To the east of Santiago the stunning Andes rise high up over Chile’s capital city of Santiago de Chile and to the west are the beaches and coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
Often overlooked as a travel destination in comparison to the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the tango capital of Buenos Aires or the culinary capital of Lima, Santiago is making all the right sounds to become one of South America’s city treasures.
With a strong national economy, the hustle and bustle of Santiago provides the heartbeat of Chile with the flow of smooth Chilean cuisine and wines, beautiful architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Explore the neighborhoods and attractions in Santiago de Chile to encounter one of South America’s finest cities.
Santiago’s principal thoroughfare, La Alameda holds the city’s historic district with a large concentration of Santiago’s most important buildings along this avenue. Explore Barrio Paris-Londres which has a string of small mansions lining the charming cobbled streets of what is known as one of Santiago’s highlights and Little Europe.
With unique building architecture and design, a walk around the stunning area of Barrio Paris-Londres in the La Alameda district is not to be missed!
One of Chile’s most important buildings, La Moneda, can be found in the La Alameda district. Once housing the royal mint and the location of the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende led by General Pinochet, this unique building and history today, serves as the seat of the President. Finally, Chile’s stock exchange can be found in La Alameda and is housed in a 1917 building with an elegant clock tower. You can experience the powerhouse of Chile’s thriving economy by visiting the old trading floor with its buying and selling circle called rueda and try to recreate the electric atmosphere of the stock exchange.
Plaza de Armas & Metropolitan Cathedral
The main square of Santiago, Plaza de Armas, has been the symbolic heart of Chile since Pedro de Valdivia formed the city in this spot back in 1541. Along the northern side of the square the Palacio de los Gobernadores, Palacio de la Real Audiencia and the Municipalidad de Santiago form an impressive backdrop to this vibrant center.
Filled with street vendors selling religious artifacts, artists painting the stunning architecture as well as street performers entertaining crowds and chess players deep in thought, you won’t be able to stop yourself get sucked in by the life and energy of Plaza de Armas.
To the east of Plaza de Armas is the Metropolitan Cathedral with its stunning baroque interior, arches topped by stained-glass windows and a glistening silver alter making Santiago’s main Cathedral a truly spectacular landmark to enjoy.
This leafy, tree-lined area is one of Santiago’s main art districts with Colonial buildings, art galleries, boutique cafes and restaurants lining the streets. The main attraction is the National Fine Arts Museum which has an excellent collection of Chilean paintings on display as well as other temporary exhibitions of various interests and design. This elegant building has an eye-catching exterior with its glass-domed ceiling that once inside you’ll be able to appreciate the unrestricted sky views from the main hall.
Dating back to 1880, the museum claims to be the oldest art museum in the whole of South America but what is for sure is that it is among the most important and beautiful of the region.
To gain a special insight into Santiago de Chile’s character, strolling around the streets of Parque Forestal and the Bellas Artes area is a must during your visit to this interesting city.
Bellavista & San Cristobal Hill
Lying in the shadow of the San Cristobal Hill, the Bellavista neighborhood is one of the city’s best places to wander and explore. With Pablo Neruda’s hillside home of La Chascona to visit as well as quaint and interesting antique shops, chic art galleries and restaurants cooking up some of the best of Chilean cuisine, Bellavista is a true gem within Santiago.
Bellavista is Santiago’s bohemian quarter and its streets buzz with an energy that can only be enjoyed in Santiago.
Whilst exploring this neighborhood, it is hard to miss the Cerro San Cristobal and the Municipal Park rising up above Bellavista. Get your camera ready as you head up to the top of San Cristobal Hill that will provide you with unrestricted and unrivalled views over the spectacular cityscape of Santiago all the way to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes that provides the exceptional backdrop to Santiago.
Las Condes & Providencia
Chile’s economical stability and success can be seen by heading to Santiago’s nouveau riche residential area of Providencia and the up-and-coming central business district of Las Condes. Although this area does not have the same cultural attraction as the other neighborhoods of Santiago, it is certainly worth a visit in order to see modern-day Chile.
Nicknamed, Sanhattan due to the high rise buildings in this area, you will not be able to miss the star of Chile, the Gran Torre Costanera Tower!
Rising over 900ft. in the air and with 70 floors, this new building which is estimated to be completed this year will become the tallest building in Latin America and the second tallest in the Southern Hemisphere. Offering everything from fine dining, high-rise buildings and the exclusive neighborhood of Providencia, the innovative urban architecture and large metropolitan parks of Las Condes, show off the achievements and development of Santiago and Chile today .
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