24 hours in Santiago de Chile – A Cultural taste of Santiago’s popular neighborhoods
Santiago has improved a lot over the past few years and is a great starting point for tourists interested in visiting Chile’s beautiful deserts, fjords, mountains and beaches. When we think of Santiago, we often think of it as a modern Americanised city, especially in the eastern neighborhoods of Providencia, Las Condes or Vitacura. In fact, Sanhatthan is a business neighborhood whose name was inspired by Manhattan. However, in many parts of Santiago you can still see and feel the age of the city. Santiago was founded in 1541 and offers plenty of diversity, from the architecture to the different colorful and vibrant neighborhoods.
If you find yourself with an extra day or two in Santiago, follow our Santiago city tour below and get a cultural taste of Santiago’s most popular neighborhoods.
09:00 Barrio Brazil: Take a peak into the past
Santiago City Tour
Start your Santiago tour in Barrio Brazil and Barrio Yungay. Home to some of the most beautifully colored mansions and picturesque cobbled stoned streets. This was once home to the high-class members of Chilean society until the 1940’s when the Aristocracy moved to the eastern part of the city. Barrio Brazil offers picturesque alleys and squares, such as Concha y Toro Street and the plazoleta which has a beautiful fountain in the middle.
From there, visit the Museum of Memory and Human Rights ( Matucana 501), located in front of the Parc Quinta Normal. This museum, inaugurated in 2010, seeks to draw attention to human rights violations committed by the Chilean state between 1973 and 1990.
11:00 Coffee in Barrio Yungay
Santiago City Tour
After the museum, go for a coffee at La Peluqueria Francesa (the French Hairdresser) in Barrio Yungay. This restaurant is located in a French barbershop and is also an antique shop. Lose yourself in a labyrinth of rooms and enjoy a sweet return to the past accompanied by a French petit-dejeuner.
Visit Mercado, where over 300 years ago, farmers used to gather and sell their goods. In 1895, Agustin Gomez Garcia constructed an actual market here. The Vega Central was inaugurated in 1916, and is the biggest fruit market in Chile today. Sip some Mote con Huesillo and try to guess the ingredients of this refreshing beverage.
Walk to the other side of the Mapocho River to Mercado Central where you can find a variety of local fish. This is a great place to have lunch and people watch. After grabbing a bite to eat, enjoy a short walk to Estacion Mapocho, a former railway station that is now a cultural center.
Visit the Fine Arts Museum and enjoy seeing the great collection of Chilean art, take a walk down Jose Miguel de la Barra street. This street is lined with coffee shops and is the heart of Bellas Artes neighborhood. Another great place to visit here is The Clinic (Monjitas 578), this is a bar that was started by the satirical newspaper under the same name in 1998. Its name is linked with the arrest of the ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet at The London Clinic (where he had just undergone surgery).
Next, stroll toward Lastarria neighborhood from Merced Street. Here you will find designer shops and eclectic local stores. Lastarria street hosts the Museum of Visual Arts and has a small book market during the weekend. You will find a great variety of tasty restaurants here as well. El Emporio de la Rosa (Merced 291) has delicious artisanal ice cream with flavors like rose, chocolate, and pepper. This is such a popular ice cream shop that the owners recently opened five more locations throughout the city!
Time to discover Bellavista, one of the last stops on our tour. Here you can stroll along the beautiful alleys and streets, peppered with local artwork and murals.
At the end of Constitucion Street, take the funicular to the top of San Cristobal Hill and take in a panoramic view of the city and its Mountains in the background. On a clear day you’ll be able to see the ski slopes! Take the funicular back and continue towards Plaza Mori. Another must see in Bellavista is Pablo Neruda’s house, La Chascona. This famous Chilean poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and he has three houses, one in Valparaiso (‘’La Sebastiana’’) and the other in Isla Negra. Entering his house La Chascona – named after his secret lover – is like entering a new dimension, a world of imagination, that slowly pinches at the rhythms of his verses.
Head to the Patio Bellavista, where the 2015 Jazz Festival, Jazz ChilEuropa was held. The Patio offers a full range of souvenir stores, restaurants, and bars. Enjoy live music during weekends, like Backstage Life, La Casa en el Aire, or Le Fournil, a French bistro that hides in Club de Jazz. If you can, enjoy live music, go to Thelenious (Bombero Nunez 336), or El Meson Narudiano (Dominica 35) they have Jazz shows on Tuesdays and Fridays.
If you are looking for an intimate or romantic atmosphere, the Piano Lounge is a great option. It is inside The Aubrey Boutique Hotel (Constitucion 317). If you are lucky enough to meet Mark Cigana, the owner, ask him for a quick tour of the hotel, located at the foot of San Cristobal Hill. For decades, Politician Domingo Duran held their Legendary Thursday Political Lunches for the elite there.
If you enjoy wine, considering adding a Santiago wine tour to your visit. Santiago is the perfect starting point for day or overnight trips to local wineries. Santiago has world-class wineries such as Concha y Toro as well as picturesque boutique wine villas. Read more about our wine tours >>
Recommended Hotels in Santiago
5* Hotel in Santiago
THE SINGULAR SANTIAGO
The Singular Santiago was born after the Patagonia-native owners of The Singular Patagonia decided to take their knowledge of sustainable hospitality to the artistic Lastarria neighborhood to provide 5-star services in the capital of their country. The 62 rooms have a style reminiscent of the 20th century, but with the comfort and technology of the modern era. The swimming pool and bar on the rooftop invite guests to take in the nature of the Parque Forestal and the elegance of the nearby buildings as they indulge in exquisite cocktails or go for a swim. Other Singular facilities include a spa offering 13 different treatments to ensure relaxation of body and mind, a restaurant where guests can enjoy national dishes, and a first-floor bar open from 10 am to midnight.
4* + Hotel in Santiago
LASTARRIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Settled in a 20th-century house in Santiago’s Lastarria neighborhood, Lastarria Boutique Hotel offers 14 rooms divided into Suites, Junior Suites, Deluxe and Superior rooms. All of them have warm and ritzy decorations and amenities including free Wi-Fi, safe deposits, minibars, and desks. The hotel features a restaurant where guests can try exquisite dishes made with local ingredients, and if they choose to sit on the terrace they will be rewarded with views of the swimming pool, a perfect scenario for a romantic dinner. These facilities plus the dedicated work of Lastarria Boutique Hotel’s staff ensure guests a pleasant stay in the cosmopolitan Chilean capital.
3* Hotel in Santiago
DIEGO DE VELAZQUEZ
Whether you’re traveling for recreation, work, studies or incentive, have an unforgettable stay at Hotel Diego de Velazquez. The hotel has a total of 60 rooms distributed between standard, superior rooms and junior suites. All rooms include free wi-fi, full mini bar, safety box (standard and safe for laptops), air conditioning, cable TV, LCD screens, phone dialing national, wood floors (no carpet) and an American buffet breakfast. Its location in the cosmopolitan Providencia neighborhood and its restaurant, Olivas, makes this hotel a great option for guests who want to discover the modern and innovative side of the Chilean capital.
Santiago is a great starting point for tours to:
- Patagonia – Torres del Paine National Park
- The Atacama Desert
- Easter Island
- The Northern Lake District
If you are thinking about visiting Santiago, simply fill out the form below or contact our Travel Consultants directly at 1-800-747-4540.