Quito is the capital of Ecuador. It was founded in 1534 on the ruins of an ancient Inca city.

74 things to do

All Places Ecuador

Mitad del Mundo

Just outside of Quito is where the measurements were first made that proved that the shape of the Earth is in fact an oblate spheroid. Commemorating this is a large monument that straddles the equator called '''Mitad del Mundo''' or middle of the world. Note, however, that the true equator is not at the Mitad del Mundo monument but rather 240m north of it (you can cross the "line" in the Intiñan museum or on the road). The entrance for the park is $3.50 (included entrance to small museums - April 2016). For some of the attractions like the planetarium, the price is $7.50. You can also go to the [http://museointinan.com.ec/ The Intiñan Solar Museum] which is right next to the monument, on the other side of the north fence. For $4 you can have a tour of this little museum. Note that they don't demonstrate the Coriolis effect but rather deceive you (ask for repeating the experiment on your own and they will deny it). Other "experiments" showing effects that apparently only occur on the equator are also scam. The tour is completed by some untrue facts about indigenous cultures in Ecuador and is just straining after effect. The place looks like a total dump and is at the end of a dirt road, but for some people it is much more interesting and informative than the '''Mitad del Mundo'''.

SEE   —  Map

Travellers Inn

This is an old mansion from the beginnings of the 20th century, nicely decorated. It has a mini-bar, guest kitchen, travel agency inside and extremely friendly and helpful English speaking staff. It has yards all around the house and wireless Internet to all the building (2 computers with Internet connection as well). Included breakfast here is awesome: coffee (real coffee), tea, milk, fresh juice, 3 types of fruits, bread, cheese, 2 eggs, butter, marmalade, etc. There is a laundry service, Spanish lessons, book exchange, free maps, bike rental, luggage storage, etc. A nice TV room with a huge collection of movies. There are rooms with shared bathroom from 11 dollars per person, and rooms with private bathroom from 15 dollars per person.

Chicago Hostel Inn

Our hostel is conveniently located near all major public transportation, inside a traditional neighborhood of Quito called San Blas. Our hostel is located to 8 minutes away to the Main Square in the Old Town and 20 minutes away to the night life (walking distances). We offer you private rooms with private and shared bathrooms and besides a mixed dorm room ensuite, internet, WIFI, housekeeping everyday, mailbox service, an amazing view point of Quito from our covered top terrace, luggage storage, security lockers, exchange books, bar, breakfast served at the top terrace, Spanish Classes, travel agency "TradeTouring S.A." (http://www.tradetouring.webs.com/ {{dead link|April 2016}})

Museo del Banco Central

Perhaps Ecuador's most renowned museum with different rooms, devoted to pre-Columbian, Colonial and gold works of art, among other topics. Some of the famous pieces include whistle bottles shaped like animals, elaborate gold headdresses and re-created miniature scenes of life along the Amazon. The museum is well-organized, and it takes about 3–4 hours to see everything. Entrance USD 2. Guides who speak several different languages including English, French and Spanish are available for a small fee.<p>NOTE: The '''Banco Central''' also has a small exhibit downtown, across from ''La Compañía'' church. This exhibit usually shows currency or stamps. USD 1.

SEE   —  Map

Grinn House

Located in the New Town at the end of the bar & restaurant-filled Calama St, this hostel is brightly lit, immaculately clean and features some of the most comfortable beds and blankets you'll find in any hostel in South America. Dorm rooms for 4+ people (if there isn't much traffic you might even get a room to yourself). The double suite has its own private bathroom and cabinets for your belongings. Open kitchen and fridge for guests. Plenty of hot water, free wi-fi internet, and optional laundry service and breakfasts. Very friendly owner and staff are happy to help with directions, activities, tours, cabs, etc.

Itchimbia cultural complex and park

This hill provides stunning views of central and northern Quito, as well as the distant peak of Cayambe to the northeast. The hillside was made into a park and an impressive cultural centre established here in 2005. The centre holds temporary exhibitions. At the weekends, there are workshops and fun for children. A restaurant, Pim's, opened at the complex in June 2007. The complex closes at 6PM. Once it closes, you can head to the nearby Cafe Mosaico to watch the sunset until about 7PM. It's a great spot to watch the fading of the light on the mountainside with the floodlights of the Old Town's churches.

SEE   —  Map

Conjunto monumental San Francisco

The church dates back from the 1570s and was devoted to San Francis, since the Franciscan order was the first to settle in the area. Hence the city's official name: San Francisco de Quito. The church contains masterpieces of syncretic art, including the famous "Virgin of Quito" by Legarda. The sculpture represents a winged virgin stepping on the devil's head (in the form of a serpent) and is displayed in the main altar. The virgin would later be inaccurately replicated on top of Panecillo hill. The museum next door to the church is arranged through the monastic compound and includes access to the choir.

SEE   —  Map

Hostal Marsella

Located between New and Old Quito, just up the hill from Parque Alameda. Plenty of clean rooms with sitting areas both inside and under a new glassed-in ceiling on the rooftop (with views of the Basilica and the Panacillo/Angel.) Hot water, free wi-fi internet in the common areas, laundry service, large breakfasts ($2–$3). Door is locked 24/7 for security and the very friendly owners and staff are happy to help with directions, calling cabs, etc. Great spot away from (but within walking distance of) the much more touristy Mariscal Sucre.

Green Horse Ranch

The Pululahua Crater is one of the most amazing places to ride, but chances are you will not find anything about it in your guide book. Astrid, the owner of the ranch who moved to Ecuador from Germany about 15 years ago, will pick you up in Quito and bring you to the ranch (about 45 minute drive). Rides of various lengths are available and she has a wide variety of horses ready for novices and experts. Her and her staff are incredibly friendly and everything is included in the price.

DO   —  Quito, Ecuador

Casa Helbling

An old, but well preserved, large mansion where every room is different, but all are nice with a lot of light. Most are shared bathrooms. Full kitchen available for use; nice courtyards, roof decks, and outdoor speaces. Breakfast and laundry available. German and English spoken. Free wifi and a computer for use. Friendly, relaxed staff. Quiet and tranquil, perfect for those over 30 who want to be in La Mariscal but away from the crazy college crowd.

Museo Guayasamin

This museum houses the collection of Ecuador's most renowned contemporary artists, Oswaldo Guayasamin. It has a fine collection of pre-Columbian, colonial and independence art, as well as housing many of the artist's works. You can also visit the nearby '''[http://www.capilladelhombre.com Chapel of Man]''' (Capilla del Hombre) which was built posthumously to house some of Guayasamin's vast canvasses on the condition of Latin American Man.

SEE   —  Map

The Magic Bean

a good menu, excellent quality and big portions, a good "backpacker" vibe to the restaurant and English speaking staff, fresh juices. For reading, the American newspaper "Miami Herald" is available. Super clean & centrally located, with a Hostel attatched to the restaurant Magic Bean. Very clean bathrooms for travelers on a budget. Fresh Espresso, Cappuccino, Beer, Wine, Coffee, Tea & a wide variety of pastry & ice cream.

Aleida's Hostal

Aleida's Hostal is a laid back family run hotel just a block away from La Floresta's big 5 star hotels. The building is a beautifully restored three story house built in the 1950s with friendly staff and a sunny courtyard in the front. Spanish and English are spoken and services include wireless internet, laundry, book exchange, and more. Rooms start at around $15 including breakfast in the restaurant downstairs.

Calle de la Ronda

This street in the Old Town was restored by Municipality and FONSAL in 2007. It was transformed with the help and cooperation of the local residents. It's a romantic cobbled street just off the Plaza Santo Domingo (or it can be reached via Garcia Moreno by the City Museum). There are shops, patios, art galleries and modest cafe restaurants now, all run by residents. Cultural events are common at the weekends.

SEE   —  Map

Instituto Superior de Español

located in the heart of Quitos centro histórico, the Instituto Superior de Español offers high-quality Spanish language training, classes and instruction especially for foreign students since 1988. The students get the opportunity to book private or group Spanish courses, to take part in volunteerprograms or to discover the country and learn Spanish at the same time by choosing the unique traveling classroom.

Museo Mindalae

An extremely original project in the north part of the Mariscal District, this museum provides an 'ethno-historical' view of Ecuador's amazingly rich cultural diversity. You can find out about the country's different peoples, from the coast to the Andes to the Amazon, and their crafts in a specially-built and designed structure. The museum has a restaurant for lunch, a cafe and a fair-trade shop.

SEE   —  Map

Museo de la Ciudad

A lovely museum with two floors encircling two quiet courtyards, the "Museo de la Ciudad" provides more of a social history of Ecuador than other museums in Quito. Re-enacted scenes from daily life of Ecuador's citizens through the years include a hearth scene from a 16th-century home, a battle scene against the Spanish, and illustrations of the building of Iglesia de San Francisco church.

SEE   —  Garcia Moreno street

El pobre Diablo

Is one of the oldest cafe-bars in Quito. Almost every week there are some kind of cultural activity or a live concert. The food and the drinks are moderately priced. The "Vino caliente" and "canelazo" are recommended. El pobre Diablo is located across the street from the Swiss Hotel. There is a local menu that is new Monday to Friday featuring a four course pre fixed lunch.

Hotel San Francisco de Quito

A lovely, comfortable, converted estate house offering excellent value. Price includes a basic breakfast, which can be upgraded for a price. Some rooms on the courtyard and street are a bit noisy. There are no windows in most rooms. The restaurant also serves excellent dinners, priced in line with other a-la-carte restaurants.


New German-run Brew-Pub with excellent beer, from Hefeweizen (blond wheat beer) to Stout. Offers mostly German food, such as sausages, schnitzel, potato salad and tasty Hamburgers. Has live sports on a big screen (HD), a beautiful garden and foosball. Wednesday Reggae Night, Thursday Classic and modern Rock. Packed on Fridays.

La Vírgen del Panecillo

El Panecillo is a large hill on top of which is La Virgin del Panecillo, a large statue of the 'winged' Virgin Mary. She can be seen from most points in the city. Local legend has it that she is the only virgin in Quito. Never walk up the hill, always take a taxi or a bus as the walk up can be dangerous.

SEE   —  Map

Turtle's Head

An English pub style bar that often has live music in the later hours. They have their own brews along with other popular beers. They also have pool tables, foosball, darts etc. As of June 2010 Turtle's Head is also open in the nearby valley of Cumbaya, located in the main plaza across from the church.

Hostal Belmont

Anteparra N-413, rooftop kitchen and terrace with great views over the city, TV room with DVDs and SNES, free use of washing machines, free internet, free tea/coffee/aromaticas all day, friendly family run place, 2 mins from Itchimbia park - more great views. 6 USD per person per night.

SLEEP   —  +593 2 295 6235 —  Map

Backpackers Inn

Centrally and very quietly located in the heart of La Mariscal District. The rooms and bathrooms are very clean. Good kitchen for joint use, free WiFi. Big, comfy common rooms filled with fun things and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Parking space available at no extra charge.

La Casa Sol

A colorful, homey hostel in the best part of the neighborhood, close to shopping, nightlife and entertainment. Great amenities: cafe and international library, and a beautiful antique house. Nice breakfast in a sunny restaurant. Walking distance to s 'Metro Bus' station.

SLEEP   —  +593 2 223 0798 —  Calama 127

Hotel Mariot

Art Gallery and fine stores, blvd off the lobby. Hotel Mariot is one of the best hotels in Quito and is located in the bustling buzzy Mariscal district, this refined conference hotel is 2 km from the Centro de Exposiciones Quito and 4 km from Plaza de la Independencia.

Grima's Pub of Quito

Grima is a great place for good drinks at a very reasonable price. Located on the lower level is one of the best art galleries featuring local artists in Quito. Six nights a week (except Mondays) there is a D.J. spinning the best in electronic & rock music in Quito.

Finn Mc Cool's

Your local away from home. Cozy Irish pub with friendly atmosphere, loads of Live sports, free pool and foosball, draft beer and good pub food all day. Poker Monday, Table Quiz Tuesday and good craic every night of the week. Get in before 4 on Sundays!

Quito Backpacker's Guesthouse

Historic building in the center of town. Friendly athmosphere, cultural events, rooftop terrace with beautiful view, free wifi, bar, food service, kitchen, hot water, laundry service, tours, warm, comfortable beds, clean private and shared rooms.


International cuisine. Moderate. Attentive service in a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere. General Salazar 934 y 12 de Octubre. Hours: M - F 12:30 - 4 and 6:30 - 11; Sat 6:30 - 11; Sunday closed. Reservations recommended.

EAT   —  +593 2 223-7334 —  Map

Botanical Gardens

It's a wonderful escape from the city, with all of Ecuador's ecosystems represented with a wide variety of flora. You can take a guided tour or just wander. The highlight for many people are the two glassed-in orchidariums.

SEE   —  Map

Uncle Ho's

Great fresh Asian food (Vietnamese & Thai) in funky surroundings with friendly service. Excellent Martinis & drink specials. Prices - Appetizers $3–4, Mains $7–10. Tofu & Veggie options, Local Ecuadorian Specialities.

Galeria de Arte Creacion

Art Studio, located on Amazon and Wilson, very close to the Mariott and the Hilton. Lessions in Art, Painting and Watercolor, Oil Painting, Modern Art Classes, Monday to Saturday, Escuela de arte · Servicios artísticos.

El Cafecito

Clean rooms, a popular cafe/restaurant and a tranquil shaded courtyard all housed in a beautifully decorated building in the Mariscal. The hostel has 6 rooms and prices start at $7USD (June, 2009) for a dorm bed.

El Centro Del Mundo

Has affordable rooms, a trilingual owner Pierre, and is a great spot for backpackers. Television room and free rum and coke nights three times a week. Food is also available. Showers aren't very hot though.


Upscale restaurant well worth the visit. Urban chic meets Quito, and the result is a very comfortable setting with outstanding cuisine and top notch service. Great wine list too. Located near the JW Marriott.

Mea Culpa

Among the best restaurants in town. Great service and food, taste the crepes de pangora (stone crab). Dishes are small, get an entry. Nice view of the plaza from some tables. Dress Code: Semi Formal.

Hotel Quito

This hotel offers the following services: Casino, Restaurant, Room service, Wifi, Swimming pool, Garden spa and fitness, Business Center, Shops, Parking, Wet and dry cleaning, nanny service,

Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus

This church is regarded by many as the most beautiful in the Americas. Partially destroyed by fire, it was restored with assistance from the Getty Foundation and other benefactors. Stunning.

SEE   —  Map

Go Mountain Biking

There are many outfits offering one- to multi-day mountain biking trips to the surrounding volcanos, lakes, and valleys. Biking Dutchman is one of the oldest and most well-regarded.

DO   —  +593 2 2568 323 —  Foch E4-283

Ailola Quito

Ailola Quito offers several Spanish Courses(individual, group or combi classes), Traveling classroom and volunteer programs for every age in Quito and other locations like Otavalo.

Hotel Sierra Nevada

The hotel (founded in 1997) is located in a charming old townhouse right off the famous Avenida Amazonas. It has 19 rooms and offers free breakfast. They offer airport pick-ups.

Guitarras Guacan

Master Luthier Cesar Guacan's quaint guitar workshop at the base of the Virgin del Panecillo - great guitars for both professionals and budget-conscious. www.guitarrasguacan.com

Magic Bean Hostal

One large room sleeps 3 with private bath ($40 plus taxes) the other accommodation in a Dorm style room. Friendly staff and an excellent breakfast, but its a very noisy area.


Hand made shoes. A wide selection in stock plus made to measure if you have 8 days to spare. A selection of correspondant (spectator shoes), riding boots and womens shoes $80

L'Auberge Inn

Nice place to make your base for your time in Quito. Clean but basic rooms, internet in-house and a big cheap breakfast. There is also a Swiss restaurant directly below.


Need a break from all the new tastes, get a taste and comfort from home. This American style Sports Bar has great food and you can watch all your favorite sports on TV.

Sport Planet

Located on the 3rd floor of "Plaza de las Americas". Is the Ecuadorian version of Hollywood Planet. The night sky of northern Quito is incredible and the food is great.

JW Marriott Hotel Quito

Luxury hotel, offers spacious and luxurious rooms, along with first-class meeting facilities, a outdoor pool and garden, full-service SPA and outstanding restaurants.

Hotel Sierra Madre

A good mid range place, comfortable beds, quiet rooms, close to La Mariscal (2 minutes) but much quieter. Breakfast expensive, just walk into town

Swiss Hotel

Art Gallery and fine stores, blvd off the lobby. This upscale hotel is 3 km from Parque La Carolina and 4 km from Plaza de la Independencia square.

República del Cacao

A nice place to have a cup of delicious hot chocolate. They also offer coffee, cookies and souvenirs (e.g. chocolate and cool t-shirts).

Restaurant Techo del Mundo

Luxurious restaurant with a spectacular view located in the 5 stars hotel “Hotel Quito”, international and Ecuadorian cuisine.

Hotel Huasi Continental

Nice and clean hotel in the old town with helpful staff. Note that some of the rooms facing the street can be a bit noisy.


A Ecuadorian Franchise. They have 4 locals, Panecillo, Cumbaya, Itchimbia and Isabel La Catolica (next to the Swissotel).

EAT   —  Map

La Casona de Mario

Single double and triple room. All rooms have shared bathrooms and there is a set price of $10.00 per person per night

Community Hostel

A newly opened hostel in the historic district of Quito's Old Town. With a friendly Staff and very clean environment.

El Taxo

A lot of very clean rooms. A closed and roofed terrace in front where you can sit. The place is guard by a fence.

Q bar+restaurant+lounge

A very elegant lounge style bar. It's located on Foch Plaza so you have access to an even wider options nearby.

Quito Airport Suites

Suites near the airport complete with hot water, TV, WIFI, 24 hr staff and airport transfers, A/C, restaurant.

La Casa de Elize

Hostel with a family atmosphere. It's a few blocks from the Mariscal area. Dormbed $6 and breakfast $1,50.


A great place to have some drinks and have a chat, or just to pass the time. Is just above "no bar"

Banana Spanish School

Spanish classes for foreign students in Ecuador. Affordable classes as well, at a teachers co-op.

Hostal la Rabida

There is also a very good restaurant on the premises. Friendly staff.


Traditional Ecuadorian cuisine with a gourmet twist!

Casa de la Cultura

Shows a patchwork of local artists.

SEE   —  Map

El Jardin

Art Galleries and shopping.

About Quito

Be prepared to speak some basic Spanish in order to get along. Quito is an excellent city in which to learn Spanish before heading off to other places in South America. The Spanish spoken in Quito is very clear and it is spoken slowly as compared to coastal areas. There are many excellent Spanish schools, where you can have private or group lessons very economically. These schools will also arrange homestay accommodation which is convenient, inexpensive and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the culture and try the local food. Very few locals speak English except in the touristy areas of North Quito which includes "La Mariscal" quarter, where most tourist businesses are located. La Mariscal occupies several square blocks in North Quito and is the place to be if you wear a backpack. Bars, restaurants, hostels and internet cafes abound. Young people from many countries tend to congregate there. Ecuador, especially the Sierra region that includes Quito, is culturally a very conservative society. This is reflected in manner of dress. People of all socio-economic backgrounds tend to dress up in Ecuador. For men, this means a pair of trousers and a button down shirt. For women, slacks or dresses are acceptable. Men and women seldom wear short pants in Quito, although in recent years casual clothes have become somewhat more accepted especially among the young and on very hot days. Some popular nightclubs and restaurants enforce a dress code. Lastly, remember that Quito is said to have "all four seasons in a day". Once the sun goes down it can get downright cold. Dressing in layers is a good idea.

Source: wikivoyage