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Santiago is a cultural treasure trove and expats will be in a prime position to enjoy countless attractions. Although it is a metropolis through and through, it is nonetheless home to abundant natural beauty. There are plenty of things to see and do for expat families and the young solo adventurer alike.
Expats will find museums and galleries around almost every corner in the city. Chile’s rich history and cultural heritage provide ample fascinating material for expats to get lost in. Santiago is also home to some beautiful architecture, and there are innumerable plazas and statues in areas throughout the city.
The beautiful Andes Mountains are just a short trip away where expats can go skiing, soak in the mountain’s natural hot springs and camp out in this famous mountain range.
Attractions in Santiago
For breathtaking views of the Santiago cityscape, there are few better vantage points than the 62-storey-tall Gran Torre Santiago. Part of the city’s landmark in Costanera Center, the tower is the tallest building in Latin America. The observation deck offers stunning panoramic views of the city.
La Chascona Casa Museo
Curious expats can get a glimpse into the life of one of Chile’s most beloved poets, Pablo Neruda, at his home in Santiago. Inspired by his secret lover, the house has an air of mystery and contains beautiful artwork from all around the world. Included in the entry price is an informative audio tour full of fascinating facts about Neruda.
Museum of Memory and Human Rights
A sobering experience, this museum is dedicated to all who suffered human rights violations under Chile’s military regime in the late 20th century. The museum holds historical oral and written testimonies, photos, exhibitions and public artwork. Visitors can take a tour and listen to audio guides for a full understanding.
Santiago Metropolitan Park
At over 700 hectares, the Santiago Metropolitan Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world, making it a perfect place to spend the day exploring. The park is packed with attractions including pools, cable cars and a botanical garden, as well as the Chilean National Zoo. The popular San Cristóbal Hill is also a part of the park and at its summit visitors can view Santiago’s iconic statue of the Virgin Mary up close.
The whole family will find delight at Santiago’s amusement park, Fantasialandia, which is suited to all ages. Although relatively compact in size, Fantasialandia has dozens of rides to choose from – each of which is rated as “thrilling”, “gentle” or “child rides”. The ticket price is considered to be good value for money and the park is a manageable size so a full day is more than enough time to go on each ride.
One of Santiago’s many green spaces, Parque Araucano is a massive park perfect for a peaceful afternoon out. Parents can relax and enjoy the view of the Andes while their children play in one of the many playgrounds. Conveniently, the park is just across the road from Parque Arauco Mall should visitors be in the mood for a bit of retail therapy.
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
A wide range of artefacts can be seen at this museum, some dating from up to 10,000 years ago. This huge collection of pre-Columbian art is grouped by six distinct cultural areas: Mesoamerica, Caribbean, Amazonian, Central Andes, Southern Andes and the Intermediate Area (consisting of Columbia and Ecuador). Apart from its permanent exhibitions the museum also has exciting temporary exhibitions, so there is often something new to be found in the museum even for those who have visited before.
Museo Interactivo Mirador
Although technically a museum, the Museo Interactivo Mirador goes far beyond anything a traditional museum can offer. Visitors are free to touch, push or even climb on the displays and exhibits. Children will love this museum as it gives them plenty to see and do, while adults (especially the young at heart) will also enjoy this novel interactive experience. Highlights include the bubble area and the earthquake room.
►Lifestyle in Santiago is an essential guide for expats who want to make the most of their time in the capital
►Learn about the city's best events on our What's On in Santiago page
"I find there is lots of beauty in unexpected places. The city has a unique look, with artwork painted on most walls, old colonial style buildings mixed with German and English architecture. It’s an interesting place." Vanessa shared some things she liked to see in Santiago, read more in her expat interview.
"I love the people, the surrounding landscapes, the mountains and the sunshine." Read more in Nina's interview.
Are you an expat living in Santiago?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Santiago. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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