia.
Afterwards, We went to “Barrio Lastarria,” which is known for being a bohemian neighborhood of Santiago. It is perfect to go with friends at night and have dinner or some drinks. You could alternatively go to the Bellavista neighborhood which is known for its nightlife, depending on your mood.
Cerro San Cristobal
And finally we went to the second highest point in the city, Cerro San Cristobal offers an amazing view of the Andes and the city of Santiago. To get to the top you could either ride a bike, get a ride, or hike from the closest metro stop; Baquedano.
Visiting all of Santiago, Chile in one day proved to be impossible. But, the short time there gives a good glimpse into everything the city has to offer. If you only have an extended layover in Santiago, make sure to take advantage of the time. If you have the option to spend a few days, there is always more to experience.