10 must-see places in Quito



Quito is the capital of Ecuador and due to its altitude of 2850 meters it is the highest capital in the world. With its 1.4 million inhabitants, Quito is the second largest city in the country, after Guayaquil. The historic center of the Andean metropolis was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978 and offers the best preserved historic buildings from the colonial era.

But there is much more to see! In this blog we will introduce you to the 10 must-see places in Quito.

1. Visit the Plaza Grande

As already mentioned, the historic center of Quito is a World Heritage Site and that with good reason. The historic buildings of the colonial era are still very well preserved and give the city an indescribable charm. If you want to explore the city, you should start at the Plaza Grande. This main square is surrounded by the most important buildings of the center:

  • Palacio de Carondelet (the presidential palace)
  • Catedral metropolitana de Quito (Quito Cathedral)
  • Palacio arzobispal de Quito (archiepiscopal palace of Quito)
  • Palacio Municipal de Quito (Municipal Palace of Quito)

In the center of the square you can admire the Independence Monument, which commemorates the first attempt at independence on August 10, 1809.

2. Trip to the center of the world

The Mitad del Mundo:

Mitad del Mundo

Here you will find a monument that is one of the most visited sites in the country. In addition to the accessible monument, there are many small museums of Ecuadorian culture and way of life on the property. They also host cultural events on the weekends.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:00, Saturday and Sunday: 09:00 – 18:00.
Entrance fee (adult): 5 USD

The Intiñan Museum:

However, if you want to visit the true center of the world, you should visit the Intiñan Museum a few hundred meters from the monument. Due to a mistake made by the French explorers in 1736, the monument was built in the wrong place. At the Intiñan Museum, you have the opportunity to do some experiments on the true equator during a guided tour, and learn more about the traditional way of life of the Andean people.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 09:00 – 17:00
Entrance fee (adult): 4 USD

3. Visit to the Panecillo

The Panecillo is a hill in the middle of the city of Quito. On its summit, since 1975, there is a statue of the Virgin Mary, 41 meters high and it is possible to climb it.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 09:00 – 18:00, Friday and Saturday: 09:00 – 21:00.
Entrance fee (adult): 1 USD

4. Climbing the church roofs

A great way to admire the city from a different perspective is to climb the domes and towers of Quito.

  • Basílica del Voto Nacional: Here you have the opportunity to climb all three towers of the impressive basilica.

    Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:00, weekends: 06:00 – 18:30

    Entrance fee (adult): 2 USD

la Compañía Quito
  • Catedral Metropolitana de Quito: This cathedral is located at the Plaza Grande and offers a breathtaking view over the historic center from its domes.

    Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00, Sunday: 10:00 – 14:00
    Entrance fee (adult): 6 USD
  • Iglesia de San Francisco: From the roof of this church you have the best view of the Panecillo with the large statue of the Virgin Mary.

    Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 09:00 – 18:00

    Entrance fee (adult): 3 USD

Church Santo Domingo Quito
  • Iglesia de Santo Domingo: This church is within reach of the Iglesia de San Francisco and offers the opportunity to admire the Plaza de Santo Domingo and the surrounding buildings from its domes.

    Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:15 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:30, Saturday: 09:00 – 13:00
    Entrance fee (adult): 3.50 USD

5. Visit the Capilla del Hombre

The museum was the last project of the Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín. He started building it in 1995, but it was not finished until after his death in 2002. Today you can admire the artworks of Ecuador’s most important artist in an incredible atmosphere above the rooftops of Quito.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 09:30 – 16:40
Entrance fee (adult): 10 USD

6. Visit to the botanical garden

Located in La Carolina Park, the Jardín botánico de Quito is home to many different species of Ecuadorian plants. From the plants of the coast to those of the rainforest, you can find just about everything here.

Opening hours: Daily: 10:00 – 15:00
Entrance fee (adult): 3,50 USD

7. Visit to the Vivarium

The Vivarium, like the botanical garden, is located in La Carolina Park in the north of the city. There you can find over 350 reptiles and amphibians such as frogs, iguanas, poisonous snakes, non-poisonous snakes and many more.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 09:30 – 13:00 and 13:30 – 16:30
Entrance fee (adult): 4 USD

8. Ride with the TelefériQo

The TelefériQo is a mountain cable car in the west of the city that takes you to an altitude of 3947 meters in 20 minutes. From there you have a breathtaking view over the capital of Ecuador. There is also the possibility of climbing the Rucu Pinchincha, mountain biking or paragliding through the air.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:30 – 18:00, Saturday and Sunday: 08:00 – 19:00
Entrance fee (adult): 8.50 USD

9. Visit to the water museum

The interactive water museum called Yaku is one of the more unknown attractions in the city, but no less interesting because of that. Especially for families, this museum is the ultimate destination.

Opening hours: Weekends: 09:30 – 15:45
Entrance fee (adult): 3 USD

10. Visit the Museo Franciscano Fray Pedro Gocial

San Francisco Quito

This museum is located in the courtyard of the San Fancisco Church. The exhibition consists of religious works of art, such as statues and paintings. The view of the green courtyard of the museum is equally impressive. Sometimes you even have the chance to see a real parrot or other tropical birds.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 09:00 – 17:30, Sunday: 09:00 – 13:00
Entrance fee (adult): 3 USD

Send us your comments on the blog!