My whole trip the general consensus from other travelers has been to visit Santiago as quickly as possible. It’s for this reason I only allowed two days in Chile’s capital. But 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’s all the things to do in Santiago Chile when you only have 48 hours.
Day 1 – morning | human rights museum
Get up bright and early and hopefully you can score a filling free breakfast at your hostel. (I stayed at La Chimba Hostel 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.
QUICK FACTS: COST: Entry is free but it’s well worth investing $3USD for an English audio guide as most of the signage is in Spanish | TIME NEEDED: 2+ hours | VERDICT: Must-do
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 cover the main attractions of the city from the Plaza de Armas to the Bellavista neighbourhood. They even include a stop for some pisco sours and empanadas.
QUICK FACTS: COST: Whatever you want to tip | TIME NEEDED: 4+ hours | VERDICT: Must-do
DAY 1 night | La chimba pub crawl
The streets around the La Chimba Hostel 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 night life 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.
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 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.
QUICK FACTS: COST: Free | TIME NEEDED: 2+ hours | VERDICT: Great for some exercise and views.
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