24 Hours in Santiago, Chile

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.

View from the Giratorio Restaurant, Santiago, Chile, South America, Taken by Diann Corbett, 11/2015.
View from the Giratorio Restaurant, Santiago, Chile, South America, Taken by Diann Corbett, 11/2015.

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.

French-Style Architecture, National Museum of Art, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
French-Style Architecture, National Museum of Art, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Post Office, French-style Architecture in Santiago’s Plaza de Armas, taken 10/2014 by Diann Corbett
Post Office, French-style Architecture in Santiago’s Plaza de Armas, taken 10/2014 by Diann Corbett
French Style Architecture, Santiago Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
French Style Architecture, Santiago Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.

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.

Mercado Central in Santiago, Chile with Llama Photo Opp, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Mercado Central in Santiago, Chile with Llama Photo Opp, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Church of San Francisco, Oldest Building in Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Church of San Francisco, Oldest Building in Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.

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.

Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Castle on Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.
Castle-Like Entrance on Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile, 10/2014, taken by Diann Corbett.

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