Thanks to the Chilean capital’s Spanish founders, the majority of Santiago’s most beautiful religious structures are Catholic churches or cathedrals. As most of these historic buildings were conveniently constructed in the Central Santiago area, checking out the city’s most beautiful churches doesn’t require too much time or hustle around the city. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago
One of Santiago’s most popular attractions is the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral, which also happens to be the center of Santiago, Chile’s archdiocese. Located in the historic city center, Plaza de Armas, tourists are constantly ducking into this stunning neoclassical sanctuary, which was originally constructed at the start of the 19th century. The cathedral includes a central, right and left nave and an austere crypt on the basement floor.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago, Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2787 5600
Iglesia de San Francisco
This catholic church dates back to colonial times and is the country’s oldest architectural structure. The Iglesia de San Francisco was originally constructed in 1613, though earthquakes have destroyed much of the building’s original architecture, like its notable tower. The convent connected to the church is currently a museum open to the public, which features colonial art and religious artifacts in Chile.
Iglesia de Santo Domingo
This Dominican church was constructed by architects Juan de los Santos Vasconcellos and Joaquín Toesca towards the end of the 18th century. The temple boasts a neoclassical design, and is located in the heart of Santiago’s historical district. The church’s brick towers exemplify the influence of a Bavarian baroque style, a contribution of Toesca’s.
Iglesia de los Sacramentinos
On the corner of streets Arturo Prat and Santa Isabel in central Santiago, the hidden jewel of Los Sacramentinos Basilica stands tall. The design for this gorgeous and often overlooked Neo-Byzantine structure was inspired by Paris‘ Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The basilica was constructed by Chilean architect Ricardo Larraín Bravo in the early 20th century.
Iglesia de los Sacramentinos, Sta Isabel, Santiago, Chile +56 2 2638 3189
Iglesia San Ignacio de Loyola
This national historical monument, located near Chile’s presidential palace, is hard to miss, painted in a bright yellow color. The Italian architects Eusebio Chelli and Ignacio Cremonesi and French architect Eugenio Joannon worked on the construction of the church, which was completed at the end of the 19th century. Iglesia San Ignacio de Loyola is emblematic of Neo-renaissance architecture, while the interior also shows Neobaroque influences.
Basílica de la Merced
This pinkish-red church on the corner of Merced and Enrique Mac Iver streets is easy to find, and a convenient stop while meandering around either the Bellas Artes or Santiago Centro neighborhoods. The building was originally built back in 1566 using adobe materials, though the structure was later destroyed by an earthquake. Having undergone various reconstructions over the centuries, the last time the church was remodeled was by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca in 1799, though some architectural additions have been made since. The structure also includes a museum with religious art and artifacts.
Basílica de la Merced, Enrique Mac Iver 341, Santiago, Chile +56 2 2639 5684
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.