Santiago Travel Guide OVERVIEW
Santiago is the capital of Chile and holds one third of the whole country’s population. There are tons of must-see attractions, and you can get to them by metro. See the museums, parks, and the mountains. Santiago is a fantastic city and we hope this Santiago travel guide helps you plan the best things to see and do, gives you travel tips, and more.
How to Reach the Santiago, Chile
You can reach Santiago by car from any country in South America. Although, it would be rather long drive from most other countries.
You can reach Santiago by plane from practically any major airport in the world. When you get to the International Airport Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez in Santiago you can get to the city by taxi, van or bus. Taxis will cost around 19,000 CLP ($27) from the airport to the city center. You can take a bus with either one of these companies TurBus and Centropuerto.
If you are traveling from another city in South American and you want to take a bus, which is quite popular with budget travelers, then you are in luck because there are multiple carriers that have service to Chile. I would check Rome2Rio for pricing and routes.
Santiago Chile Travel Tips
Skiing/Snowboarding in Santiago – Valle Nevado, Farellones and El Colorado are a few of the great ski centers in the city. Valle Nevado is one of the largest locations. It has a ski resort, three hotels, apartments, and many places to practice the skiing. Lift passes can cost around 34,000 CLP.
Do take the bus/train – The public transport in Chile is very efficient and much cheaper than taking a taxi. If you can’t reach your destination by walking then take the bus.
Don’t haggle – In Santiago, haggling is not common at all. If you find something overpriced, just move around and find another place to buy it. Choose places with already set prices.
Drink some wine! – The Santiago area has some great wines and you should try them all! Just kidding, but seriously some great wines down here.
Do visit the museums – There are many museums in the city, such as the National History Museum, Science and Technology Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum and the Children’s Museum. All of them are located near the Quinta Normal Park. There are also the Memory Museum (Museo de la Memoria), Museu Interativo Mirador and Casa Museu La Chascona.
Don’t trust every taxi driver – Taking a taxi in Santiago is a safe way to travel in the city but as a tourist, you must be sure that the drive isn’t overcharging you. Be cautious and see if they have license and that they turn the meter on.
Typical Costs in Santiago
Price Range for Hotels
Prices for accommodation in Santiago ranges from 6,000 CLP for hostels and from 25,000 CLP for budget hotels. Good options are The Aubrey Hotel Boutique close to the Cerro San Cristóbal and Patio Bellavista, Rado Hostel and Antigo Caeser. Santiago is probably the only place where you can stay at a Ritz-Carlton for a little over $200 USD a night as well!
Cost of meal
Santiago has a variety of great places to eat. You can find a range of restaurants, bars and markets. Food will cost around 7,500 CLP to a meal in a good restaurant. Some good food places to check out are Galindo (Recoleta), Central Market, Mulato Cocina de Mercado (Lastarria), Bocanáriz Vinobar (Lastarria), De Pablo a Violeta (Recoleta), Emporio la Rosa and shopping in the Patio Bellavista (Providencia).
Cost for transportation
Transportation in Santiago is quite cheap and you can go almost everywhere in one metro line or walking. One bus ticket costs around 480 CLP. Uber’s and Taxi are also pretty affordable.
Top Places to Visit in Santiago
Parque Quinta Normal
Quinta Normal Park is an urban park in the city of Santiago, Chile. The park is in a commune, or district of the same name, Quinta Normal.
Palácio la Moneda
This palace was designed by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca and is now the seat of the Chile President.
Rated on of the best restaurants in the city. You’ll have an amazing experience with a high rise view and incredible food. Be sure to make a reservation!
Take a Hike in the Andes
Looking for an adventure? Take a hike in the Andes! We did a snowshoe hike up to the summit of a mountain and it was epic! It’s not for the faint heart though. We used a company called EcoChile Travel and they were amazing. They also leave out of Santiago which is convenient.
Visit a Winery
Wine lovers would agree that the Santiago area is one of the best destinations in South America for wine. With regions like the Maipo Valley, Colchugua, and Casablanca nearby you can be at a premier winery with an hour or so.
Just walk around and soak up the architecture and street mural art. If you have time maybe take a graffiti tour. There are also museums in this area of town as well.
La Vega Market
La Vega Market is the central market in Chile and you’ll find locals setting up their shops and purchasing their groceries. On the second floor is a nice surprise of excellent places to eat!
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucio is a hill top park located just on the outer edge of downtown. It’s very beautiful and has castle like architecture. Hike up to the top to get some amazing panoramic views!
San Cristóbal Hill
Take a ride up with the funicular (costs about $2.50 roundtrip) to the top of San Cristobal Hill where you can get awesome view from way above Santiago. There is also a really nice statue of Virgin Mary at the summit.
Sky Costanera has one of the most impressive views of the city boasting a 360 panoramic view of the city! Tickets are $10 for adults and can be purchased on site at the ticket booth.