Santiago is a surprising blend of South American culture and European style architecture, set in a stunning Andean landscape. Though much can be seen in the country of Chile, if you only have 24 hours, Santiago is your jewel.
Start by going to the Restaurant Giratorio, not for the food, but for the view. It is a revolving restaurant on the top floor which will deliver beautiful views of the city and the Andes Mountains. Have a glass of wine or a pisco sour, Chile’s signature drink made with Chilean brandy from distilled grapes. Order some tapas and drink in the views.
Next walk along the tree lined boulevard by the national art museum, Cardenal José María Caro. The boulevard and the nearby Art Museum is reminiscent of the Garden of the Tuileries in Paris, as much of the architecture of public buildings has a French feel in this city.
While you’re there, make a stop at the Mercado Centrale – Santiago’s food market. Nearby is the oldest building in the city – the Church of San Francisco built in 1622. Downtown, visit the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art for examples of artwork from several areas in South America before the European discovery of the area.
Finally, take a trip out to Santa Lucia Park, built on a hill with a panoramic view of the city. View the beautiful buildings and gardens at the bottom, and climb the trail to the hilltop castle entrance with a view of Santiago. If you have extra time, take a day trip out to one of the wineries such as Cousino Macul or Concha y Toro. Most hotels offer trips through their concierge and Viator offers several hiking and trekking trips to seaside towns, volcanos and glaciers.