Although I didn‘t really plan to go to Santiago it was my first stop in Chile. Not having booked any accomodation I ended up in a very loud hostel, because all the others I checked were already full and it was quite late.The next day I used for strolling around in the city center and doing some sightseeing. I visited Plaza de Armas (the main square), La Moneda (the parliament), Cerro Santa Lucia (one of the hills in the city center with a nice view). After having lunch in Barrio Bellavista, the district with most of the restaurant and bars, I went to visit La Chascona, one of the three houses, owned by Pablo Neruda.
The house was situated just on the foot of Cerro Cristobal with a museum in it. There you could see how he was living with his wife. He also owned a house in Valparaiso, which I visited as well, and one in Isla Negra at the shore of the Pacific Ocean. After that I hiked up Cerro San Cristobal, the highest hill in town, to get some other views of the city and its smog.
Before heading to Valparaiso the next day, I went to see the Museum of Human rights. One of the best museums, I visited so far. Great overview and introduction into chilenian history and the dictatorship under Auguste Pinochet from 1973 to 1990