Santiago

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  • 1. Cementerio General

    Recoleta

    This necropolis in the northern part of the city reveals a lot about traditional Chilean society. Through the lofty stone arches of the main entrance...

    This necropolis in the northern part of the city reveals a lot about traditional Chilean society. Through the lofty stone arches of the main entrance are well-tended paths lined with marble mausoleums and squat mansions belonging to Chile's wealthy families. The 8- or 10-story "niches"—concrete shelves housing thousands of coffins—resemble middle-class apartment buildings. Their inhabitants lie here until the rent runs out and they are evicted. Look for former President Salvador Allende's final resting spot; a map at the main entrance to the cemetery can help you find it. Fifty-minute Human Rights Tours in Spanish run weekdays at 6 pm. General tours are weekdays (except Wednesday) by prior arrangement and last 90 minutes. Two 75-minute night tours are available at 8:45 pm for kids and adults. All tours require online reservations and are either free or cost between 4,000 and 6,000 pesos.

    Av. Prof. Alberto Zañartu 951, main entrance at La Paz, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8420000, Chile
    2-2637–7800

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
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  • 2. Cerro San Cristóbal

    Bellavista

    This large, iconic hill within the centenary Parque Metropolitano is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santiago. From the western entrance at Plaza...

    This large, iconic hill within the centenary Parque Metropolitano is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santiago. From the western entrance at Plaza Caupolicán (Pío Nono), you can take a steep but enjoyable one-hour walk to the summit, or take the funicular, a historic monument that opened in 1925. The teleférico (cable car) ascends from the eastern entrance, seven blocks north of Pedro de Valdivia metro stop.

    Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8420541, Chile
    2-2730–1331

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Round-trip teleférico 6900 pesos, Closed: park, after 8 pm; funicular, after 6:45 pm
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  • 3. Cerro Santa Lucía

    Santiago Centro

    The mazelike park of Santa Lucía is a hangout for park-bench smoochers and photo-snapping tourists. Walking uphill along the labyrinth of interconnected paths and plazas...

    The mazelike park of Santa Lucía is a hangout for park-bench smoochers and photo-snapping tourists. Walking uphill along the labyrinth of interconnected paths and plazas takes about 30 minutes, or you can take an elevator two blocks north of the park's main entrance (no fee). The uppermost lookout point affords an excellent 360-degree view of the entire city; two stairways lead up from the Plaza Caupolicán esplanade; those on the south side are newer and less slippery. Be careful near dusk as the park, although patrolled, attracts the occasional mugger. There is a tiny tourism office near the Alameda entrance, open weekdays, but closed for lunch from 2 until 3 pm, and a small indigenous crafts fair called the Centro de Exposición de Arte Indígena (or Gruta Welén) in a natural cavern carved out of the western flank of the hill.

    Santa Lucía at La Alameda, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8320154, Chile
    2-2664–4206
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  • 4. Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM)

    Santiago Centro

    This giant cultural center just steps from the Universidad Católica metro houses some of Santiago's most interesting indigenous arts exhibits and offers a packed cultural...

    This giant cultural center just steps from the Universidad Católica metro houses some of Santiago's most interesting indigenous arts exhibits and offers a packed cultural itinerary, including theater. There is a large atrium between the two halves of the building with a colorful skylight, restaurant, and café. Outside the building, to the north side is an amphitheater that is occasionally used to host events. An antiques market takes place on the west side of the building Tuesday through Saturday, if it's not raining. Tip: A helpful tourism office is located here.

    Alameda 227, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8320161, Chile
    2-2566–5500
  • 5. La Chascona

    Bellavista

    This house designed by Nobel Prize--winning poet Pablo Neruda was dubbed the "Woman with the Tousled Hair" after Matilde Urrutia, his third wife. The two...

    This house designed by Nobel Prize--winning poet Pablo Neruda was dubbed the "Woman with the Tousled Hair" after Matilde Urrutia, his third wife. The two met while strolling in nearby Parque Forestal, and for years the house served as a romantic hideaway before they married. The pair's passionate relationship was recounted in the 1995 Italian film Il Postino. Audio guides are available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and German, and the house is visually fascinating, with winding garden paths, stairs, and bridges leading to the house and its library, which is stuffed with books. There's Neruda's old bedroom in a tower and a secret passageway. Scattered throughout are collections of butterflies, seashells, wineglasses, and other odd objects that inspired Neruda's tumultuous life and romantic poetry. Although not as magical as Neruda's house in Isla Negra, La Chascona still sets your imagination dancing. The house is on a little side street leading off Constitución.

    Fernando Márquez de la Plata 0192, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 7520284, Chile
    2-2777–8741

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Audio guide 8000 pesos; students 2500 pesos, Closed Mon.
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  • 6. Museo de Artes Visuales

    Lastarria

    This dazzling museum has one of Chile's finest collections of contemporary Chilean art and it displays the combined private holdings of Chilean industrial moguls Manuel...

    This dazzling museum has one of Chile's finest collections of contemporary Chilean art and it displays the combined private holdings of Chilean industrial moguls Manuel Santa Cruz and Hugo Yaconi. The building itself is a masterpiece: six gallery levels float into each other in surprising ways. The wood floors and Plexiglas-sided stairways create an open and airy space where you might see—depending on what's on display when you visit—paintings and sculptures by Roberto Matta, Arturo Duclos, Gonzalo Cienfuegos, Roser Bru, José Balmes, and Eugenio Dittborn, among others. Pick up artsy souvenirs from Tienda Mulato or refuel at the café next to the entrance.

    José Victorino Lastarria 307, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8320126, Chile
    2-2664–9337

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • 7. Museo de La Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos

    Parque Quinta Normal

    This museum is a powerful testimony to the coup that established the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet; the resulting detention, torture, and murder of Chilean...

    This museum is a powerful testimony to the coup that established the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet; the resulting detention, torture, and murder of Chilean citizens; and the country's historic vote to return to democracy. There is a heavy audio-visual component, with moving letters by children about the events of the times. Some images and artifacts here might be challenging for children to process, but it's an important part of Chilean history and arguably the country's best museum. It is just across the street from the Parque Quinta Normal, and there is also an entrance in Quinta Normal metro station. Daily tours in English begin at 11 am, noon, and 3:30 pm; audio guides in several languages are available for 2,000 pesos.

    Matucana 501, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8350392, Chile
    2-2597–9600

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Free
  • 8. Museo Ferroviario

    Parque Quinta Normal

    Chile's once-mighty railroads have been relegated to history, but this acre of Parque Quinta Normal keeps the memory alive. Sixteen steam locomotives and four passenger...

    Chile's once-mighty railroads have been relegated to history, but this acre of Parque Quinta Normal keeps the memory alive. Sixteen steam locomotives and four passenger coaches are set within quiet gardens with placards in Spanish and English. You can board several of the trains. Among the collection is one of the locomotives used on the old cross-Andes railway to Argentina, which operated between Chile and Argentina from 1910 until 1971. Guided tours are available.

    Av. Las Palmeras, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 9170007, Chile
    2-2681–4627

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 800 pesos, Closed Mon.
  • 9. Patio Bellavista

    Bellavista

    This multilevel complex of bars, eateries, cafés, and souvenir shops is a Bellavista centerpoint. The patio houses a tourist office, free concerts or cueca (national...

    This multilevel complex of bars, eateries, cafés, and souvenir shops is a Bellavista centerpoint. The patio houses a tourist office, free concerts or cueca (national dance) performance in the central plaza, a live music space, a theater, galleries, and restaurants dealing in Peruvian cuisine such as Tambo, as well as Italian, French, and Middle Eastern eateries. The patio is open daily from 8 am until 2 am; shops open 10–9.

    Pío Nono 73, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 7520420, Chile
    2-2249–8700
  • 10. Plaza de Armas

    Santiago Centro

    This square has been the symbolic heart of Chile—as well as its political, social, religious, and commercial center—since Pedro de Valdivia established the city on...

    This square has been the symbolic heart of Chile—as well as its political, social, religious, and commercial center—since Pedro de Valdivia established the city on this spot in 1541. The Palacio de los Gobernadores, the Palacio de la Real Audiencia, and the Municipalidad de Santiago front the square's northern edge. The dignified cathedral graces the western side of the square. The plaza has historically been very lively, with chess players in a gazebo, street performers playing in the bandstand, and caricaturists. Recent improvements have increased the number of trees and installed Wi-Fi.

    Compañía at Estado, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8320096, Chile
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  • 11. Plaza de la Constitución

    Santiago Centro

    Palacio de la Moneda and other government buildings line Constitution Square, the country's most formal plaza. The changing of the guard takes place every other...

    Palacio de la Moneda and other government buildings line Constitution Square, the country's most formal plaza. The changing of the guard takes place every other day at 10 am within the triangle defined by 12 Chilean flags. Adorning the plaza are four monuments, each dedicated to a notable national figure: Diego Portales, founder of the Chilean republic; Jorge Alessandri, the country's leader from 1958 to 1964; Eduardo Frei Montalva, president from 1964 to 1970; and Salvador Allende (1970–73).

    Moneda at Morandé, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8340422, Chile
  • 12. Avenida Alonso de Córdova

    In Vitacura, you can wrap yourself in style on and near Avenida Alonso de Córdova. This wide street, home to high-end chain stores, is where...

    In Vitacura, you can wrap yourself in style on and near Avenida Alonso de Córdova. This wide street, home to high-end chain stores, is where the well-heeled shop for more expensive items. Look sharp and ring the bell at these stores, as they usually keep their doors locked (not just anybody gets in).

    Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
  • 13. Barrio Concha y Toro

    Santiago Centro

    Don't be put off by the shops selling car parts at the entrance to this intimate neighborhood on the north side of La Alameda between...

    Don't be put off by the shops selling car parts at the entrance to this intimate neighborhood on the north side of La Alameda between avenues Brasil and Ricardo Cumming. Developed in the 1920s on land belonging to a mining branch of the Concha y Toro family—another branch founded the winery of the same name—the neighborhood has short winding streets spanning out from a central plaza with a fountain and an eclectic mixture of neoclassical, art deco, and Baroque houses, many designed by the same architects who worked on Barrio París-Londres. There is a restaurant, café, and occasional street fairs on weekends.

    Barrio Concha y Toro, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8340579, Chile
  • 14. Barrio París-Londres

    Santiago Centro

    Many architects contributed to what is frequently referred to as Santiago's Little Europe, among them Alberto Cruz Montt, Jorge Elton Alamos, and Sergio Larraín. The...

    Many architects contributed to what is frequently referred to as Santiago's Little Europe, among them Alberto Cruz Montt, Jorge Elton Alamos, and Sergio Larraín. The string of small mansion houses lining the cobbled streets of Calles París and Londres sprang up in the mid-1920s on vegetable patches and gardens once belonging to the convent adjoining Iglesia San Francisco. The three- and four-story town houses are all unique; some have brick facades, while others are done in Palladian style.

    Londres at París, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8330133, Chile
  • 15. Biblioteca Nacional

    Santiago Centro

    Near the foot of Cerro Santa Lucía is the block-long classical facade of the National Library. Moved to its present premises in 1925, this library,...

    Near the foot of Cerro Santa Lucía is the block-long classical facade of the National Library. Moved to its present premises in 1925, this library, founded in 1813, has one of the oldest and most extensive collections in South America. The second-floor Sala José Toribio Medina (closed Saturday), which holds the most important collection of early Latin American print work, is well worth a look. The three levels of books, reached by curved-wood balconies, are lighted by massive chandeliers. The café on the ground floor is a quiet place to linger over a coffee. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the building.

    La Alameda 651, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8320255, Chile
    2-2997–8818

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Sat. afternoon, Sun.
  • 16. Bolsa de Comercio

    Santiago Centro

    Chile's stock exchange is housed in a 1917 French neoclassical structure with an elegant clock tower surmounted by an arched slate cupola. Business is now...

    Chile's stock exchange is housed in a 1917 French neoclassical structure with an elegant clock tower surmounted by an arched slate cupola. Business is now done electronically, but you can visit the old trading floor with its buying and selling circle called rueda. You must leave your ID at the door.

    La Bolsa 64, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8340721, Chile
    2-2399–3000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 17. Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho

    Parque Forestal

    This mighty edifice, with its trio of two-story arches framed by intricate terra-cotta detailing, is as elegant as any train station in the world. The...

    This mighty edifice, with its trio of two-story arches framed by intricate terra-cotta detailing, is as elegant as any train station in the world. The station was inaugurated in 1913 as a terminus for trains arriving from Valparaíso and points north, but after trains were diverted to Estación Central, the space was turned into one of the city's principal arts and conference centers. The Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho houses two restaurants, a café, a large exhibition hall, and arts space. The cavernous station that once sheltered steam engines now hosts musical performances and other events, such as the Cumbre Guachaca, a celebration of city-meets-down-home-country culture, usually held in April.

    Independencia at Balmaceda, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8350809, Chile
    2-2787–0000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Station free, exhibition fees vary, Closed Mon.
  • 18. Centro Cultural La Moneda

    La Alameda

    Tucked away underneath the Plaza de la Ciudadanía is the Centro Cultural La Moneda, a fantastic arts center that puts on an array of interesting...

    Tucked away underneath the Plaza de la Ciudadanía is the Centro Cultural La Moneda, a fantastic arts center that puts on an array of interesting exhibitions and art workshops. It's also home to the national Cineteca, which regularly screens Chilean movies and documentaries (tickets cost 2,500 pesos). The Artesanías de Chile crafts shop there showcases top-quality work, and the Tienda Centro Cultural is a good place to buy unusual souvenirs and jewelry. There's also a restaurant, a café, and a bookshop. 

    Plaza de la Ciudadanía 26, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
    2355–6500

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • 19. Correo Central

    Santiago Centro

    Housed in what was once the ornate Palacio de los Gobernadores, this building dating from 1715 is one of the most beautiful post offices you...

    Housed in what was once the ornate Palacio de los Gobernadores, this building dating from 1715 is one of the most beautiful post offices you are likely to see. It was reconstructed by Ricardo Brown in 1882 after being ravaged by fire and is a fine example of neoclassical architecture, with a glass-and-iron roof added in the early 20th century. It has occasional exhibits in the main hall, plus an extensive collections of stamps from around the world and other postal and telegraph memorabilia in the adjoining Postal and Telegraph Museum (free admission).

    Plaza de Armas 989, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 8320096, Chile
    2-2956–5145

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Museum: weekends
  • 20. Estación Central

    Estación Central

    Inaugurated in 1897, Central Station is the city's last remaining train station, serving the south as far as Chillán. The greenish iron canopy of the...

    Inaugurated in 1897, Central Station is the city's last remaining train station, serving the south as far as Chillán. The greenish iron canopy of the station that once shielded the engines from the weather is flanked by two lovely beaux arts edifices. A lively market keeps this terminal buzzing with activity. The grand entrance has a colorful, illuminated carousel and a couple of cafés. As in any busy place, keep a close watch on valuables.

    Alameda 3170, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan, 9160030, Chile
    600-585–5000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free

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