I only had the one day in Santiago so had to make it count. The weather cooperated.
Since I was in Lastarria, I started instead at the Cerro Santa Lucia, which was a good idea as it meant I could be climbing before it got too hot. Lovely views from the top, then down the other side towards Santa Lucia. The artisan market was just opening up so I did a bit of shopping there. Then strolled towards Londres/ Paris Streets (where was also situated the Hotel Vegas!). Walking past the University of Chile, I found La Moneda (the Mint). A suitably imposing building although with the plaza in front under construction not a great photo op. Behind the Mint is the business district, a nice area to wander about (several cambios or moneychangers here if you need, you can compare rate before you buy). From here I went north on Bandera St. The museum of Pre-Colombian Art is here but unfortunately closed for renovations. The closer you get to Plaza De Armas the more crowded it gets. Plenty of police about but still watch for pickpockets. Plaza De Armas is great, lively. I saw, variously, a college fair for graduating students, a traditional dance competition, a police brigade, some street preachers, performance artists and ordinary folks enjoying the sunshine. I keep going north and hit Mercado Central. I found it too touristy so quickly came out again and instead, crossed the river to the Mercado De Abastos Tirso De Molina and headed upstairs for lunch. Alas it turned out to be indifferent ceviche (C$6,000). Went downstairs for some fresh juice, much better (C$1,000). Wandering back south towards Armas, I head east, back towards Lastarria. It's now a scorching 37 degrees, so time for some ice-cream. I find Emporio La Rosa, the best ice-cream in Santiago, at the corner of Merced and Monjitas, and get two scoops for C$2 (US$4). I pick honey and chocolate with peppers. Both are excellent. I enjoy my ice-cream in the Park Forestal, serene in the shade. From there it is an easy stroll to Museo De Bellas Artes, another architectural gem, and some fun shopping in the funky little boutiques in the area. Finally, an early evening dinner of tapas and wine at Boca Nariz where I can enjoy great Chilean wine while people-watching and then a five minute stroll back to my hotel.
A perfect day in Santiago.