Santiago with kids, teens and tweens

Best Things to do in Santiago, Chile with Kids

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Are you planning a trip to Santiago Chile with kids? Santiago is a very kid friendly travel destination and there are lots of things to do in Santiago with kids of all ages. Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is a great place to visit on your next family vacation. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, Santiago offers a plethora of activities that will keep both parents and children entertained. The best part? There was no time change from our home in Florida so no adjusting to a different time zone despite the 8 hour flight. We had three days in Santiago so this is our 3 day Santiago itinerary. Here are some of the best things to do in Santiago Chile with kids.

santiago chile with kids and teens

Things to know when visiting Santiago with kids:

  • Before you arrive at the airport, be sure to fill out the SAG form or you will have to do it here. Your airline should have a link to it as it’s required for entry to Chile.
  • While the metro is clean and reliable, Uber was super cheap so that was our main form of transportation aside from walking.
  • You do not need to pull out any cash from the ATM, we had 0 issues using Apple Pay everywhere in the city, with street vendors in super local neighborhoods. We made the mistake of getting cash then struggled to spend it before leaving the country.
  • We felt very safe wandering the streets of Santiago, even in the evenings. However familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods so you know what to avoid, especially at night. Our hotel was in a very safe area, our main reason for choosing it since we walked back late at night.
  • We saw playgrounds everywhere! If you’re visiting Santiago with toddlers or young kids, stop and play as you explore the city.

Where to stay in Santiago, Chile with kids

There are lots of family friendly hotels in Santiago, many located near popular tourist attractions. Because we were using Marriott points, we stayed at the W Santiago, which was in a great walking neighborhood with lots of restaurants nearby and a playground across the street from the hotel.

santiago chile with kids and teens
View from our room

There are many other family friendly Santiago hotels you can choose from. Use the interactive map below to find one that best suits your family.

How to get around Santiago, Chile with kids

Navigating Santiago with kids is relatively easy thanks to its efficient public transportation system. The Metro de Santiago is clean, safe, and easy to use, making it a convenient mode of transport for families. Additionally, taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available for those times when you prefer a more direct route. To use the metro, purchase a Bip! card, which you can use one card for multiple people by scanning it multiple times.

I will say that because Uber is so cheap here (we never paid more than $6 and some of our rides ended up being 20 minutes), we didn’t even bother with the metro. We got to our destination much faster just getting an Uber, they are very popular here.

Keep in mind that there are known scams with unauthorized taxis, even if you agree on a price prior to getting into their car. Uber is a much safer option since no cash will be exchanged. When you first arrive at the airport, look for the authorized taxi booths right after you exit luggage claim but before you get to the arrivals hall. Pre purchase your taxi there and you won’t have to deal with potential scams and haggling. Ignore all the people approaching you asking if you need a ride, those are most likely to rip you off.

What to do in Santiago, Chile with kids

Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park)

Start your Santiago adventure with a visit to Parque Metropolitano, a sprawling urban park that offers endless opportunities for family fun. Take a scenic cable car ride up Cerro San Cristóbal for panoramic views of the city, explore the zoo, or enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst lush greenery.

santiago chile with kids and teens
santiago chile with kids and teens
View from the top
santiago chile with kids and teens

We opted to purchase a combination ticket here, meaning we took the Funicular up the hill and then the cable cars down. I highly recommend doing this so that you can see both sides of the park and mountains.

Sky Costanera

Want a bird’s eye view of Santiago? Sky Costanera has the highest viewing platform at the top of the tallest building in Latin America. This was the only expensive thing in Santiago that didn’t match the prices of everything else we did but we thought it was worth it. The views up top are amazing and be sure to go up another level from where the elevator drops you off for even more great views.

Parque Forestal

Providing a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of busy Santiago, Parque Forestal is one of the best things to do in Santiago with kids. There are multiple playgrounds here, museums, and lots of walking paths.

Kidzania

One of our favorite things to do with kids when traveling is to visit local children’s museums and Kidzania tops our list for the best in the world. We have been to many locations all over the world and think Kidzania is definitely worth a visit if your kids are between 7-12 years old! It’s one of the coolest experiences your kids will have and as a bonus at Kidzania Santiago, they’ll get to practice their Spanish skills. This is one of the best things to do in Santiago with kids. My tween did not want to do this anymore, saying she’s too old for Kidzania now but she loved it when she was younger and I highly recommend it if you have younger kids.

Parque Arauco Mall

For most people, a mall doesn’t sound like an exciting thing to do while on vacation but if it’s rainy or hot outside, this is a great way to spend some time. Parque Arauco is a huge mall with a huge food court (almost all American chains sadly) and is a great place to visit with kids in Santiago. The mall is clean with lots of nice stores. Outside, you will find lots of restaurants as well.

Plaza de Armas

The main square of Santiago, Plaza de Armas is a must visit when visiting Santiago with kids. Here you’ll find some beautiful buildings, including the Governor’s Palace and a Cathedral which you can go inside of. Fun fact: this is the point from which all distances to other parts of Chile and other cities in the world are measured. So if you don’t know your destination and just put in Santiago, Chile, Plaza de Armas is where you’ll end up.

santiago chile with kids and teens
santiago chile with kids and teens

Paseo Ahumada

Right near the Plaza de Armas is this four block pedestrian only street. There are lots of shops and restaurants here, and even street vendors selling lots of local items and street food. We stopped for some nuts from a street vendor (the same exact ones we got in NYC a few months ago for $6) and they were just 70 cents here.

santiago chile with kids and teens
santiago chile with kids and teens

Mercado Central

One of our favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to visit a local market and Mercado Central is the Central Market of Santiago. Here, you will find lots of seafood restaurants and a bustling fish market, with lots of fresh fish. Outside, there were lots of fruit vendors.

Now I have to be honest, this isn’t the safest place in the city (though we didn’t have any safety issues). If you read Google reviews, this is the place where you are most likely to be robbed, we read quite a few reviews to be cautious when walking around. We came on a day where they were barely any people here however be prepared for the haggling.

As soon as we entered, several men started following us trying to get us to eat at their restaurants. After several minutes, we realized they won’t stop (even when we went to a souvenir vendor away from them (they followed us and kept getting in our face with the menu) so we ended up leaving. I don’t do haggling and harassment and you are most certainly not going to get my business by being in mine and my child’s face the entire time.

Bicentenario de la Infancia Park

If you’re visiting Santiago with kids and want to check out a really cool playground, then head to the playground section of Bicentennial Park. The playground here is huge and the different areas are spread out. Be sure to take the free funicular to the top of the hill and have your kids use the slides to come back down. Even my 12 year old enjoyed this park! We’ve been to a lot of playgrounds all over the world and this is definitely one of the coolest ones.

santiago with kids and teens
santiago with kids and teens
Look at that view!

Where to eat in Santiago, Chile with kids

When it comes to dining out in Santiago with kids, the city offers a diverse array of options ranging from casual eateries to family-friendly restaurants that cater to even the pickiest eaters. Our hotel had a free breakfast buffet for us (because of my status) so we really only ate out once a day and grabbed some snacks in between. Here are some of the best kid friendly restaurants in Santiago.

Mercado Central

While technically not a restaurants, Mercado Central is one of the best places for fresh seafood in Santiago, Chile. Here, you’ll find a variety of seafood stalls and restaurants serving fresh ceviche, grilled fish, and seafood platters. We came with the intention of eating fresh fish however after being harassed by so many different vendors here trying to get us to eat at their restaurant, we ended up leaving and eating elsewhere away from the market. If you do eat here, keep an eye on your belongings and don’t put your phone or anything of value on the table.

Fuente Alemana

Want to try some of the best traditional Chilean sandwiches? Then you must come to Fuente Alemana! Keep in mind that during busy times, there is usually a long queue outside. We got several things to try and loved them all. The bread they use is delicious, making it even better. Also while they will hand you an English menu if you speak English, half of the items from the Spanish menu weren’t on it so take both and translate if you have to.

santiago with kids and teens

Ramen Ryoma

If you like ramen, then you must eat at Ramen Ryoman while in Santiago. This is the most popular ramen shop in Santiago, which is evident by the massive line outside before they even open. Be sure to get here at least 15 minutes before they open or you will be standing in a very long line. My daughter is obsessed with ramen and loved the miso ramen she got here. Be sure you go to the right spot as there is also a ramen restaurant directly across the street, but with lots of empty seats and no line.

best ramen in santiago chile

Try mote con huesillo

While wandering the streets of Santiago, you are bound to come across street vendors selling this popular Chilean drink called mote con huesillo. Made from peaches and husked wheat, this sugary drink is perfect for those hotter days. We loved the taste but all of us agreed that it was way too sweet!

Brussels Heart of Chocolate

We love chocolate and have been to chocolate cafes all over the world. When I saw that Santiago had them as well, I knew we had to visit! Brussels Heart of Chocolate has many desserts to choose from and even a fun kids menu with some treats for the kids. If you’re a chocolate fan, then this is a must visit when in Santiago with kids.

Dumpling Factory

In the mood for some dumplings? Dumpling Factory is a small restaurant serving all sorts of dumplings. We came here for lunch one afternoon and tried several of their dumplings. We especially liked all the vegetarian options, which aren’t always easy to find.

Moritz Eis

Want to try some of the best ice cream in Santiago? Then head to Moritz Eis. We were lucky that this was located right next to our hotel so all we had to do was walk over for some of the best ice cream we’ve ever had. They have many flavors to choose from and everything we tried was delicious.

Cacao Much

Another Santiago chocolate cafe, this one having the more traditional thick European hot chocolate. We preferred the hot chocolate here and their churros were really good. They also have a large selection of coffee drinks, all sorts of cakes and many other desserts. Come early or you’ll be waiting in a long line!

santiago with kids and teens

Pikada Pizza y Empanadas

Now this might seem like an odd combination for a restaurant but it was perfect for us! Our daughter wanted empanadas and we wanted pizza. The 4 cheese pizza is amazing here and our daughter enjoyed her ham and cheese empanadas. Make sure you are walking into the right restaurant if you come here, there are multiple on this street all serving similar items.

As you can see, there is a ton to do in Santiago with kids. We only had 3 days and they were jam packed with activities. If you’re planning a trip to Santiago with kids, tweens or teens, you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of fun things to do! Want to read this later? Pin one of the images below.

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