Many options to have fun while getting to know the city, we will split those up in the most relevant here:
1. DOWNTOWN OLD CITY PROMENADE
Proudly we have the best preserved colonial city in the world, so, get ready to enjoy it! This is the rout we recommend, yet you can make your own and if you find some new spot worth pointing here, please let us know.
So, we love walking, and we will take you to a walking tour with us. GET READY! sunblock, umbrella, cup, sweater, water, snacks (or by those on the way), comfortable shoes! HERE WE GO!
Start at El Ejido park, next to Hotel Colón, check the Casa de la Cultura building or mirror building, there is a nice museum inside it (MUNA) and are a few interesting buildings around with french/italian architecture, but as time is precious we will leave it there.
– Walk to the south and find La Basílica Church, this is a gothic one, climb to the top of the clock towers and enjoy the view, Quito is huge, you will see it from there.
– Get down and walk south and find our main independence plaza. There you can see the 4 powers who used to lead our country, make sure to check: The presidential palace, the catholic church with the cathedral, if you can climb up the domes -SO PRETTY!- and make a quick stop to have a coffee or an ice cream at the building in front of the Cathedral, a gorgeous traditional building with its own little plaza inside and lovely balconies surrounding it.
– Get out and keep walking south to the La Companía Church, a must! We love this one with its barroque roque facade, and inside it a golden vault at the ceiling. Of course, we are not going to say anything about its religious art, it will take us an entire day on each one of those. LET’S KEEP MOVING!
– Again, get out of there and walk up to the San Francisco Plaza and find gorgeous San Francisco church, this one has a pretty cool museum inside, you can check it out, or if you prefer, you can go out from it and walk to the side (south) and find the Alabado Museum, filled with pre-colombian art, sculptures and the history of our ancestors. This one is super nice, and if you get tired, you can just cross the street to Plaza Gangotena Hotel/Restaurant and have a drink or eat something with its view. Enjoy it, take your time.
– We know the day has been long, but if you still have strengths, get out of the restaurant and walk down to Santo Domingo Plaza, and find inside the church a little one called the Red Chapel, (OMG, a hidden jewel) Then again you can keep walking down and find the San Marcos barrio which is one of the most traditional ones.
There are many places we didn’t mention, as one day won’t be enough, but at least with this you will already fall in love with Quito.
Our advice, take an uber back home, you will be super tired for walking back. Tired, but with a full smile of amazement.
2. TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE MODERN SIDE OF QUITO
Start at La Floresta barrio, its one of those a little hippy barrios of the city, they have traditional houses, with nice little coffee shops and also a cool independent cinema «Cine ocho y medio» which you can stop by and enjoy, then walk north to La Gonzales Suarez, this is a nice part, a bit more elegant with big modern buildings and nice views of the city, behind it you will find Guápulo, if you wanna detour and check the church you can, is not that near when walking, but its pretty and is worth visitng it while getting to know Guápulo barrio too, this one is one of the most traditonal ones. Then get back and go to República del Salvador, this is like the modern side of Quito, with its financial center, you will find many restaurants and bars. If you wanna take a break from the city, check the Botanic Garden at La Carolina Park, and check lots of amazing plants from all regions. If you still want to wander around the city, take an uber and ask them to drop you at Cumbaya valley, the main plaza. If you want to stop for a bite we will recommend Lucia restaurant, has a very nice garden on the inside and their pizza is very good!
This is still Quito, yet you will check the different environments. This is a 20min drive without traffic. Take an uber back home or if you feel like, stop at Paul Rivet street and have a drink or two at Zinc or Santa Rosa
3. Quick art, history and chilling day.
If you like to check museums and art galleries, this is the rout you would like to check.
Start at MUNA, the national museum of arts, then check Más Arte Galería for a contemporary art approach and then take an uber to La Capilla del hombre where you will find art from Oswaldo Guayasamin, one of out biggest exponentials. Enough art for a day? Take an uber to Café Mosaico and enjoy the view of the city while having a bite. You will see the entire Downtown majesty of Quito.
Then again, take an uber back home.
4. MITAD DEL MUNDO GLIMPSE
Yes, you are right in the middle of the world, so make the best out of it.
1. Start somewhere in Quito and drive to the Mitad del Mundo oficial monument, yes the one with the big world on top. Check the museum, the little stores around and the typical dances at the main plaza.
2. Then, walk a few steps to the Inti-ñan museum or museo del sol, there make all the experiments that will prove you that you actually are standing in the middle of the world where all the strengths get crazy! Give it a try, this is a must.
Ps. let us know if you manage to stand the egg, that still is an impossible task for us!
3. Head back to Quito but first make at stop at Casa Agave our own traditional miske museum. What exactly is this? Well, have you tried «tequila»? Yami right?! Yes, that one is from Tequila-Mexico. We have something similar in Ecuador, made out of Agave plant, here is called Miske and their museum is just a few minutes away from the Mitad del Mundo monument. So, make an appointment, and get to know the process how we make miske and also a tasting session. You won’t regret it!