Santiago doesn't have the same reputation for 'must see' attractions as say, Rio or Mexico City, but it still has lots to experience.
If you're there for a couple of days you'll have no trouble filling your time.
Here are ten things we did on our recent visit. Most are free or cost very little.
1. Marvel at the city's grandiose architecture.
Santiago has some very impressive buildings including: the Presidential offices (which are in the late 18th century neoclassical Palacio de la Moneda), the imposing Santiago Stock Exchange, the 18th century Catedral Metropolitana and the Palacio de Belles Artes.
2. Climb Cerro Santa Lucia (Santa Lucia Hill)
At the bottom of the cerro is some stunning landscaping to admire before the not overly onerous ascent to the top.
From the viewing area (mirador) you get some good views of the city and beyond.
3. Conquer the Metro
This should probably be the first on the list as once you've worked out the metro getting around to the other 9 things is easy.
Santiago has an efficient and inexpensive metro system where you generally don't have to wait long for the next train. You just need a BIP card (available at most Metro stations and elsewhere) which you add credit to. It can also be used on the buses.
With a loaded BIP card in your hand you'll be able to roam the city like a local Santiaguino.
Note to transport buffs: From the airport to the city we caught a door to door shuttle bus called Transvip. It was cheaper than a taxi but more convenient than the local bus. Tickets available at a desk in the arrivals hall.
4. Visit the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano
This museum of precoloumbian art, close to the central Plaza de Armas, has a great collection of artefacts from all over Latin America.
It's well laid out and there's a free smartphone app to download which will tell you all you need to know about the various exhibits.
5. Drink a Pisco Sour.
It's not just the Peruvians that drink pisco sours, Chileans do too. After a hard days sight seeing it's good to relax with a pisco sour and some people watching at a café on the Plaza de Armas.
It's made from a grape brandy called pisco and includes lemon and egg white (though Chileans don't always include this). If you don't fancy a pisco sour then just have a beer.
6. Dine al Fresco
There are lots of great restaurants to choose from in Santiago, especially in the barrios (suburbs) of Bellavista, Lastarria and Bellas Artes. Plenty offer outside dining which was very pleasant when we were there in summer.
Bellavista is also a colourful and interesting place to stroll around.
7. Visit the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights).
Chile's history under the military junta and the torture and human rights abuses perpetrated by the government from 1973 to 1990 are documented in this relatively new museum (opened 2010). Most of the exhibits are in Spanish but it is still very clear what took place, including the 'disappearance' of 40,000 people.
Audio-guides are available in English.
This is an important place to visit in order to better understand what contemporary Chilean society has been through.
8. Take in the Galleries
Santiago has lots of galleries including the Museo de Artes Visuales, Museo de Artes Contemporaneo, Museo National de Bellas Artes and the Centro Gabriela Mistral to name but a few, and many are free.
9. Watch Some of the Many Buskers and Street Performers
Buskers are abundant in Santiago's many pedestrian streets. Lively bands, tango dancers and puppeteers all compete for attention and a few pesos.
10. Catch the Funicular up Cerro San Cristobal
For some of Santiago's best views take the funicular up 870m Cerro San Cristobal . It is the home of the city's largest park, Parque Metropolitano.
Apart from the great views you'll find swimming pools and a zoo.