Santiago Central Market (Mercado Central de Santiago) Tours and Activities
The interior, wrought-iron construction of the Mercado Central looks like it could contain a greenhouse, but with the masonry outside, this building houses local eateries, a few fruit and vegetable stands, the occasional roaming musician, and just a sampling of souvenir stands, though in total there are more than 200 locales. The building dates back to 1872, and is consistently named as a must-see in Santiago. In fact, in 2012, National Geographic named it as the 5th best market in the world.
Due to its central location, and the fact that it is often visited by tourists, it has also become a hub for pickup and drop off for a number of different tour services.
Inside the market, there are several restaurants serving local specialties, which mainly revolve around fish. There is the larger-than-life centolla or king crab, which the waiter cracks for you as you wait, or flavorful (raw) sea urchins served with plenty of onion, cilantro, lemon juice and olive oil. Or if you want something hearty, try anything called a budín or chupe, which will be thick, creamy soups and casseroles served in the typical greda (terra cotta) dish. If you’re feeling more austere, try grilled fish with a salad, but don’t pass up on what is probably Chile’s favorite appetizer, machas a la parmesana, which are razor clams served au gratin.
Tours and Activities to Experience Santiago Central Market (Mercado Central de Santiago)
Santiago Like a Local: Private Walking Tour with Coffee, Markets, Street Food and San Cristobal Hill
- Santo Domingo Church (Iglesia de Santo Domingo)
- National Museum of Natural History (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural)
- Central Post Office
- Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)
- La Vega Central Market
- Red House (Casa Colorada)
- Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino)
- Palacio de Bellas Artes
- Santa Lucia Hill (Cerro Santa Lucia)
- Plaza de la Constitucion
- Forestal Park (Parque Forestal)
- Barrio Lastarria
- Chilean National Library (Biblioteca Nacional de Chile)
- La Moneda Palace (Palacio de la Moneda)
- San Cristobal Hill (Cerro San Cristobal)