Nestled between the Andes and the coast, Santiago is a cosmopolitan, lively and sophisticated city and is home to 40% of Chile's population. Since its birth in 1541, the city has steadily grown and features 19th-century neoclassical architecture alongside other styles such as art deco and neo-gothic. Visitors love the capital's cityscape on the banks of the Mapocho River, featuring several hills and plenty of green spaces including the Parque Forestal. Santiago is also blessed with many museums, events, theatres, bars and restaurants as well as plenty of entertainment and culture. Thanks to its location near to both the mountains and the sea, visitors can go skiing in the Andes and visit the beaches. Views don't get much better than those from the city's Sky Costanera. Down on the ground, there's Pablo Neruda's eclectic home and museum La Chascona Casa Museo. Throughout the year, various annual events run such as film, dance and national festivals
Things to Do
Santiago has a mix of culture, history, outdoor spaces and entertainment to delight any visitor. It's an extremely interesting city with incredible scenery and delightful food. Allow plenty of time to see and do everything on the wishlist!
The great outdoors
In addition to being home to Cerro San Cristóbal, the Parque Metropolitano has incredible views, botanical gardens, a zoo and 2 swimming pools. There's also the Parque Forestal, home to the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Modern Art Museum, and a long park running alongside the Mapocho River.
Markets for true Chilean products
Santiago's long-standing Mercado Central is a thriving place offering delicious food (especially fresh seafood). A few streets away, the La Vega market sells local groceries, fresh produce and clothing.
Opening in 2002, the Centro Cultural Matucana 100 hosts a plethora of arts events and exhibitions throughout the year. The Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral is another wonderful cultural centre with free WiFi, a theatre, concert venues and refreshment spaces.
Calendar of Events
The buzzing metropolis of Santiago is full of cultural variety throughout the year with annual festivals celebrating various art forms and Chilean culture, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in the local vibe.
Film festival. The Festival de Cine de Amor takes place towards the end of July each year offering fringe films from around the world at the Centro Arte Alameda: a trendy arty venue and café. Visitors are entertained with inspiring and through-provoking film premieres from Spain, Colombia, Belgium and Germany.
Dance festival. At the end of August, the lovely neoclassical Teatro Municipal hosts a four-day dance festival, Coreógrafos, when the city and national ballet schools take the stage, performing classical pieces choreographed by international choreographers for a contemporary twist.
Cultural festival. In mid-September, the Fiesta Patria takes place every year to mark Chile's independence from Spain. The festival takes place in various locations around the city, giving it a warm, authentic feel with dancing, food and drink to fuel the celebrations.