Cultural Life of Santiago: Top Highlights
Santiago, the capital city of Chile is the perfect choice for those who love seeing the perfect blend of modern infrastructure and historical sites. Beautifully designed skyscrapers alongside timeless structures are abundant in the place. The capital city is also packed with breathtaking cultural sites, making it a great place to visit by those eager to get to learn about Chile’s much-celebrated architecture and colorful history.
Tourists have the option to create their itinerary and jump from one site to another in Santiago. Individuals who would like to save time and value comfort can opt to go on a guided tour. Thankfully, there are enterprises like the online travel agency MustGo offering these carefully planned trips.
Wondering where to go on your trip to Santiago? Here are some highlights of this wonderful city.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts is a top choice for those who want a taste of Chilean arts. Located in Forest Park near the Forest Inn, this museum showcases 3000 pieces of artistic heritage. If you fancy some of the highly regarded Chilean sculpture or perhaps a collection of national paintings, then the Museum of Fine Arts should be on your list of spots to visit.
Cerro Santa Lucia
If you want an outdoor adventure and panoramic views, then head to Cerro Santa Lucia. Located downtown Santiago, this gorgeous park is built along the hillside, which allows visitors to see the scenic view of the city and the snow-capped mountain range of Andes.
Make sure to dress in your most comfortable shoes and outfit as visitors will have to navigate through winding tops to reach the top. Being mindful of the steps taken will be handy as some trails lead to a dead-end, requiring visitors to retrace their steps.
The climb will be worthwhile as you will see quirky-looking buildings resembling castles and statues along the way. A small chapel is also located near the peak. If you visit during the middle of the day, then you can expect to hear the sounds of a cannon being fired. Don’t worry about getting thirsty or hungry, there are stalls around the hill selling refreshments and food.
La Moneda Presidential Palace and Centro Cultural
The presidential offices are currently housed in the Palacio De La Moneda located in the center of Santiago City. The structure is hard to miss with its striking architecture. La Moneda, as it is more popularly referred, is a historic place as it was the site of the 1973 military coup led by General Pinochet. It is where Chile President Salvatore Allende took his own life rather than be captured alive by the military.
La Moneda means money or coin, and the place was named as such as it used to be the national mint. It was later converted as the President’s residence.
There are free tours available for this cultural site if one submits an application weeks before the date of the visit. The tour delves into the inner working of the Palace.
After visiting La Moneda, head to Plaza de la Ciudadania, the city’s Centro Cultural. It regularly holds a variety of events such as theatre productions, art exhibitions, and film screenings. Visitors also have the option of just visiting the plaza to gaze at its beautiful architecture.
Those who would like to see the formal ceremony of changing of guards can visit during odd days of February, March, June, July, September, and October. The event happens on even days of January, April, May, August, November, and December. The changing of the guards is a 30-minute ceremony that happens at 11 am on weekends and 10 am on weekdays.
Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas is the city’s central square where one can see street performers doing stand-up comedy, playing music or doing clown routines. Visitors will also enjoy the old European architecture of the City Hall, main post office or Correo Central and Metropolitan Cathedral as these are the overlook of the plaza.
There are also statues, dotted palm trees and fountains adorning the area. Visitors can also take a break by sitting outside the many restaurants or cafes near the plaza.
Museum of Memory and Human Rights
The museum is a contemporary one that pays tribute to the thousands of Chilean victims during the dark times under Pinochet. An estimated 40,000 individuals mysteriously disappeared and believed to be imprisoned and tortured in 1973 to 1990 during the brutal military era. The structure is a visual treat in itself with its copper color and eye-catching green glass.
The museum is home to different moving film exhibitions, assorted artifacts, and photos showcasing the atrocities suffered by the Chilean people. It may not be a “feel good” tourist spot but it’s a great place to understand the history of the country. The museum was built as a reminder that the dark period should never happen again.
Wines produced in Chile are some of the most regarded wines around the world. The city of Santiago, fortunately, is surrounded by a good number of renowned wineries of the country including the highly popular Concha y Toro.
If you fancy a walk around and a quick history of the winery, then this tour is for you. Visitors will also learn about how grapes are grown. The tour is not complete without a visit to the cellar and the most sought-after activity in a wine tour, the tasting session.
The tours vary as one has the option to go around the wineries in bicycles or horses, allowing visitors to see more than a single winery.
Chile is one of the culturally rich countries in South America and Santiago is a great place to experience the many cultural sites of the country. Visitors who are eager for some impressive architecture, colorful history, or arts, to name a few will surely enjoy a few days’ visits in this city.
Richard Cole is a Marketing and Content Manager at MustGo.com and has been working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2002. He writes about marketing, lifestyle, travel and everything else in between. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.