My whole trip the general consensus from other travelers has been to visit Santiago as quickly as possible. If I had a dollar for everytime someone said ‘get in and get out’ I’d be able to travel for another year. So It’s for this reason I only allowed two days in Chile’s capital. But there are actually a tonne of fun things to do in Santiago Chile. And had I known how much I would love it I would have spent at least 4 days here. Calling all those on a tight time frame! From museums to hikes, here are all the best things to do in Santiago de Chile when you only have 48 hours.
Day 1 – morning | human rights museum
If you’re wondering what to do in Santiago Chile for a day the Human Rights Museum should be at the top of your list. Get up bright and early and hopefully you can score a filling free breakfast at your hostel. (I stayed at La Chimba Hostel Santiago in the Bellavista neighbourhood and would highly recommend it.) Then jump on the Metro to Quinta Normal Station and head to the Human Rights Museum (Museo de la Memoria los Derechos in Spanish). It’s a fascinating and chilling look at the Pinochet dictatorship and the human rights violations of over 40,000 Chilean citizens from 1973 – 1990. I spent about 4 hours here wandering around the exhibitions taking in this very dark part of chile’s history. It’s definitely one of the best attractions in Santiago Chile.
QUICK FACTS: COST: Entry is free but it’s well worth investing $3 USD for an English audio guide as most of the signage is in Spanish | TIME NEEDED: 2+ hours
day 1 – afternoon | walking tour
There are many companies offering walking tours in Santiago, but the team at Freetour.com came highly recommended. It’s rather a long tour – 4 hours in total, but thoroughly cover what to do in Santiago Chile – from the Plaza de Armas to the Bellavista neighbourhood. They even include a stop for some pisco sours and empanadas. Does it get any better?
QUICK FACTS: COST: Whatever you want to tip | TIME NEEDED: 4+ hours | VERDICT: Must-do
DAY 1 night | La chimba pub crawl santiago
The streets around the La Chimba Hostel Santiago in the funky Suburb of Bellavista are teeming with people every night. And every Friday and Wednesday night the crew at La Chimba throw an awesome pub crawl which takes you to numerous pubs and clubs all within 4 blocks of the hostel. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of Santiago’s awesome nightlife and meet people if you’re a solo traveller.
QUICK FACTS: COST: $15USD | TIME NEEDED: 2+ hours | VERDICT: Check it out if you’re up for a party
Day 2 morning | Villa Grimaldi
Treat yo’ self to a sleep in today, you’ll need it for the journey out to Villa Grimaldi. In the Pinochet Dictatorship, this was a place of imprisonment, torture, and death. However today the site has been reclaimed as a memorial. It’s a little dark and gloomy, however an interesting visit from a historical perspective and a reminder that these atrocities should never happen again. This is definitely one of the main Santiago Chile points of interest
QUICK FACTS: COST: Free | TIME NEEDED: 1+ hours | VERDICT: A must-do for history buffs
Day 2 afternoon | sunset at san Cristobal hill
The medium-level hike up San Cristobal Hill while not difficult is super rewarding and should be on the top of your list of top things to do in Santiago Chile. At the top you’re greeted by a large statue of Mary and an area where the locals pray, not to mention stunning views. A trip at sunset to overlook Santiago as it starts winding up for the evening is well worth it. And is one of the top things to see in Santiago Chile.
QUICK FACTS: COST: Free | TIME NEEDED: 2+ hours | VERDICT: Great for some exercise and views.
On the hunt for more to do while you’re here? Check out these 9 unforgettable day trips from Santiago, Chile.
WHERE TO STAY in santiago chile: I stayed in the LA CHIMBA HOSTEL SANTIAGO which is in the cool suburb of bella vista which is perfect access for all the best things to do in santiago chile. I’d really recommend this hostel. It’s super social, the dorms are nice and comfy. There’s a netflix room and heaps of spots for chilling. And they run a mean pub craw. To check the latest rates with booking.com click HERE.
DAILY BUDGET: Chile is definitely more expensive than other countries in South America like Bolivia and Peru. However as most of the things to do in santiago chile are either free or a donation i got away with spending about $35 USD per day.
how to get to santiago chile: internal flights in chile are incredibly cheap. Therefore I’d recommend flying with SKY AIRLINES. You can get a one-way flight to most places if you plan in advance. And as chile is a really long country the bus rides are a killer. Plus when you only have 48 hours in santiago chile you don’t want to be wasting time on a bus.
all over the cool things to do in santiago chile? Check these out!
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