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Plan Your Trip to Santiago: Best of Santiago Tourism

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By Paulo O

Explore Santiago

Santiago is one of those cities where the more you look, the more you find. Soaring skyscrapers have the backdrop of rolling mountains, with vineyards and the Andes just beyond. Architecture runs the gamut from the 16th-century San Francisco Church to Gran Torre Santiago, the tallest building in South America. Shop at ritzy Mall Panoramico, then refuel with hearty seafood-rich Chilean fare like cazuela soup. Close out the night in funky cafes or the dance clubs of Bellavista. Be sure to order a pisco sour, the city’s signature cocktail. Just an hour outside the city, you’ll find vineyards specialising in cabernet sauvignon and hacienda-style tasting rooms.

Essential Santiago

How to do Santiago in 3 days

Opulent wineries, striking architecture, and mountainous day trips
Read on

Where to find the best views in Santiago

Whenever my plane is about to land in Santiago, I remember the views. I press my nose to the glass to take in the peaks of the Andes Mountains during the day or the lights of the city’s skyscrapers at night. But there are plenty of equally stunning scenes once you’re on the ground. From hillside temples to mountaintop observatories, here are my top picks.
Live More, Travel More, Sao Paulo, SP
  • Templo Bahá'í
    782
    When I’m exploring Santiago, I always save some time to relax and reconnect with the world at the Bahá'í Temple. About 10 miles from downtown, this spot in the foothills of the Andes has spectacular views of Chile's capital. On the edge of a reflecting pool, the temple is shaped like a delicate flower with nine petals ready to blossom. Welcoming people of all beliefs, I find it a place of remarkable beauty and tranquility.
  • Cerro San Cristobal
    18,577
    One of the highest points in the city, Cerro San Cristóbal is part of the vast Parque Metropolitano de Santiago. At the summit is a gleaming white statue of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción. You can access the top with a 45-minute hike, by joining a bike tour, by taking a funicular, or—my favourite way—by zipping up in a cable car. Head up after it rains for the clearest skies.
  • Astronomical Observatory Cielos Chilenos
    16
    It's time to turn your perspective upside down. Chile offers incredible stargazing opportunities, and you don't need to travel too far from Santiago to experience them. Join a stargazing tour to Cielos Chilenos, a private observatory where an astronomer explains why the skies here are ideal for observing the heavens and lets you take a closer look at planets, moons, and constellations through the telescopes.
  • Sky Costanera
    15,363
    The viewing platform on top of South America's tallest building absolutely belongs on this list. But I’m not adding it for the views alone. Head here just before sunset on a Thursday or Friday for what they call the "wine sessions." As you watch the sun painting the sky fiery hues, you can sip on wines from local vineyards and listen to live music.
  • Giratorio Restaurant
    9,241
    In less than an hour and a half, the sky-high Giratorio Restaurant does a 360-degree rotation, letting you admire the entire city skyline and the distant mountains without having to leave your table. The expertly prepared seafood and top-notch Chilean wines may make you forget to look up every now and then. I recommend that you make a booking in the evening, when the twinkling lights of the city start to appear.
  • Cerro Santa Lucia
    19,716
    Reward yourself with a mote con huesillo—a popular Chilean drink made with dried peaches and bits of husked wheat—once you climb up cobblestone stairways to the top of this hill in the centre of Santiago. The view of the city skyline and the mountains in the distance are spectacular all year, but I love them most in winter when they are capped with snow.