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Plaza de Armas

This historic central square is home to magnificent works of architecture, museums and a nice blend of city workers, street performers and artisans. 

Lively and picturesque Plaza de Armas is the historic heart of Santiago. Admire important city landmarks, visit museums and art galleries, shop for handicrafts and watch street performers. Established by Pedro de Valdivia shortly after he founded the city in 1541, this leafy square has been the city’s pulsating epicenter for nearly five centuries. 

Take time to marvel at some of Santiago’s most prominent architectural landmarks. The majestic neoclassical Correo Central (Central Post Office) occupies the site of the former home of Pedro de Valdivia. Check out the stamp displays in the building’s free Postal and Telegraphic Museum. Visit the elegant Palacio de la Real Audiencia, built at the start of the 19th century. This former royal court building now houses the National Museum of History. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the square from the museum’s clock tower.

Go to the Catedral de Santiago to admire its ornate façade and lavish marble altarpiece. See Jesuit art and other religious artifacts in the cathedral’s Museum of Sacred Art. Directly in front of the cathedral artists sell their paintings while artisans offer handicrafts and souvenirs. 

Sit on one of the square’s benches and observe the diverse mix of characters go about their business. Watch as businessmen get their shoes polished by eager shoeshiners. Observe the elderly compete in chess tournaments and kids chasing pigeons. Listen to religious preachers and soapbox speakers. Keep an eye open for street performers, such as the chinchinero. This one-man band plays a drums strapped to his back while crashing symbols together and spinning around at a dizzying speed. 

Running south from the plaza are two of Santiago’s principal commercial streets, Paseo Ahumada and Paseo Estado. Along these pedestrianized streets you’ll find well-known brands and independent stores, street vendors, cafés and restaurants. 

Plaza de Armas marks the geographical center of Santiago. Public transport, such as buses and the metro, plus a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus provide easy access. The square is within walking distance of several other major city attractions, including the Mercado Central, Palacio de la Moneda and Cerro Santa Lucía.


Guide to Exploring Plaza de Armas


Top Plaza de Armas Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 1,257 Properties near Plaza de Armas
Cozy and Great Apartment in the Best Place in Santiago
Cozy and Great Apartment in the Best Place in Santiago

Cozy and Great Apartment in the Best Place in Santiago

104 José Victorino Lastarria, Apartamento 1017, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Santiago, this historic apartment building is steps away from Santiago Town Square and Plaza de Armas. Clinica Santa Maria and Movistar Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Armas Station is only a 2-minute walk and Bellas Artes Station is 7 minutes.

    Alojamiento Kpaz AU$37
    Alojamiento Kpaz

    Alojamiento Kpaz

    Loma Redonda 6 Pte., Santiago, Región Metropolitana
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Santiago, this guesthouse is steps away from National History Museum and Plaza de Armas. Clinica Santa Maria and Movistar Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Armas Station is only a 2-minute walk and Puente Cal y Canto Station is 6 minutes.

      Downey Mozo Plaza de Armas
      Downey Mozo Plaza de Armas

      Downey Mozo Plaza de Armas

      Plaza de Armas 960, Depto 612, Santiago, Metropolitana
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Santiago, this apartment building is steps away from Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza de Armas. Clinica Santa Maria and Movistar Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Armas Station is only a 2-minute walk and Puente Cal y Canto Station is 6 minutes.

        Plaza de Armas Hostel AU$59
        Plaza de Armas Hostel

        Plaza de Armas Hostel

        Compañía de Jesús 960, departamento 607, Santiago, Metropolitana
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Santiago, this hostel is steps away from Santiago Town Square and National History Museum. Plaza de la Constitucion and Palacio de la Moneda are also within 10 minutes. Armas Station is only a 3-minute walk and Bellas Artes Station is 8 minutes.

          Hotel Santa Lucia AU$69
          Hotel Santa Lucia

          Hotel Santa Lucia

          Huerfanos 779/San Antonio 327, Santiago, Region Metropolitana
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Santiago, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Vivo Imperio and Plaza de Armas. Clinica Santa Maria and Movistar Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Armas Station is 7 minutes by foot and Bellas Artes Station is 7 minutes.

            Sol de Monjitas Tourist
            Sol de Monjitas Tourist

            Sol de Monjitas Tourist

            Monjitas 744, Centro, Santiago, Región Metropolitana
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Santiago, this apartment building is steps away from Basilica de la Merced and Plaza de Armas. Clinica Santa Maria and Movistar Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Armas Station and Bellas Artes Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              Central Apart Santiago
              Central Apart Santiago

              Central Apart Santiago

              Monjitas 744, Santiago, Región Metropolitana
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Santiago, this apartment building is steps away from Basilica de la Merced and Plaza de Armas. Clinica Santa Maria and Movistar Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Armas Station and Bellas Artes Station are within a 5-minute walk.

                Personal Aparts Bellas Artes
                Personal Aparts Bellas Artes

                Personal Aparts Bellas Artes

                Monjitas 744, Centro, Santiago, Region Metropolitana
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Santiago, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Plaza de Armas and Santiago Town Square. Plaza de la Constitucion and University of Chile are also within 15 minutes. Armas Station and Bellas Artes Station are within a 5-minute walk.