Visiting Santiago with families is a great choice. It is a city nestled between the Andes and the Ocean. Its parks in the middle of the city with many kid-friendly activities will make a nice break from sightseeing. Kids won't be bored in this bustling city.
PLACES TO VISIT
There is something for everyone’s taste, but there are some attractions that are a must-see in Santiago.
Plaza de Armas is the historical center of Santigo, but also an important square in Santiago today. Many historical buildings and palm trees surround it. You will see the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the Royal Court Palace here.
Cerro San Cristóbal, the park in the middle of Santiago, is officially called Parque Metropolitano. You can hike or cycle to the top or take a funicular. Besides the Zoo, you can also visit a Japanese-style garden or go swimming in the two outdoor swimming pools in the summer. The most prominent thing is the white 22-meter statue of the Virgin Mary.
The Presidental Palace, La Moneda, a white-wall building in the European architectural style stands in the center of the city. Visitors can watch the spectacular changing of the guard in front of it.
The Municipal Theatre is an attraction that visitors must-see. Its stunning architecture adds a unique atmosphere to the performances at the theatre.
SANTIAGO FOR FAMILIES
Children like moving around, so they will probably enjoy the ride on the Funicular to Cerro San Cristobal. It takes you to the top of the hill (the second highest peak in the city). Half the way you can stop to visit the Santiago Zoo.
The ride on the Teleferico in Parque Metropolitano is a gondola ride across Metropolitan Park. You get a different view of the city from the above. Your kids will love it, watching objects far down under their feet.
Who can resist a good ice-cream? Fortunately, you will come across some Ice Cream and Gelato Stops where you can find high-quality ice-cream. They will make your kids happy if they get bored with sightseeing.
A high-speed elevator will take you to the top of Sky Costanera from where you will have a 360-degree view of the city and the Andes beyond. Kids enjoy both the ride and the hight.
Kids will love KidZania Santiago, an indoor theme park and Turistik Bus Tour Santiago.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
There are so many museums and galleries, but these may be the most worth visiting: Museo Interactivo Mirador, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Museo de la Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos, Casa Museo La Chascona, Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania, National Museum of History, Red House, Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts and others.
It is nice to visit typical tourist attractions in Santiago, but some places take a little effort to find. If you want to explore places off the beaten track, you can visit La Peña del Nano Parra, where you will find a great party with alive Chilean bands. So you take your dancing shoes and have a good time.
Visitors can also explore the fine art Plop! Gallery. It is small but so interesting that it can keep you occupied for hours.
Rincón de las Canallas is a place where you can feel the history. It used to be a well-kept secret and a safe space for people during the dictatorship. Today’s restaurant is not the original one, that was burned down, and this new one was opened.
The La Vega Central Market is a great place to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables directly from local farmers. You can also try some traditional Chilean dishes at a low price and even listen to local music. Be careful not to stay late as the place is not safe in the evening.
In Santiago, visitors can choose among different neighbors to their needs and taste.
Providencia is a residential district, between the center and Las Condes, where students and families live.
Bellavista is excellent for party lovers.
Barrio Brasil is students and artists area located in old Santiago.
Lastarria central is a more expensive district, but perfect for families and couples.
Las Condes is also more expensive and further away from the center, but the metro connects it to the city.
Centro Historico is the area with historical sights, Plaza de Armas.
Barrio Italia is a picturesque area, a charming neighborhood with quiet streets.
WHAT TO EAT
There are many traditional Chilean dishes, but every region has some typical food. You should try Quinoa dishes, the superfood that has been grown in this region since the beginning of time. Patasca is a kind of stew that usually includes potatoes, onions, pork, and beef.
You will also enjoy Sopaipilla (fried pastry made with a pumpkin and flour dough), Chorrillana (char-grilled meat, onions, and cheese melted over the fries), Completos (hotdog with mustard, ketchup, and fried onions, avocado sauce and mayo), and Los pasteles de choclo (meat, potatoes, olives, and vegetables).
Empanadas are traditionally made everywhere in Latin America, but their taste may vary. In Chile, they are made with lamb, beef, and king crab.
For dessert, you can try Mote dehuesillo (a sugary syrup made from boiled, dried peaches and herbs, cooked wheat and a rehydrated peach).
It is good to bring warm clothes, especially in the winter.
Smoking is banned in public places. Alcohol drinks are allowed only in specially designated places.
Local restaurants and cafes welcome tips for good service.
Barging is not unusual in Local markets and private shops, but it is inappropriate in large shopping centers and supermarkets.
Utility supplied voltage is 220V, but you should check and make arrangements about it in advance.
Currency should be exchanged only in specialized financial institutions.
TIME TO VISIT
The spring and fall seasons in Santiago are September to November and March to May. They are the best time to visit the city.
Visitors can get around the city by city buses, the Metro, share taxis with fixed routes taxis.
Santiago has something to offer to each member of the family – tasty food and wines, breathtaking attractions, lavish parks, and a lot of activities. You must put it on your travel list.
We certainly did learn a lot about this special city and had a great time exploring.
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