Santiago is a bustling metropolis bursting with countless attractions, so what are the must-see Santiago attractions? Our Local Experts Share Their Favorites!
Discover Santiago’s most beloved spots for both tourists and residents alike. From awe-inspiring attractions to practical services available 24/7, these destinations offer something for everyone!
Chilean Folklore Museum
Santiago boasts a captivating example of Chilean folklore at its best! The Chile Folklore Museum is a must-see while in the city that famously attracts so many tourists due to its relative proximity as well as easy access via public transportation.
The museum encompasses a remarkable variety of artifacts, including traditional handicrafts, costumes and instruments – all enshrined within a spacious, bright-lit space that provides an invigorating sensory experience!
At the heart of this display are two distinct collections: the National Collection and Regional Collection.
Cerro San Cristóbal
Finally, be sure to venture up Cerro San Cristóbal for an invigorating summit that affords jaw-dropping vistas of Santiago and its surrounds. Cradled by verdant forested slopes, the compact peak is a popular spot among locals; alternatively, it can also be accessed via cable car which connects to the city center.
At an elevation of 1,740 m (5,726 ft) above sea level and boasting a captivating panorama encompassing an array of striking landmarks, such as San Francisco de Sales Church atop its hilltop location, this is an ideal spot for trekking!
The mountain ascends in a circular route, at a moderated pace: tourists can take it easy while savoring the journey. Some buses run here from the main city center too – so don’t forget your transportation if you wish to experience this dazzling site from atop its majestic summit!
Plaza de Armas
Santiago’s principal square, Plaza de Armas is a veritable treasure trove of colonial-era architecture and an ideal spot for strolling about. Numerous museums can be found here as well – such as the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (National School of Fine Arts) with its renowned museum of painting collection housed within!
The Housed Museums in Plaza de Armas are:
Art Museum of Chile
Cathedral of Santiago
An exquisite edifice, the Cathedral of Santiago is a must-see for visitors who venture to this city. Its structure captivates visitors with its elaborately adorned interior and ornate exterior; all draped in azure blues hues that harmonize perfectly with the skies overhead.
Santiago’s Cathedral was constructed between 1511 and 1781, and it has undergone numerous renovations over time. Today it stands as an illustrious monument to Catholicism featuring one of the finest examples of gothic architecture on display. Noted within its walls are numerous treasures including fine religious statues, stained glass windows depicting santos and intricate carvings – all lending themselves to their enchanting atmosphere!
The cathedral is home to some historic artworks, including Caravaggio’s The Assumption of Mary, by renowned painter El Greco (1541–1614). This masterpiece is easily identifiable by its striking color scheme – a radiant blue within which adorns the Virgin Mary’s serene face with a hint of gold shimmer around her shoulders – evoking an aura of majestic majesty reminiscent of heaven itself!
Museo Nacional de Historia del Chile
Located in downtown Santiago, this museum is the nation’s most visited attraction. It’s home to an intriguing collection of displays documenting Chile’s history – from pre-Columbian times through the 20th century.
Among the illustrious highlights at Museo Nacional de Historia del Chile are a reconstruction of the historic San Miguel Gate, a bevy of paintings depicting pivotal moments in Chilean history – like the 1891 Battle of Chacabuco; and much more!
The museum is situated within a period building built by French architect Jean Baptiste Riegel.
Santiago’s Museo de la Ciudad
The Museo de la Ciudad is an exceptional repository of city history, housing artifacts dating back to early colonial times. A walk through this museum will reveal its rich array of treasures that range from exquisite paintings and sculptures to decorative arts and even significant documents like municipal maps.
Don’t miss out on seeing the magnificent bronze statue of Santiago de Compostela – the patron saint of this city. Adorning the atrium of this impressive structure are numerous other noteworthy exhibits, including a unique model of Santiago which displays its distinct topography with accuracy; alongside intricate craftsmanship in portraying the city’s religious rites and festivities during its year-round celebrations!
Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral
Santiago Cathedral is an imposing structure, situated on the corner of San Cristobal and Maipu streets. Constructed between 1870-78, the majestic edifice spans a total area of over 62,000 sq ft; its grandeur cannot be overlooked!
With its golden spire soaring above all else, Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral occupies a prominent place on the capital city’s skyline – a defining feature of any travel itinerary. Visitors will encounter this monument endlessly during their stay in Santiago; it serves as both an awe-inspiring focal point that unites all points of interest within the area while providing ample opportunity for snapshots when trying to capture that perfect memory with one’s camera phone!
The cathedral features exceptional stained-glass windows from renowned artists such as Jose Crespo Mendez and José Ollé. Furthermore, its chandeliers are adorned by precious pieces including those crafted by Johannes Gutenberg.
La Giganta de Piedra (The Giant Stone)
If you’re looking for an enchanting stop along Santiago’s well-trodden tourist route, don’t overlook La Giganta de Piedra. This massive stone structure is one of the city’s most impressive sights, commanding attention with its imposing presence atop a hill in Parque Forestal.
At over 300 feet tall and weighing more than 30 tons – nearly the size of a Greyhound bus! – La Giganta de Piedra represents the pinnacle of conservation architecture featuring both ingredients and methods employed to preserve natural elements when constructing this monument. Its interior contains additional floors made from granite boulders piled atop each other; while the exterior base is composed of angular pillars carved from rock within the same area.
La Giganta de Piedra sits proudly in a park-like setting within Parque Forestal, welcoming visitors from all over the world from April through November. Be sure to bring sunscreen if planning an outing during this time period; as you might be tempted to take a dip in any one of several shallow pools located nearby!
Los Héroes del Parque Arauco-Muelle
This quintessential Santiago attraction is a pilgrimage site for locals and tourists alike, who flock here to honour the courageous men who sacrificed themselves in order to protect their beloved country during the War of ’83.
The park commemorates the valiant efforts of those who participated in that endeavor – including commando fighters; military aviators; infantrymen; resistance fighters; and even a few civilians! It was on this occasion that they gained worldwide renown under the award-winning title of ‘Heroic Figures of Armed Forces’ by UNESCO.
Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) in La Moneda Palace – The Presidential Palace
Santiago’s foremost art museum is located within the Palace of La Moneda – home to Chile’s president.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago offers an unparalleled collection of masterpieces, as well as innovative contemporary exhibits. The expansive structure houses more than 3,200 pieces from its celebrated permanent collections, including ancient sculptures from Pompeii and Gifford; masterworks from Rembrandt, Rubens and Cézanne; along with paintings by Monet, Matisse and van Gogh. It also showcases temporary exhibitions featuring renowned works of art.
Take a stroll through the spectacularly designed building, which boasts sumptuous golden mosaics beneath its floors and walls of opulent wood panels.
Once you’ve gazed upon the monumental archways and towering cathedrals of Santiago, you will never forget the experience. The city’s monumental architecture is a testament to its history and prominence; an unforgettable sight that should not be missed!