Santiago de Chile, due to its geographical location, stands out for its parks and squares. It is not like any other city. In Santiago, you can practice sports, climb hills and enjoy life outdoors in the middle of the city.
Santiago de Chile may seem like any other big city, full of skyscrapers, traffic, and busy streets. But when you explore a bit, you can see that it is a place full of small and big green spaces that adorn the city. The parks are one of the most iconic things that catch the attention of tourists when they visit the city.
Below you will find a list of the best parks in Santiago to enjoy on any Saturday or Sunday walking, alone or with friends, and taking advantage of the afternoon.
1. Parque Metropolitano de Santiago
This park is the largest green lung in the city, it includes Cerro San Cristóbal, Chacarillas, and Los Gemelos. It is an ideal park for all types of public, you can climb Cerro San Cristóbal in many ways: on foot (1 hour up from Pio Nono to La Virgen at a normal pace), by funicular, or by vehicle.
Among the attractions of the park, there are trails, viewpoints, the National Zoo, swimming pools, cultural venues, and event centers. From the summit and from the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception (the Virgin Mary) you can have the best view of the city! On the other hand, if you are a tourist you must go up or down by funicular, it is a fascinating experience. Right now, the round-trip funicular ride costs $ 2,000 (between 3 – 4 USD).
- How to get there: You can get off at Baquedano station (Line 1 / Line 5) and walk along Pío Nono street. The other option is to enter from the north end of Avenida Pedro de Valdivia, although this last entrance is more recommended for vehicles (there is a long walking distance between the park entrance and an attraction).
- The entrance for the public on foot is free.
2. Cerro Santalucía
This beautiful hill is also located in the center of the city, it is ideal for a short walk with your partner or family. At certain times it is common to see groups of children who come for a walk thanks to their schools.
This urban walk is inspired by French landscaping, it has terraces, paths, and squares. Climbing this hill is free, you just have to register your name with the municipal guards and follow the rules. There is not much service infrastructure, therefore it is an ideal place to relax, have shade, and rest. At the top, there is a beautiful viewpoint with binoculars.
- How to get there: You can get off at Santa Lucía station (Line 1) or take public transport to this place, almost all routes that pass through the Alameda serve. You can read the experience of climbing the hill in greater detail in one of our previous posts.
- The entrance for the public on foot is free. The hill closes on rainy days and Mondays. Its hours of operation are between 09.00 – 20.00.
3. Parque Forestal
This park is also located in the center of Santiago, on the banks of the Mapocho River. It was designed by Jorge Dubois at the beginning of the 20th century, with a plan to beautify the city. It is an ideal place to walk, be in the shade, and visit as a couple or with the family.
There are many benches to sit on, and during the weekends it is common to see families living in the neighborhoods playing with their children. Inside we can highlight the National Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art, also at the west end is the Mapocho Station Cultural Center.
- How to get there: You can get off at Puente Cal y Canto station (Line 2) and walk towards the east (the mountain range). The Bellas Artes station (Line 5) also serves you, where you must walk a couple of streets to the north and finally get off at Baquedano station (Line 1 / Line 5), in this place the park begins with a German Fountain.
- The park is open all year round and is free.
4. Quinta Normal
Further from the nerve center of the city, we find a jewel of a park: the Quinta Normal. This huge space is full of green areas, flowers, trails to walk and includes children’s games in its western part (towards the coast).
The place is also known for housing several museums inside (National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Science and Technology, and Children’s Museum) and outside (Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Artequin Museum). In summer, one of its attractions is the lagoon which has pedal boats for couples.
- How to get there: Very simple, you must get off at Quinta Normal station (Line 5) and you will be at the main entrance of the park.
- The park is free, and open from Tuesday to Sunday between 09.00 – 20.00.
5. Parque Bicentenario
This park was built by the Municipality of Vitacura, and inaugurated in stages (one in 2007 and another in 2011), on one side of the Mapocho River between the Pérez Zujkovic Rotunda and Isabel Montt Street. The central part of the park is the Civic Center of Vitacura where the Municipality is located.
The place has a special space for families with pets, a kind of mini zoo with species such as black-necked swans and flamingos. The Garden of the Blind, designed for the blind population to enjoy, restaurants, and some sculptures, among them The Search emerges as an icon of the park, stands out. This area also has a lagoon where you can photograph wonderful skylines of the city.
- How to get there: By public transport, you can take bus 405 to Rotonda Pérez Zujkovic and walk towards the Mapocho river. This bus can be taken in Alameda, Providencia avenue, and Vitacura avenue.
- The park is free and is open all day.
6. Parque Araucano
This huge park could not be missing in this review because it has everything, in addition to many green areas and shady trees, Araucano Park has children’s play areas divided by age, a picnic area, sports area (public multi-courts, skate ramps). One of its magical corners is the rose garden where you can abstract from the hustle and bustle and forget about the city bustle by sitting on a bench (alone or as a couple as in our photo).
Near the rose garden, there is an aviary and in the middle of the park, there are two important commercial attractions: Kidzania, which is a didactic entertainment park for children.
- How to get there: South exit from Parque Arauco (by Paris store), this shopping center can be reached on routes 411 (from Metro Pedro de Valdivia) and C11 – C15 – C20 from Metro Escuela Militar.
- The park is free and is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 09.00 – 21.00.
7. Parque Bustamante
This park has beautiful green areas ideal for walking, lots of shade, and benches to sit on, it has a Literary Café with a very beautiful pool, a skatepark, and an esplanade where many events tend to be held. In its surroundings is Viña del Mar street, which is a National Monument (Typical Zone), and the Italia neighborhood.
- How to get there: By public transport, you can get off at Baquedano station (Line 1 / Line 5), Parque Bustamante (Line 5), or Santa Isabel (Line 5)
- The park is free and is open all day.
8. Parque Balmaceda
In Providencia, we can highlight the Balmaceda Park and the Plaza de la Aviación (it is a small continuation of this park). Balmaceda stretches from Plaza Italia (Metro Baquedano) to Salvador (Metro Salvador), between the Mapocho river waterfront and Providencia Avenue. It has many green areas, it is frequented by tourists, couples, and young people (there are many schools in the vicinity).
Inside the park are the Balmaceda Literary Café and the Tajamares Museum (currently undergoing renovation), there are also some pedestrian bridges to cross the river that are very striking at night because of their lights. In the Plaza de la Aviación, meanwhile, there is a Monument to Chilean Aviation and there is the Bicentennial Fountain that turns on its lights at night giving a beautiful show.
- How to get there: You can start the tour in Metro Baquedano (Line 1 / Line 5) or in Metro Salvador (Line 1), in this last station, you also access the Plaza de la Aviación.
- The park is free and is open all day.
9. Parque O’Higgins
The entrance to this green area, inaugurated in 1873, is from Tuesday to Friday, between 9 AM and 5 PM, and with a simultaneous capacity of 700 people, who may only be in the place for two hours.
Likewise, those who visit will have to wear their masks and take their temperature at the entrance on Rondizzoni street (the other entrances will be kept closed). It is essential to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from other people, and not to enter with food or use the drinkers.
Once inside, you can only travel 20% of the 80 hectares of this park in Santiago Centro. This, is because they will keep various sectors disabled, including exercise areas and children’s games.
10. Parque Mahuida
Between 8 AM and 8 PM, you can go for a walk along the beautiful trails of this 170-hectare green lung that is in the foothills of Santiago. Of course, all those who go will have to do so with masks (capacity of 2000 people).
To ensure care, in the reserve they installed sanitizing tunnels, and sinks on trails, jogging, trekking, and cycling areas. In addition, they drew more than 20 circles five meters in diameter in green areas to protect the physical distance, which has to be two meters apart for trekking, 10 m. for jogging, and 20 for bicycles.