You are currently viewing 6 spots you can’t miss in Santiago, Chile

Santiago, the capital and most populous metropolitan area of Chile, is a beautiful destination with plenty of unique experiences. Here are some useful tips and plenty of activity ideas for your next trip to this awesome South American destination!

Like I told you in my article on Chile’s top 6 destinations, thanks to some new ULCC (ultra low-cost carriers) routes, it’s becoming more and more common to see great deals from Canada to Chile popping up. 

It’s good news as there is so much to discover in this part of the world, even if as a Brazilian, I’m biased towards the other side of the continent. Keep an eye on Flytrippers’ deal page to spot flights to Santiago for as low as $400 roundtrip. 

Here are some useful tips if you decide to visit this incredible city!


Basics to know about Santiago

Chile is not affordable like Colombia and its nice hotels for $13 a night, a country where you can fly to for even less too. It’s a country that’s more developed — and therefore more expensive obviously — than most in South America.

As mentioned before, Chile has a unique location that allows it to have a little bit of everything, and its capital city clearly reflects that!

Santiago location (image credit: Google maps)


Santiago de Chile has almost 7 million inhabitants in its metro area, a bit more than Toronto.

The city sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Coast, meaning its landscapes are a mix of sceneries. The surrounding area makes the city even more exceptional and beautiful. 

santiago scenery
Santiago scenery (photo credit: Francisco Kemeny)


Santiago’s central location is also a key factor for exploring many places in Chile. 

Plus, the aforementioned good deals to Chile are always for flights to Santiago Airport (SCL) since that’s Chile’s busiest, so the city is almost sure to be on your Chile itinerary anyway. Might as well make the most of it!


6 places you can’t miss in Santiago

Now, onto some places you absolutely can’t miss when visiting Santiago.


Costanera Center

Costanera Center skyscraper
Costanera Center skyscraper (photo credit: Agustín Ljósmyndun)


You can fully appreciate Santiago’s beautiful scenery by going to the very top of the Costanera Center, Latin America’s highest building (with a shopping mall at its base too). 

Just keep in mind that you have to pay for an elevator ticket to the top, which costs about $21. 


Cerro de San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Hill)

Santiago view from Cerro de San Cristóbal
Santiago view from Cerro de San Cristóbal (photo credit: Luis Chávez)


You can also enjoy a panoramic view of the city in a more “natural” environment by visiting the Cerro de San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Hill) and riding one of its funiculars

The view is beautiful and the entrance tickets are much cheaper than the Costanera Center, about $2.


Barrio Bellavista 

Patio Bellavista
Patio Bellavista (photo credit: Robert Cutts)


The Barrio Bellavista, or Bellavista district, is a lively and colorful neighborhood renowned for its bohemian atmosphere and artistic flair. 

Nestled at the foot of San Cristóbal Hill, Bellavista is a vibrant hub of restaurants, museums, and street art, that attracts both locals and travelers alike. 

Highlights are the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts and the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM), a cultural center devoted to the diffusion and promotion of performing arts and music throughout the city.

Some nice places to visit while in Bellavista are:

  • Bar Galindo: a traditional Chilean bar experience
  • Patio Bellavista: a shopping center with a great variety of high-quality bars and restaurants


Cerro de Santa Lucia (Santa Lucia Hill)

Cerro de Santa Lucia architecture
Cerro de Santa Lucia architecture (photo credit: Francisco Anzola)


Not too far from Bellavista, Cerro de Santa Lucia is another hill worth a visit.

Long ago, this 69-meter hill was home to the Mapuches, the Indigenous people of Santiago’s region. Later on, Spanish explorers used it to watch over the area and built the city around it. 

Nowadays, it’s a popular place for people to relax and have fun. You can walk around, see the iconic Fuente de Neptuno, and feel the history all around you.


Barrio Lastarria

Barrio Lastarria (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Barrio Lastarria is a neighborhood known for its artsy scene, cozy cafes, and cute shops. 

It’s a great place to take a stroll and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Some nice places to eat while in Lastarria are:

  • Bocanáriz: a lovely place to eat a fancy dinner with some Chilean wine (reservation is recommended)
  • Emporio La Rosa: for some good sandwiches and some of the best Chilean ice cream


La Chascona

La Chascona
La Chascona (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


This one is a bit of a cheat since La Chascona is located in the Barrio Bellavista mentioned above, but I feel like it deserves its own spot in this list.

This building is the former home of the Chilean renowned poet Pablo Neruda. It was named after his wife’s tousled hair. The house has a whimsical architectural style and colorful decor. 

Tickets cost about $11 and the house is open from Monday to Saturday.

Casa de Isla Negra
Casa de Isla Negra (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


On a side note: Neruda actually had 3 houses, all turned into beautiful museums, locally called the “Casas Neruda” (Neruda’s Houses). 

The first one is in Santiago, as mentioned above, but there’s also a second one in Valparaíso.

It’s the third one though, located in Isla Negra — a small comune on the coast of Chile that barely gets any tourist action — that has been recommended to me the most

So, if you are a fan of art and love off-the-beaten-track destinations, Casa de Isla Negra, is definitely a place to add to your bucket list.  


Accommodations in Santiago

When it comes to accommodations, the capital city naturally offers a lot of options

Santiago (photo credit: Francisco Kemeny)


If you are traveling solo, the Origenes Hostel is $14 a night and has a rating of 8.2 on Hostelworld.

If you’re looking for a good low-budget hotel option, the Bella 269 hotel charges only $44 a night ($22 per person with a companion) and has a rating of 8.8 on Trivago.

Also, the Rado Boutique Hostel has been highly recommended as a fairly priced option, with rooms for about $67/night (private room with shared bathroom). It is also very well-located, in the Barrio Bellavista neighborhood.

Finally, if you want free hotels with Marriott points, Chile is not the best place to get more free nights because of the higher costs (Colombia and neighboring Argentina are much better, albeit still not nearly as good as other countries, like many in Southeast Asia).

There is the Four Points by Sheraton Santiago for 11,000 points per night (55,000 points for 5 nights).

You can easily get 71,000 points with the current deal on the increased welcome bonus for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. That would save you $690 (1.3¢ per point) in this example in Chile — and you’d have plenty of points left over.

55,000 points for 5 nights worth $690 (image credit: Marriott)


But those 71,000 points could also save you $3000 or give you 11 free nights in other destinations.

There’s even the Renaissance Santiago Hotel, a 5-star luxury full-service hotel, for only 62,500 points for 5 nights (that are worth $970). That gives you an even better value, specifically 1.5¢ per point! There are cheaper options at the airport (46,500 points for 5 nights), but that’s far from the city itself.

Join Flytrippers on Monday night for a live video about travel rewards if you have questions or want to learn more.


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Fly to Chile and discover the beautiful city of Santiago, the country’s capital. With plenty of museums, gorgeous views, colorful and vibrant neighborhoods, and amazing restaurants, this city has a lot to offer.


What would you like to know about destinations in Santiago, Chile? Tell us in the comments below.


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Featured image: Santiago, Chile (photo credit: Jesus Fernandez)

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Indira R Oliveira

Indira is a remote administrative coordinator at Flytrippers. She is a Brazilian journalist with a passion for traveling - with a lot of experience especially when it comes to traveling on a really low budget. She's been to 30+ countries and is aiming to expand that list soon!

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