What are the best free museums in Santiago?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Gabriel O’Rorke

There are several museums in Santiago which offer free entrance on weekends, and there's a handful with free entrance all week long.

Museo de la Memoria falls into the latter category with free entrance no matter when you choose to visit. Whereas, the Museo de Bellas Artes and National History Museum are only free on Sundays.

The Museum of Memory and Human Rights (often called simply Museo de la Memoria) is an important Chilean institution inaugurated by former President Michelle Bachelet on January 11 in 2010 in honor of the victims of Human Rights violations during the Military Regime led by Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990. 

Meanwhile, the National History Museum was founded in 1911, and is situated in the former palace. The collection includes everyday objects such as clothing, sewing machines and furniture.

Last but not least, the Museo de Bellas Artes was established in 1880, and is considered one of South America's leading art museums. Designed by French-Chilean architect, Emilio Jecquier, the Art Nouveau building has a glass vaulted ceiling which is a replica of the celing of the Petite Palais in Paris. The collection includes 2,700 works of art ranging from early colonial art to 19th century Chilean landscapes and portraits. Visiting exhibitions over the years have included Damian Hirst and David Hockney.

Also in the Palacio de Ballas Artes is the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) with sculptures, paintings and photographs on display (this one is no free, but worth visiting when you are in the building!).

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