Top 10 Museums in Santiago

by Alice

Santiago, the vibrant capital city of Chile, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and diverse historical landmarks. Among its many attractions, the museums in Santiago stand out as some of the best places to explore the city’s history, art, and culture. From pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, Santiago’s museums offer a wide array of exhibits that cater to all interests. Here, we present the top 10 museums in Santiago that you simply must visit.

1. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is one of Santiago’s most prestigious art museums. Established in 1880, this museum is housed in a stunning Beaux-Arts building located in the heart of the Parque Forestal. The museum’s collection spans from the colonial period to contemporary times, featuring works by prominent Chilean artists as well as international pieces.


In addition to its permanent collection, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase emerging artists and contemporary trends in the art world. The museum’s architecture itself is a work of art, with its grand halls and intricate details offering a visual treat. A visit to this museum is essential for anyone interested in understanding the evolution of Chilean art and its place in the broader context of global art history.


2. Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos

The Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos is a poignant reminder of Chile’s recent history, focusing on the human rights abuses that occurred during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990. Located in the Yungay neighborhood of Santiago, this museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims and promoting a culture of human rights.


The exhibits include photographs, documents, and personal testimonies that provide a harrowing yet essential narrative of this dark period in Chilean history. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations help visitors engage with the material in a profound way. The museum also features a library and a research center, making it a valuable resource for scholars and human rights activists. Visiting the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos is a deeply moving experience that underscores the importance of remembering the past to prevent future atrocities.

3. Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Situated in the historic center of Santiago, the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is dedicated to the art and culture of pre-Columbian civilizations across the Americas. The museum’s collection includes artifacts from various indigenous cultures, spanning over 10,000 years of history.

The exhibits are beautifully curated, with pottery, textiles, jewelry, and ceremonial items that illustrate the rich cultural heritage of ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas. One of the highlights of the museum is the Andean textile collection, which is considered one of the finest in the world. The museum’s commitment to preservation and education makes it a must-visit for anyone interested in the ancient history of the Americas.

4. Museo Histórico Nacional

The Museo Histórico Nacional, located in Santiago’s Plaza de Armas, offers a comprehensive overview of Chilean history from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. Housed in the historic Palacio de la Real Audiencia, this museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including colonial history, independence, and the development of modern Chile.

The museum’s collection includes artifacts such as maps, weapons, clothing, and everyday objects that provide insights into the lives of Chileans throughout history. Special exhibitions often highlight significant events and figures in Chilean history, offering visitors a deeper understanding of the country’s past. The Museo Histórico Nacional is an essential stop for anyone looking to grasp the historical context of Santiago and Chile as a whole.

5. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo

The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC) is a key institution in Santiago’s contemporary art scene. Part of the University of Chile, the museum has two locations: one in the Quinta Normal Park and the other in the Parque Forestal. MAC is dedicated to promoting contemporary art through its diverse collection and dynamic exhibition program.

The museum’s collection includes works by notable Chilean and international artists, with a focus on modern and contemporary movements. Temporary exhibitions often feature cutting-edge installations, multimedia works, and experimental art forms. MAC also hosts a variety of cultural events, including workshops, lectures, and performances, making it a lively hub for the arts in Santiago. For those interested in the latest trends in contemporary art, a visit to MAC is indispensable.

6. Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende

The Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA) is a unique institution dedicated to art and social commitment. Founded in 1971, the museum’s collection was initially built from donations by artists worldwide in solidarity with the socialist government of Salvador Allende. Today, the MSSA houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Roberto Matta.

Located in the Republica neighborhood of Santiago, the museum not only showcases art but also emphasizes themes of social justice, human rights, and political activism. The MSSA regularly hosts exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs that engage the community and promote social change through art. This museum offers a powerful reminder of the intersection between art and politics, making it a thought-provoking destination in Santiago.

See Also: 6 Tourist attractions you can’t miss when visiting Moscow

7. Museo Interactivo Mirador

The Museo Interactivo Mirador (MIM) is Santiago’s premier science and technology museum, designed to engage visitors of all ages with hands-on exhibits and interactive displays. Located in the La Granja district, MIM covers a wide range of scientific fields, including physics, biology, astronomy, and environmental science.

The museum’s exhibits are designed to be educational and fun, encouraging visitors to explore scientific concepts through experimentation and play. Highlights include the sensory rooms, the robotics lab, and the outdoor park with large-scale interactive installations. MIM also offers workshops and educational programs for schools, making it a popular destination for families and educational groups. For a fun and informative experience that brings science to life, the Museo Interactivo Mirador is a must-visit in Santiago.

8. Museo Ralli Santiago

Part of the Ralli Museums network, the Museo Ralli Santiago is dedicated to Latin American and European art. Located in the Vitacura neighborhood, this museum features an impressive collection of works by contemporary Latin American artists, as well as pieces by European masters like Salvador Dalí and Marc Chagall.

The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, and prints that highlight the diversity and creativity of Latin American art. The elegant gallery spaces provide a tranquil setting for viewing the artworks, and the museum’s commitment to accessibility means that admission is free. The Museo Ralli Santiago is a hidden gem that offers a serene and enriching cultural experience.

9. Museo Nacional de Historia Natural

Located in the Quinta Normal Park, the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural is one of Santiago’s oldest and most beloved museums. Founded in 1830, the museum is dedicated to the natural history of Chile, showcasing the country’s rich biodiversity and geological heritage.

The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including paleontology, botany, zoology, and anthropology. Highlights include the extensive fossil collection, the dioramas depicting Chilean ecosystems, and the ethnographic exhibits that explore the cultures of indigenous peoples. The museum also features a library and research center, making it a valuable resource for scientists and scholars. A visit to the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural offers a fascinating journey through Chile’s natural wonders.

10. Museo de Artes Visuales

The Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI) is a contemporary art museum located in the Lastarria neighborhood of Santiago. Established in 2001, MAVI focuses on modern and contemporary visual arts, with a particular emphasis on Chilean artists.

The museum’s collection includes works in various media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and video art. Temporary exhibitions often feature innovative and experimental works that challenge traditional artistic boundaries. MAVI also hosts cultural events, educational programs, and workshops, fostering a vibrant community of artists and art enthusiasts. For those interested in exploring the forefront of contemporary art in Santiago, MAVI is an essential destination.


Santiago’s museums offer a rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and artistic experiences that reflect the city’s diverse heritage and vibrant arts scene. Whether you are interested in ancient civilizations, contemporary art, or the natural world, Santiago’s museums provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Each museum on this list offers a unique perspective, making them all worthy of a visit. As you explore these top 10 museums in Santiago, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s cultural richness and its pivotal role in the broader context of Chilean and Latin American history.



Funplacetotravel is a travel portal. The main columns include North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, Africa, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023