Independence Square

Independence Square which includes street scenes and a square or plaza as well as a large group of people
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Rows of stately colonial buildings and a 16th-century cathedral surround this historic civic square on the site where Quito’s Old Town made its humble beginnings.

Independence Square (Plaza de la Independencia, also known as Plaza Grande) is the civic heart of historic Quito. Flanked by historic sites such as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, Carondelet Palace (the presidential palace), the Municipal Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace, the square is the perfect base from which to visit all the sites of Quito Old Town.

The square began as a meeting place and water source for the fledgling town. Since the 16th century, townspeople have gathered here to collect water from the fountain and watch bullfights. Today, the square features a modern monument to the Royal Audience of Quito, who first called for independence from the Spanish colony in 1809.

Stroll along the square’s tree-lined paths to admire the surrounding colonial buildings and the tall independence monument. Admire the gardens dotted with charming flowerbeds and fountains. The square’s shaded seats are popular with students enjoying a recess, locals partaking in some people-watching, and street vendors selling souvenirs and snacks.

Take a seat on one of the curved stone benches and look up at the Cathedral of Quito. The cathedral was built in the mid-16th century. One of the oldest cathedrals in South America, it is rich with legend and history. According to one legend, a drunken man offended the Gallo de la Catedral, the rooster that sits atop the cathedral, so the rooster flew down and pecked the man.

Wander around the square’s bordering streets to find many typical Ecuadorian restaurants, cafés and local craft stores. Stop by the Information Center in the Municipal Palace to learn about the area’s heritage and to enquire about history tours.

Independence Square is located in Quito Old Town. The square is open daily and free to enter. Most of the colonial buildings are open to the public but may charge an admission fee. Reach Independence Square by trolleybus or find metered parking on nearby streets.

Top Hotels Close to Independence Square

Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
3 out of 5
Sucre Oe 3-17 y Guayaquil, Centro Histórico, Quito
The price is $65 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Quito. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (146 reviews)
Great atrium area
"Seemed to great for groups traveling together. Open area if atrium great for evening gathering."

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2022

Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel Plaza Grande
Hotel Plaza Grande
5 out of 5
Garcia Moreno N5-16 Y Chile, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $180 per night from Aug 20 to Aug 21
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Quito. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace, and room service. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in our ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (114 reviews)
"Good location & good service"

Reviewed on Jun 4, 2022

Hotel Plaza Grande
Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena
4.5 out of 5
Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $298 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 30
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Quito. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the WiFi in our reviews. ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (51 reviews)
"This Hotel is phenomenal. Perfectly located in the heart of Quito historic district. Hotel is fully renovated and staff is very friendly. Food in the restaurant is delicious. Café quiteño experience between 4-6pm at the lobby area is great!"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2022

Casa Gangotena
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Independence Square

Hotel Plaza del Teatro
Hotel Plaza del Teatro
3 out of 5
Guayaquil, N8-75 y Esmeraldas, Quito, Pichincha, 107401
The price is $21 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 23
Hotel Plaza del Teatro
Hotel Plaza Grande
Hotel Plaza Grande
5 out of 5
Garcia Moreno N5-16 Y Chile, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $180 per night from Aug 20 to Aug 21
Hotel Plaza Grande
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
3 out of 5
Sucre Oe 3-17 y Guayaquil, Centro Histórico, Quito
The price is $65 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena
4.5 out of 5
Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $298 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 30
Casa Gangotena
Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
4 out of 5
Cotopaxi N 9- 17 y Esmeraldas, Quito, 170130
The price is $106 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
Masaya Quito
Masaya Quito
2 out of 5
Calle Rocafuerte OE3 85 y Venezuela, Quito, Pichincha, 170403
The price is $41 per night from Sep 6 to Sep 7
Masaya Quito
Hotel Patio Andaluz
Hotel Patio Andaluz
4 out of 5
Garcia Moreno N6-52, Quito, Pichincha, 170401
The price is $132 per night from Sep 15 to Sep 16
Hotel Patio Andaluz
Hotel La Basílica Quito
Hotel La Basílica Quito
3 out of 5
Venezuela N8-28, Calle Manabí, Quito, Pichincha, 170130
The price is $118 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Hotel La Basílica Quito
La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
3.5 out of 5
La Ronda, Calle Morales OE1- 160, Quito, 170104
The price is $104 per night from Aug 21 to Aug 22
La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.