Quito: 10 must-see places in the city

The Historic Center, the traditional neighborhoods and the Middle of the World are part of the attractions that will lead visitors to immerse themselves in an unforgettable experience

(Source: Quito Turismo)

Quito is considered one of the most outstanding destinations in South America for its wide range of attractions and places that are of interest to those who visit it.

We present 10 places that are a mandatory stop in the capital of Ecuador:

Independence Square

Also known as the 'Plaza Grande', it is the heart of the Historic Center of Quito, around and within it there are buildings and details such as: The Metropolitan Cathedral, originally from the 16th century and recently restored; The Carondelet Palace, where the Presidency of the Republic operates, and the Independence Monument, in the center of the square, commemorates the 'First cry for independence' of August 10, 1809, with which the independence processes began.

Church and Convent of San Francisco

Known as 'El Escorial of the New World', it is the largest religious architectural complex in all of America. The church was built in 1537 on the remains of what were the military seats of the pre-Hispanic Inca and Caranqui cultures. Its visit is interesting not only for its historical and cultural importance, but for the beauty of the cloister and for being the cradle of the so-called Quiteña School of art. In addition, it has relevant works of colonial art by artists from the 16th, 17th and 17th centuries. XVIII.

The Panecillo and the winged Virgin of Quito

Loma del Panecillo is one of those places to admire Quito. Its name is due to its shape like a small bun located in the heart of the city.

In this place is one of the most emblematic attractions of Quito, The Virgin of El Panecillo, a colossal silver statue about 40 meters high and 7 thousand pieces of aluminum that can be seen from different points of the city due to its privileged position. . In addition, the figure stands out for being the only one of a virgin with wings in all of Latin America.

Half of the world

About 30 km from the center of Quito is the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, an emblematic place for the imaginary crossing of the equatorial line, which divides the planet into two hemispheres and whose latitude is 0º 0´0´´. In the area there is an obelisk and a yellow line that separates the northern and southern hemisphere, as well as a geodesic museum, a planetarium and a pavilion with works of art by Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín. This visit can be combined with an excursion to the top of the Pululahua volcano, whose crater has been inactive for several centuries.

Plaza and Church of Santo Domingo

In the past, the Plaza de Santo Domingo was the entrance to the city for people coming from the south. Today it is a place that is part of the Historic Center where temporary art exhibitions are held. The main building in the square is the church that has the same name. Its construction began in 1581. Highlights include the tropical garden of the cloister, where you can find the best pieces of sculpture from the Quito School erected between the 17th and 18th centuries, and the interior, in Baroque style, where the altarpiece of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Man's Chapel

The Capilla del Hombre is one of the best museums in Quito, it was inaugurated in 2002 and is located in the Bellavista neighborhood, next to the house-workshop of the late artist Oswaldo Guayasamín, recognized as one of the most prominent painters in Ecuador. and from Latin America, who managed to express the anger, protest and dreams of society through his paintings.

Both in the Man's Chapel and in the house-workshop, you can see a permanent exhibition of Guayasamín's works and part of his personal collection of colonial and precolonial art, where a message of commitment to human rights, peace is launched. and solidarity.

La Ronda

To the south of the Plaza de Santo Domingo is this historic neighborhood of Quito that shares its name with the famous La Ronda street, the most picturesque street, with the most personality and lively in the center of Quito. This sloping cobblestone street is full of shops and craft workshops, as well as bars and restaurants where you can taste the delicious Ecuadorian cuisine and toast with a 'canelazo', a typical drink made with brandy, sugar and cinnamon.

The Basilica of the National Vow

Considered the largest neo-Gothic temple in America, the basilica was designed by the French architect Emilio Tarlier, who was inspired by the Parisian cathedral of Notre Dame. In 1884 he began the construction of this architectural jewel and 138 years later, it is still not finished. There is even a legend according to which "the day the Basilica is completed in its entirety, Ecuador would disappear as a free and sovereign State."

As a curious fact, the gargoyles that are part of this construction represent the Ecuadorian fauna. During the visit you can see sculptures of alligators, turtles, boobies, armadillos, howler monkeys, pumas, among other animals.

La Floresta Neighborhood

La Floresta is one of those neighborhoods in Quito that has a special charm. It recently celebrated 100 years of existence and history, it is one of the areas that is undergoing permanent transformation and revitalization.

This neighborhood exudes a good atmosphere, with a hipster touch and urban art. Thanks to the community of artists and writers who settled in this area, the houses began to mix with avant-garde art galleries and large murals painted on the walls of the neighborhood.

La Floresta has numerous gourmet bakeries and cafes with a very creative design, in addition to the OCHOYMEDIO cultural center, which offers independent cinema and artistic activities to the public on a permanent basis.


Going on the Cable Car is essential in Quito. It is one of the highest cable cars in the world, reaching 4,050 meters above sea level. Its 18-minute trip takes you to the top of Cruz Loma hill, on the slope of the Pichincha volcano, while you admire the Capital from the heights of the Center of the World.

Discover the charm of these and more places that Quito offers, the first Latin American city to be declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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