The city is one of the most clearly laid out cities in Latin America and although it is a large city it almost has the character of a small Province which is great if you travel with a hire car. It has few huge tower blocks, relatively few multi-storey buildings, and narrow streets in the inner city- let’s not forget that more than 400 million people live in Santiago. The many suburban estates of Santiago consist of wide avenues and smart shopping streets- only in the centre of the city will you find the usual hurly-burly of city life. The inhabitants of Chile are extremely friendly and receptive to visitors so it could happen that after engaging in polite conversation you could be invited to a barbeque with the family!
Leave the hire car behind and enjoy the outdoors in Santiago de Chile
The centre of life in Santiago is the Plaza de Armas in the old centre of the city which can be easily reached in your car hire. Here, there are beautiful gardens with indigenous trees that originate from the 1930’s and have been planted to encircle a white marble monument. The Plaza is constantly full of life. Singers, preachers, portrait painters, shoe polishers, sweet stands and photographers gather there to attract attention. On Sunday morning and Thursday afternoon you can listen to the different bands in the Pavilion located on the south side of the Plaza de Armas. Or you can simply enjoy the fresh, green, relaxed atmosphere with the locals on one of the benches. From here you also have an excellent view of the cathedral- the pastel coloured building. There is also the Palacio de la Real Audiencia where you can find the Museum of National History- Museo Historico Nacional. In the museum you will find that many of the treasures of national history are exhibited.
Jump in the hire car and grab a bite to eat in Santiago de Chile
Should you be overcome with hunger in the Plaza de Armes, its worth taking a trip to the Mercado Central that can be reached easily with car hire - take the Paseo Ahumada off the Calle Puente in a northerly direction. Together with La Ferie, also on the river Mapocho form part of the main central market. Already, the iron construction of the existing building that houses the central market is worth seeing. In the market hall, colour dominates. You will find a large choice of fruit and seafood. Next to the hall you will find a beautiful white-washed building that is the second train station in Santiago- Estacion Mapocho, though its business has been closed down.