Nestled alongside the breathtaking Andes mountains to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west, Santiago has been traditionally overlooked as a holiday destination in favour of neighbouring South American cities. But with an exploding food scene and vibrant culture, it's worth exploring the city for at least a day: Here's how to spend 24 hours in the Chilean capital.
8 AM: Coffee at La Vega Market
La Vega is the one-stop shop for Santiguan locals looking to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. About 2,500 traders sell their wares in the huge marketplace and it's the perfect spot to fuel up before a big day of exploration.
Café Altura is said to serve the best coffee in Santiago, so order a cup of coffee - or 'cortado' - while you watch the hustle and bustle unfold around you.
Once you've got your caffeine fix, get yourself a plate of scrambled eggs served with traditional Chilean 'marraqueta' or 'hallulla' breads from one of the traders, before exploring the marketplace's vast array of culinary delights.
11 AM: Ride the funicular to Cerro San Cristóbal
While Cerro San Cristóbal isn't exactly one of Santiago's hidden gems, regularly topping many of the city's 'must-see' lists, it's gained its reputation for good reason. This big hill in the middle of the city affords possibly the best panoramic views of Santiago.
Try and visit on a clear day, or just after it's rained, to experience clear views over to the majestic Andes.
If you're not up for the steep 45-minute hike up the hill, you can reach Cerro San Cristóbal via the city's iconic funicular, which has operated since 1925 and been declared a National Monument.
2:30 PM: Lunch at Fuente Alemana
You'll find sandwiches the size of your head at Fuente Alemana and a variety of traditional Chilean fillings on offer.
This famous sandwich shop has been serving hungry locals and tourists for 50 years and there's a zero per cent chance of leaving hungry.
4:00 PM: Walk off lunch in Barrio Lastarria
Lastarria, formerly known as La Cañada, was the first neighbourhood founded in the city of Santiago. Its historical and cultural surroundings emerge from a walk through Parque Forestal, National Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Lucia Hill and the city's Municipal Theatre.
The barrio's variety of restaurants, pubs and independent design shops make the area one the most attractive and popular in the city.
5.30 PM: Pisco sours at Chipe Libre
The jury is out on whether Peru or Chile is responsible for producing the best pisco (the type of brandy traditionally used in pisco sour cocktails).
7:00 PM: Dinner at Boragó
Boragó is celebrated for its contemporary Chilean cuisine, which fuses chef Rodolfo Guzmán’s passion for foraging with his innovative cooking techniques. This unique approach has given the restaurant the title of the fourth best restaurant in Latin America.
Chef Rodolfo's mission is to showcase little-known native Chilean ingredients on his menu and diners can expect a range of unusual indigenous foods they're likely to have never tried before. You'll need to book well in advance, as the critically-acclaimed restaurant is regularly booked-out.
Stay: The Singular Hotel
Sitting in the heart of Santiago’s cultural district of Lastarria, The Singular is a brand new 62-room hotel designed to reflect the historic elements and charm of the city's original European style.
The hotel features a full spa and fitness facilities, a fine-dining restaurant and an outdoor rooftop pool.
After a busy day, we recommend ordering breakfast in bed the next morning and enjoying it from the comfort of your plush hotel room.