Santiago Chile is a booming metropolis that can hold its own against any major city in the world. Wandering around when we first arrived felt like we had been transported to a Spanish version of New York or Chicago! As you can imagine, this was a very strange feeling after traveling to many underdeveloped parts of South America. The streets are busy and full of life, the parks are filled with people enjoying the outdoors, and endless cafés crowd the sidewalks of the largest city in Chile. Major plazas are the main meeting points, and the food in Santiago Chile is incredible. Let us take you through all the best Santiago attractions and things to do in this amazing city!
Three Immediate Surprises of Santiago
The Largest City in Chile
We knew that Santiago would be big, but we highly underestimated the size the largest city in Chile. After spending a few days, we still had only explored a small fraction of the Santiago Chile attractions and everything it has to offer.
If you only have a short amount of time get some culture in the historic center, and then hit the Miraflores neighborhood for a more laid back social scene! You’ll also find some of the best food in Santiago here.
Staying Active in Santiago
Santiago Chile is one active city! Everywhere you look you’ll see people running, biking, and staying on the move. Especially on the weekends it seemed like there wasn’t a single person around us who wasn’t getting their fitness on!
Definitely something we had not seen much of in the other cities we went to in South America. Yet, looking back… Maybe that’s because there’s so much hiking and outdoor stuff do already in South America.
The subway system in Santiago is great! Give it up for Santiago as they do a great job connecting the city with public transportation. This means that all of the most fun things to do in Santiago Chile are very easy to get to.
The trains rival most we have been on in European and American cities. Also, to get to and from the airport is a breeze with an inexpensive bus that goes direct from the city center.
Other Awesome Santiago Chile Attractions
Tours for Tips
As mentioned in our Valparaiso Chile article, Tours 4 Tips is an amazing free walking tour! See all that this great city has to offer by foot, and at the end give the guide whatever you think is a fair tip. This is a very informative, and cool way to see Santiago Chile!
Cerro Cristobal Lookout Point
On our last day in Santiago Chile we wanted to see the city in a different way. Big cities are not always our favorite, so it’s nice to explore whatever nature they have to offer.
The entrance to the Cerro Cristobal is located in the Miraflores district, and you have the option to either take the trolley or hike up. From the top you get a beautiful panoramic view of the city! This was a highlight for us, and definitely one of the best things to do in Santiago Chile.
Food in Santiago Chile
Santiago Seafood Market
Any seafood you could ever imagine is located at the Mercado Central! Here you can buy your own seafood to prepare, or you can eat at one of the many amazing restaurants. You won’t find fish any fresher than here, and this was some of the best food in Santiago Chile we had the pleasure of trying.
I know what your thinking…. Sushi?!! How random! We thought the exact same thing! However, walking around Santiago you’ll see endless promotions and deals on this Japanese specialty. Now at first we were obviously skeptical… Sushi in Chile? However, eventually we had to give in and damn was it good!
Hot Dog Highway
Known as “completos,” these Santiago style hot dogs are the main street food of the largest city in Chile. There is a place right off of the Plaza de Armas with an entire row of vendors that we dubbed “hot dog highway.” Although I wouldn’t say this is the best food in Santiago, your guide to the city wouldn’t be complete without it. Also, two dogs and a beer will only run you $2 USD!!
Whether you’re planning on visiting Santiago for a week or just passing through, take some time to enjoy this up and coming global city. From exploring Santiago’s neighborhoods to filling up on completos, you’ll have a packed few days in the largest city in Chile!
Did we leave any of the best things to do in Santiago out of our city guide? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Santiago Chile
Ultra Luxury (High End) – The Singular Santiago – This is one of the premier luxury hotels in all of Santiago Chile. With the perfect location in the heart of downtown and all the best amenities, you’ll have an amazing stay in the largest city in Chile!
Fun Vacation (Mid Range) – The Aubrey Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is in a converted mansion in the Bellavista district 0f the city. Here you can enjoy rustic stay in this unique property while still being within walking distance of all the best food in Santiago Chile.
Hostel Life (Budget) – Hostal Forestal – The most comfortable hostel in downtown Santiago! Enjoy dorms and private rooms in the perfect location near all the Santiago Chile attractions.
For more places to stay in Santiago Chile you can explore the latest prices here!*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.