Santiago, Chile right in the center of the country is an up and coming city that is great to visit. There is tons to do in Santiago, here are some tips for tourists visiting Santiago, Chile:
1. Plaza de Armas
This is one of the main areas of downtown with a ton of historic sites. Take a walk around the Plaza and see the Correo Central and the Municipalidad de Santiago. Also go into the Catedral Metropolitana which is really pretty inside. Go one block down to see the Casa Colorada.
2. Downtown Historic Sites
There are so many historic sites in downtown it is hard to list just one of them. You can easily walk the entire downtown area. We would recommend after visiting the Plaza de Armas walking down Huerfanos walking street and then stopping by to see La Moneda (the Palace), Plaza Constitucion, Edificio Ex Congreso National, Club de La Union and Iglesia de San Francisco.
3. La Quinta Normal
Take the gorgeous Santiago metro down to Quinta Normal to visit the (free) National History Museum and the Quinta Normal parks.
4. Cerro Santa Lucia
This is a beautiful mountain top parks with some great sites. You can also walk to Iglesia La Vera Cruz from here.
5. Bella Vista
Bella Vista is one of the best places in Santiago by far. Bella Vista, especially Calle Constitucion has amazing restaurants and shops. Stop by Como Agua Para Chocolate if you loved that movie (tables are like beds!). You can also stop by Mercado Central which is very close to get some seafood (a little touristy).
This is a very business area, but has some nice parks cafes and restaurants.
7. Parque Metropolitano and Las Chascona
You can visit Pablo Neruda’s house right at the base of Parque Metropolitano. We took the acensor (elevator) up to the top and climbed up to the statue overlooking the entire city. From up there you get a great view of the Andes as well. You can also visit the Santiago Zoo and Botanical Garden!
8. Las Condes
This is the expat and hotel area of the city. It is very pretty and peaceful, not a ton to do but some great restaurants especially Melba (amazing breakfast).
Avenida Alonso de Córdova and Nueva Costanera are the Beverly Hills streets of Santiago. Here they have art galleries, boutiques and international labels. Stop and get a drink at a cute outdoor cafe or make reservations at some of their posh restaurants.
10. Los Dominicos Artisans Market
This is by far the best artisan market I have been to in South America. It is HUGE and right off the metro (at a brand new stop). All of the tiny stores, trees, and cafes in Los Dominicos offer a place for men to sit and relax while women shop the huge variety of south american goods–leather, Lapiz Lazuli, jams, wool, and much more.
Bonus 11. Cerro San Cristobal (Cemetary) at Night
The cemetary has awesome views of the city at night. A little spooky, but great photo opp.
Santiago is relatively safe, but you want to be careful at night and always watch your bag, but you will find food delicious (and hefty portion size) and a very friendly local people.