Things to do in

Quito

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Top places to see in Quito

Born from the ruins of an Incan city, Ecuador's capital offers both the comforts of a modern cityscape and cultural treasures of a World Heritage site. Surrounded by volcanic peaks, Quito is abundant in breathtaking natural beauty and perfect for adventurers.

  • Church of the Society of Jesus

    1. Church of the Society of Jesus

    This astouding baroque masterpiece is often claimed as Ecuador's most beautiful church. The ornate interior is guaranteed to dazzle. Admission is $4 with a guided tour.

  • Church and Convent of St. Francis

    2. Church and Convent of St. Francis

    Built shortly after Quito was founded in 1534, this is one of the city's oldest churches. It's an impressive spectacle with stunning colonial design and a rich cultural history.

  • 3. La Capilla del Hombre

    Overlooking Quito is this fascinating museum and gallery of Guayasamín's life work. The building itself is one of the painter's greatest works of art and is best explored by tour.

  • El Panecillo

    4. El Panecillo

    This impressive statue of the Virigin Mary sits atop the hill of Panecillo. Whether you climb by foot or take a taxi, you're guaranteed breathtaking views of Quito's best sights.

  • Pichincha Volcano

    5. Pichincha Volcano

    Take a ride on Quito Teleferico - one of the world's highest aerial lifts - to see stunning views from Pichincha's base. Try and wait for a clear morning to get the full effect.

  • Cotopaxi National Park

    6. Cotopaxi National Park

    A beautiful natural treasure, this expansive reserve is one of Ecuador's most popular attractions. For a day trip, it's best to drive and then explore on foot. Admission is $10.

  • Cathedral of Quito

    7. Cathedral of Quito

    Found in the Independence Plaza, the Metropolitan Cathedral is a beautiful blend of architectural designs. Inside, view its stunning colonial art collection unrivalled in Quito.

  • 8. Parque La Carolina

    A wonderful family park packed full of things to do. Rent a kite or paddleboat in the sunshine. Or visit the park's botanic gardens and vivarium for a great display of wildlife.

  • Ciudad Mitad del Mundo

    9. Ciudad Mitad del Mundo

    Journey to the "City at the Middle of the World" to see this stunning monument marking the equator line. It's a picture-perfect sight and also home to an Ecuadorian history museum.

Frequently asked questions about Quito

What top attractions are a must-see in Quito?

Planning Your Visit

  • When's the best time to visit Quito?

    Falling on the equator, Quito has wet and dry seasons rather than clear-cut summer and winter months. If you want a sunny visit, then June to August is best. Its busiest periods are mid-June to September and late December to early January, so book well in advance if you're planning your trip for those periods.

  • How many days should you stay?

    There's a wealth of must-see sights, beautiful beaches and stunning natural surroundings in Quito, with plenty to do if you venture outside of the city, too. Most recommend at least three full days to see Quito's treasures, but a more well-rounded trip would benefit from a week.

  • Where's the best place to stay?

    The most popular spot to stay is near the Mariscal. Here there are plenty of guesthouses, hostels, bars and eateries to suit any budget. However, for a taste of traditional Quito, head for the old town, home to most of the city's most treasured, ancient sites.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +593
  • Best time to visit
    Given Quito is so near the equator, year round temperatures are generally pleasant and warm. There is, however, a rainy season which lasts from December through March. Best plan your trip for June, July, or August.

Other Sightseeing Options in Quito

Want to discover all there is to do in Quito? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Quito

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 548 reviews

I had a mishap with getting an Uber and was not able to meet the group that morning. They really bent over backwards to make special arrangements to meet me when I was finally able to get there hours later. My host, Daniel, was very friendly and informative. He told us a lot of local legends that I would never had heard on my own. I have seen several bad reviews but I’m a solo female traveler and a first time international traveler and I am so glad I did this tour!! I have nothing but good things to say.

Loved this. Nicholas was a great guide. Nothing felt scripted. The places we visited were either ones I couldn’t have found myself, or so local that I would not have known how to navigate them alone. Besides explaining the food, he also had deep insight into Quito and Ecuadorian culture. Felt like a night with a friend’s eel-read, laidback, and personable friend. Highly recommend.

For the same price as a taxi or Uber, they pick you up at the gate with a name sign and drop you off at your door in a large, new car with a super friendly driver. You’d be crazy not to take this option!! They also do Quito>Airport — you just need to WhatsApp them ahead to arrange the pick up address. Totally recommend.

Our guide Dani and driver Hector were very pleasant, knowledgeable and fun. We had an amazing day thanks to these two gems!!! Thanks so much guys- we will always remember Ecuador in a special way because of you!!

our guide was amazing. so knowledgeable and passionate about the history of Ecuador and it’s people