24 Hours in Santiago: Chile's Largest City

Depending on where you came from, getting to Santiago, Chile must have been quite the journey! Fear not, Santiago is Chile’s capital and largest city, with lots to offer! Although one day is not ideal to see all of Santiago, it is enough to squeeze in time to see the city’s parks and amazing scenery. With many activities to do and places to see, we’ve compiled a list of the best Chile has to offer, from restaurants to places, all within 24 hours!

Parque Quinta Normal

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In Santiago, there are several massive parks, but the beautiful scenery of Quinta Normal is most people’s favorite. It is in the middle of the city, so you see a rush of people every day. Most importantly, the Quinta is a part of the working-class neighbourhood fittingly named Quinta Normal. People who regularly visit this park represent the average Chilean lifestyle. So, if you wanted to see what an average Santiago family looks like, this is the best place to visit!

Many of Santiago’s museums are in the heart of Quinta as well. There is a train museum, a history museum, and a science and technological museum. If you’re an avid fan of these genres, I would highly recommend visiting these museums! Quinta also has a public swimming pool, a football field and other smaller fields for picnics. If you love walking around, these are great places to explore. 

Lunch at Peluqueria Francesa

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This restaurant is located in a very old historical building, built in 1925. If you’re a fan of history, its lifespan is impressive! Its décor is filled with antiques and anything hanging on the wall is for sale. There is also a barbershop inside, so if the gentlemen need a fresh shave, this restaurant is perfect for you. If those features weren’t cool enough for you, there is a bodega that’s there too! It is not always open to the public, so you have to ask to see it.
The food is delicious, as they serve traditional French dishes. Instead of having a “happy hour”, Peluquería Francesa offers “happy sour.” This means that any of their “sour” drinks are half price (approximately $3 USD). Chile’s national drink, the “pisco sour” is a must-try when visiting Santiago! If all that is still not enough for you, the menus even feature maps of the Yungay neighbourhood and you’re welcome to take one with you. 😊

Afternoon Adventure: Museo de la Memoria (Memory Museum) 

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This is Santiago’s new museum and the buildings are gorgeous! The style is modern (hence the name 😉) and that is not very typical of Chile. This particular museum is fascinating compared to the rest because it is a dictatorship museum. The structural beams are displayed on the outside, which is reflective of all the Chileans who were affected by Pinochet’s dictatorship. It’s also fascinating because this is recent history. Inside the museum, there are videos, pictures and interactive displays that are in English and Spanish. There is a lot to see, so try to allot half a day, which will get you through the basics. 

Evening Excursion: Barrio Yungay

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Remember that map you took from La Peluquería? You’re going to need it when you’re walking around Barrio Yungay and exploring. Using the map, you’ll see some historical statues, churches, schools and plazas. The surrounding architecture is stunning and although the neighbourhood is somewhat rough around the edges, it is definitely worth the visit. Not to mention, it is a photographer’s dream (you’ll know when you see it 😉)! 

Dinner at Bario Brasil 

It’s time to eat dinner because all that walking has made you hungry! Plaza Brasil has many restaurants and bars. It’s great for anyone looking for a fun night out in the town and it's fairly affordable, unlike the other touristy locations in Santiago. 

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What an adventure right? You have now explored most of Santiago’s neighbourhood and parks, learned about its rich history and ate some delicious Chilean food. Having an itinerary or map is always useful to make your lives wandering around the city a bit easier. And if you forget to make one, you can read this blog however many times you need to get familiarized with the lovely places Santiago has to offer. Safe travels exploring Santiago, Chile! 😊