6 hours layover in Santiago

Arrived Santiago at 2pm and the next leg of our flight will not leave until midnight, giving us a good 6 hours to tour the city.

Salt lake of Chile seen from the plane

Whenever I visit a new city, my must-do list includes checking out the local market, try a local dish, visit a museum and a jog in the park. This time I didn’t have enough time for a jog in the park but did visit a park, Parque Forestal, in the heart of Santiago City. Here’s my recommendations for Santiago if you ever find yourself with 6 hours of idle time.

Starts with Mercado Central de Santiago. It was opened in 1872 and its intricate cast-iron roof structure was fabricated in Scotland. Inside the market are mainly seafood stalls and food stalls and restaurants. The shops around the market sells cheese, fruits and vegetables. For a late lunch, Clarita Restaurant offers local dishes. Try their Cazuela, the ultimate Chilean comfort food. The version I had is a beef broth with potato, pumpkin, shell pasta, bell pepper and lots of cilantro.

Mercado Central de Santiago is the central market of Santiago de Chile, opened in 1872.
Skip the touristy restaurants in the middle and head for one of the tiny low-key stalls around the market’s periphery.
Mercado Central is primarily a seafood market, with touristy seafood restaurants in the middle section.
Go to one of the local restaurants at the peripheral of the market. This is where you get authentic local food.

 

Cazuela at Mercado Central
Local comfort food Cazuela at Mercado Central. The liquid in the bottle is fresh lemon juice.

After the market, head south to Plaza de Armas, the main square flanked by several museums. Then head east towards Barrio Lastarria, the hip and happening district.

Chess player at the square
Plaza de Armas. Great for people watching.
Tarot reading stalls

Barrio Lastarria is the old historic part of Santiago filled with European style buildings, now a bustling place full of cafes and restaurants. There are street markets selling artisan crafts. Check out Restaurant Bocanariz which is supposed to be very good for wine pairing. Unfortunately didn’t get to try it as they were fully booked.

Barrio Lastarria

Parque Forestal is a long and narrow stretch of park land in the middle of the city. Find a bench for your tired feet to rest or even better lie down on the grass, like the locals do. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is at the edge of the Park, and entrance is free. The museum building itself is spectacular but the exhibition at this time didn’t impress me, except for a bronze sculpture at the entrance hall.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is at the edge of the Park, and entrance is free. The museum building itself is spectacular but the exhibition at this time didn’t impress me, except for a bronze sculpture at the entrance hall.
Tótila Albert Schneider, Chilean sculptor 1892 – 1967
Parque Forestal at Santiago

Restaurant Castillo Forestal, housed inside a castle (tiny one) also inside the park, serves French food. In the summer time, the sun doesn’t set until about 9pm so guests can dine surrounded outdoor surrounded by green foliage.

By this time, my 6 hours is up, time to head back to the airport for my red-eye flight at 1am!

2 thoughts on “6 hours layover in Santiago”

  1. This is awesome, exactly what I was looking for. I have an 8 hour layover in Santiago, and will have great use of your suggestions. Thanks!

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