Santiago, the cosmopolitan capital of Chile, is often overlooked in favor of its flashier neighbor, Buenos Aires, but for no good reason; Santiago boasts fine wines, vibrant nightlife, and colorful neighborhoods that are made for exploring. Here’s how to spend one day in Santiago.
Morning: City Sightseeing
Kickstart your time in Santiago on a shared or private sightseeing tour; bus tours are ideal for time-pressed travelers as they cover more landmarks—such as the Plaza de Armas, Moneda Palace, and San Cristobal Hill—in less time, and provide crucial historical context. If you want to delve deeper into local life, embark on a walking tour that covers several neighborhoods and takes you to food markets frequented by locals. Alternatively, taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour has the added benefit of allowing you to set your own itinerary and pace.
Afternoon: Go Wine Tasting
Chile is renowned for its wine and, lucky for time-pressed travelers, some of the country’s best wineries are within easy reach of Santiago. Visiting Concha y Toro, Santa Rita, or Undurraga vineyards is possible on an afternoon; tours typically pick you up from your hotel around lunchtime and tend to include a winery tour, insight into history and production processes, a visit to the wine cellars, and a glass or three of wine, of course.
Night: Immerse Yourself in the Nightlife
Bellavista is one of Santiago’s most vibrant nightlife districts but, for new arrivals, it’s not always easy to pick the best places to drink, dance, and dine. Joining a nightlife tour gives you the inside scoop on the Bellavista district and saves you hours of prior research. Small-group tours typically cover several bars and nightclubs, and include popular drinks and bar snacks such as piscolas (pisco and cola) and sopaipillas con pebre (crunchy corn snacks). Some tours, which prove ideal for solo travelers, even include a salsa lesson.