Fodor's Expert Review Plaza de Armas
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.