Santiago Chile - Massive, Modern, Uncommon
Updated: Mar 14
We thought we had some idea of what to expect when we landed in Santiago and it turns out that we were only partially right. We chose to stay near the old centre because we were most interested in the older architecture and culture that the centre of every city offers. The main square, the Plaza de Armas is the main attraction complete with the Cathedral, Royal Court Palace and other historic building.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago and interior. It is very beautiful and not to be missed.
The Palacio Arzobispal de Santiago and Central Post Office buildings.
The rest of the downtown is filled with modern skyscrapers and government buildings built in classic European architectural styles along with magnificent monuments and fountains.
We found that the further we wandered from the main centre, the more interesting and eclectic Santiago became. One of the highlights was watching a number of artists decorate the Mapocho River retaining walls.
Sooner of later you will find yourself going up San Cristobal Hill. It is the highest point near the centre of the city topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary that can be seen from everywhere in the city. Likewise, when you get to the top of the hill, you get a spectacular view of the entire city and surrounding snow capped mountains. Take the historic funicular to the top. The views are incredible. From that vantage, you get an idea of just how large the city is. The photo below is only about 90 degrees of a skyline that is much the same over the full 360 degrees.
The last attraction that we thoroughly enjoyed was a visit to the Mercado Central which has largely been converted to a seafood restaurant space. The food was delicious and the setting ideal for such a meal.