Behind the Iglesia San Francisco, you find a very special quarter. It is named the Barrio Paris-Londres.
It is nice to make a detour to walk along the cobbled stone streets and watch the architecture of the buildings over here, are we in Santiago or are we in Europe?
Most of the villas build here, are now used as hotels.
This little area turned out to be one of my favorite spots in downtown Santiago. From La Alameda, you can turn onto calle Serrano behind the Universidad de Chile metro station. Soon enough you'll spot calle Paris, which leads to calle Londres. These small cobblestoned streets were actually designed back in the 1920s and built over the old gardens of the Convento de San Francisco (today, only the San Francisco church and its convent remain). The guide I had brought with me said of this area that it looked "as if a chunk of Paris's Latin Quarter was airlifted and dropped down in the middle of downtown Santiago", and I couldn't agree more! As you slowly walk up the streets of the Barrio Paris-Londres, you eventually forget about the dull office buildings of downtown Santiago that are here replaced with colorful houses, hotels and mansions. It is well worth the short detour, my only complaint is that it isn't big enough!