Santiago In 48 Hours!
We had a limited amount of time in Chile’s capital city but managed to cram in quite a lot in just 2 days. We stayed in the ‘El Centro’ area close to Plaza de Armas, the main square, so our experiences focus heavily on this particular area. From everything we had read in the guide books about Santiago, the two main things we really wanted to do was visit the famous fish market, Mercado Central, and eat in a traditional family-run Chilean restaurant, so these were our top priority.
We found Santiago to be a bustling, vibrant city with friendly Chileans, affordable food and a good range of shops. We were a little disappointed that many of the parks and plazas on our walking tour were closed due to renovation, but this shows a city thinking about the future, moving forward and investing in tourism.
With only two days to wander around Santiago’s sights our list here is by no means exhaustive, but everything we have included is do-able on a short time scale. So in no particular order here is our ‘Santiago Top Ten List’!
1. Wander around the busy Mercado Central, Santiago’s popular Fish Market & sample a seafood extravaganza.
2. Tap into your culinary side & see what’s on offer at Chile’s largest Fruit & Vegetable Market.
3. Enjoy the sweet aromas from the beautiful bouquets at the Flower Market.
4. Sit down in a local restaurant and fill up on a ‘Chorillana’ – a giant plate of chips, egg, onion, steak and sausage.
5. Appreciate the work of local artists on display at Plaza de Armas where you can buy your favourites and have your portrait painted.
6. Watch a variety of street entertainment along the pedestrian street Ahumada, continuing to Plaza de Armas.
7. Take some respite from the city chaos at Cerro Santa Lucia, with fountains and curving staircases that lead to the summit for panoramic views of the city.
8. For a quirky take on things, visit the Centro Cultural La Moneda (Modern Art Display) at Palacio de la Moneda.
9. Do like the locals do – Savour a traditional ice-cream from one of the many parlours dotted around the city.
10. Take a free walking tour with a local guide to find out more about the history and culture of Santiago and take snaps of important city sites.
Oops!!! We have since learned that a definite ‘must do’ experience in Santiago is to try an ‘Earthquake’, a popular local alcoholic drink made with dessert wine, ice-cream and a selected spirit.
Since we love sampling local drinks, (hehe) we’ll make sure this is first on our list if we return to Chile in the future!
Can you recommend anything else that we’ve missed?