|Santiago is a modern city, though it hasn’t lost its appeal as an attractive destination with its mixture of architectural styles. There is much here to keep a visitor occupied!
Starting with Chile’s popular export, wine; connoisseurs and beginners alike are bound to enjoy a visit to one of the country’s largest wine producers, Concha y Toro, which is easily accessible from the centre of the city. Here you can go wine tasting and sample a number of the excellent Chilean wines after a tour of the winery.
There are a variety of buildings open to the public with tours usually offered in either English or Spanish. The Presidential Palace (La Moneda Palace) for example offers free one hour long tours, though do note that these have to be booked 15 days in advance. Another building of interest is La Chascona which was one of three homes of famous poet Pablo Neruda. The name of the house will bring a smile to visitor’s faces – La Chascona means ‘tangle-haired woman’ and was named after his third wife! The house itself features lots of interesting artefacts and art which was collected by Neruda over the years.
Plaza De Armas is Santiago’s main plaza where you’ll find the national cathedral and is a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by, though the better place to do this is in one of Santiago’s many public parks. Parque Metropolitano, for example, is a very large park and features an amazing view over the city and to the Andes on a clear day from the summit which can be reached by funicular or cable car, or for those who like to exercise whilst on holiday, a long hike! This park also features a botanical garden, a zoo and two swimming pools so definitely has enough to keep you occupied for a whole day or more.
For a more cultural or historical experience of Santiago, try one of the many museums here in the city. There are a number art of art museums including the Contemporary Art Museum of Santiago and the Bellas Artes museum. For history try the National History Museum (Museo Historico Nacional) or Santiago Museum of Archaeology (Museo Arqueologico de Santiago).
Continuing with the cultural theme, the imposing Municipal Theatre of Santiago (Teatro Municipal) is an historic theatre. Try to catch a performance here, which often includes opera or dance of some description.
Finally, Santiago has an excellent jazz scene, so even if jazz is not normally your taste of music, try one of the jazz clubs of which there are several around the city. You may find yourself converted!