Over the last couple of years, Plaza de Armas has given a new meaning to the fact of being Chile’s kilometer zero: as the epicenter of the country, this specific area of the capital’s downtown is bursting with an array of people, cultural activities, restaurants, colonial architecture and Santiago de Chile’s history.
Different accents, lifestyles expressions of art and events are gathered within those couple of blocks that are marked by must-see places such as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, the Central Post Office building, National History Museum of Chile and, a bit further, Mercado Central, among many others.
Your options to fully enjoy the most important civic center in Santiago are, on the one hand, to find a comfortable spot around the Plaza and be immersed in one of the many shows provided by street performers, or even pay attention to the peculiar conversations of locals; and, on the other hand, to have a culinary delight in one of the nearby eateries (we suggest El Ají Seco, a Peruvian restaurant that has become a downtown classic, or Donde Augusto, an absolutely essential seafood-based, purely Chilean restaurant within Mercado Central).
However, only 200 meters away from Plaza de Armas visitors can find the real survivor and faithful exponent of the local’s strength when facing tragedies and natural disasters: Templo Santo Domingo Church. This temple has been built in four different occasions after the earthquakes of 1595, 1647 and 1730, and a couple of fires that severely affected its structure. Since 1951 it is one of Chile’s National Monuments and the best day to visit is on Thursday, when parishioners venerate the Virgin of Pompeii.
From Chile Escape we recommend you the following luxury hotels to stay in Santiago and enjoy the surroundings of Plaza de Armas: