South America Living

Santiago, Chile Travel Guide

Metro Station Line 4 - Metro Santiago in Santiago, Chile

Santiago – or Santiago de Chile – is a cultured city with a bit of flair and great transportation system. Officially the capital of Chile, Santiago handles all government business except legislative issues which are taken care of a short one-hour drive away (or 1 1/2 hours by bus) in the coastal city Valparaíso.

Editor’s Note: If you are thinking of a move to Santiago or want to travel extensively, view our Cost of Living page for information on bus and taxi fares; apartment rental and food costs; medical care, etc.

     Best Time to Visit         Where To Eat         Where To Stay       City Map

Traveling throughout Santiago is a breeze thanks to extensive, regular bus service and an underground subway system – Metro de Santiago – that will get you from one end of the city to the other cheaply and efficiently.

Pay Per View Telescope at Parque Metropolitano

Popular Activities in Santiago and Sites to See

  • Take a Historic Walking Tour. Begins at the Plaza de Armas. Continue on and visit the popular tourist sites: Catedral de Santiago; Casa Colorada; Parque Forestal; Mercado Central; Congreso Nacional; Palacio de la Moneda; Bolsa de Comercio (stock market exchange) and lastly the magnificent Iglesia San Francisco at the University of Chile that houses the Museo de Arte Colonial.
  • After all that walking – see above – stop in at any number of lovely street-side cafés / restaurants for a coffee or beer and light snack.
  • Visit Parque Metropolitano (Santiago’s largest park) and spend an afternoon wandering through the adjoining Santiago Zoo. Official park website (Spanish-only)
  • Sit by a famous fountain – Fuente De Neptuno – at historic Cerro Santa Lucía (Santa Lucía Hill in English) and relax amidst the well-landscaped gardens enjoying the view of the city below.
  • Get yourself the recent edition of El Mercurio and find-out what is going on Saturday and Sunday – live theater, cinemas and Jazz clubs.

Within an hour or less of the city many outdoor adventures can be enjoyed such as:

The Gondola at Parque Metropolitano Heading Downtown

  • You can go skiing or snowboarding at Valle Nevado Ski Resort (June through September), only 40 minutes from downtown Santiago. Ski Resorts in South America
  • You can hike the Andes by climbing San Ramon (3000 meter / 9843 feet) peak or go on an easier day hike with your family up to the lookout point Cerro Pochoco (1,800 meters / 5905 feet).
  • You can head to Valparaiso (closer to Santiago but a larger, industrial city) or Viña del Mar (popular beach resort 2 hours from Santiago) to lay on the beach, listen to the ocean and work on your tan (December through February). Travel Guide to Viña del Mar

Best Time to Visit

Santiago doesn´t slow down regardless of the season or time of year but does have winter/summer variations in the weather that makes some months more pleasant for a visit than others. Unless your primary goal is to go skiing – you may want to choose to visit during Spring or Summer.

During winter (invierno in Spanish) – June through August – it
is normally cold and rainy though the city does not get snowfall. During summer (verano in Spanish) – December through February – the sun will most likely be shining and humidity is comfortably low.

Where to Stay


  1. Name: Grand Hyatt Santiago   Book Now
    Area: Las Condes business district
    Address: Kennedy Avenue #4601
  2. Name: InterContinental Hotel & Resort   Book Now
    Area: Las Condes business district
    Address: Avenida Vitacura #2885


  1. Name: Casa Bonita Bed & Breakfast
    Area: Centro – 100 mts. from Republica metro station
    Address: Pasaje Republica 5
  2. Name: Meridiano Sur, Petit Hotel
    Area: Central
    Address: Santa Beatriz 256 Providencia


  1. Name: Footsteps Backpackers
    Area: Bellavista area
    Address: Almirante Simpson 50
  2. Name: Atacama Hostel
    Area: Central near a subway stop
    Address: Roman Diaz 130

Where to Eat


  1. Name: Anakena (International cuisine)
    Area: In Hyatt Regency Hotel – Las Condes area
    Address: Av. Kennedy 4601
  2. Name: Europeo (Traditional – considered one of the best restaurants in the city)
    Area: Vitacura
    Address: Alonso de Cordova 2417


  1. Name: Pub-Licity (Contemporary / Mexican)
    Area: Las Condes business district
    Address: Avda El Bosque Norte 155
    Website: None. Read a review.
  2. Name: Ocean Pacific (Seafood)
    Area: Barrio Brasil
    Address: Ricardo Cumming 221
    Website: None. Read a review.


  1. Name: Plaza Café
    Area: On the Plaza
    Address: 54 Lincoln Ave
    Website: None. Read a review.
  2. Name: El Huerto (Vegetarian)
    Area: Providencia
    Address: Orrego Luco 054 Providencia

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Photographs of Parque Metropolitan by Kati Engholm, all rights reserved.

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