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Quito Old Town (Centro Histórico)

Discover the dazzling churches, monasteries, museums, palaces and plazas that decorate the atmospheric streets of Quito’s UNESCO-listed historic center.

Quito Old Town (Centro Histórico) is an architectural masterpiece and the colonial heart of Quito. Visit its dozens of grandiose churches, convents and palaces, many looming over pretty public squares. Find galleries and museums showcasing everything from city history to pre-Columbian art and waxworks. Quito Old Town stands little changed since its 16th-century beginnings despite the city’s several earthquakes.

Experience the lively activity of the district’s three main squares: Independence Square, Santo Domingo Square and San Francisco Plaza. Colonial treasures, such as the Carondelet Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito and El Sagrario Chapel frame Independence Square. Appreciate the grandeur from the comfort of one of the plaza’s benches. Watch as clowns, magicians and musicians entertain locals and tourists.

Marvel at the whitewashed arcades, Moorish-style tower and artwork by Manuel de Samaniego at La Merced Church. Visit its 13 cloisters and see some of the 3,500 works of art at the Church and Convent of San Francisco. Enjoy magnificent views over the city’s rooftops from the 377-foot (115-meter) tall towers of the neo-Gothic Basílica of the National Vow.

Go to the City Museum to learn about the evolution of Quito from prehistoric times to Ecuador’s declaration of independence. Admire waxwork exhibits retelling Quito’s colonial past at the Alberto Mena Caamaño Museum. Browse superb art collections at the Camilo Egas Museum, Colonial Art Museum and House of Praise Pre-Columbian Art Museum. Retrace the life of a well-known aristocrat at María Augusta Urrutia House.

Walk along Calle La Ronda, an atmospheric street filled with chocolatiers, handicraft shops, milliners and silversmiths. Sip a canelazo (a hot spiced fruit and aguardiente drink) at a cozy bar or café. Attend concerts, operas and plays at Teatro Sucre, on Plaza Teatro.

Travel between the attractions of Quito Old Town comfortably on foot. Public buses connect with the city’s outlying suburbs. Guesthouses and hotels line the district’s streets. Take a taxi to El Panecillo lookout and Itchimbía Park for panoramic city and mountain views.


Guide to Exploring around Old Town


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Lodging Near Old Town

See all 421 Properties near Old Town
Hotel Plaza Grande $307
Hotel Plaza Grande

Hotel Plaza Grande

Garcia Moreno N5-16 Y Chile, Quito, Pichincha
     
    4.8
    of 5, from 62 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Quito Historic Center, this luxury hotel is steps from Carondelet Palace, Independence Square, and Quito Cathedral.

    Real Audiencia $64
    Real Audiencia

    Real Audiencia

    Bolívar Oe 3-18 Y Guayaquil, Quito, Pichincha
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 143 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Quito Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santo Domingo Park, Quito Cathedral, and Independence Square. Foch Square and La Carolina Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Hotel Colonial San Agustin $70
      Hotel Colonial San Agustin

      Hotel Colonial San Agustin

      Calle Flores N°5-28, Corner of Chile, Quito
         
        4.3
        of 5, from 66 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Quito Historic Center, this hotel is steps from San Agustin Museum, Church of San Agustin, and Sucre Theatre. Bolivar Theatre and Plaza del Teatro are also within 5 minutes.

        Hotel San Francisco de Quito $69
        Hotel San Francisco de Quito

        Hotel San Francisco de Quito

        Sucre Oe 3-17 y Guayaquil, Centro Histórico, Quito
           
          4.2
          of 5, from 28 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Quito Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museo Casa de Sucre, Independence Square, and Quito Cathedral. Foch Square and La Carolina Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Hotel Patio Andaluz $182
          Hotel Patio Andaluz

          Hotel Patio Andaluz

          Garcia Moreno N6-52, Quito, Pichincha
             
            4.6
            of 5, from 311 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Quito Historic Center, this romantic hotel is steps from Independence Square and Carondelet Palace.

            Chakana Hotel Boutique $44
            Chakana Hotel Boutique

            Chakana Hotel Boutique

            Miguel Espinoza E4-89 and Los Rios , Quito, Pichincha
               
              4.8
              of 5, from 13 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Quito, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of San Blas Square, Independence Square, and Quito Cathedral. Foch Square and La Carolina Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Mia Leticia $36
              Mia Leticia

              Mia Leticia

              Montufar N5-91 Y Mejia, Quito, Pichincha
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 76 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Quito Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Agustin Museum, Quito Cathedral, and Independence Square. Foch Square and La Carolina Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Casa Gangotena $360
                Casa Gangotena

                Casa Gangotena

                Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
                   
                  4.9
                  of 5, from 28 reviews
                  4.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in Quito Historic Center, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Francisco Church, Independence Square, and Quito Cathedral. Foch Square and La Carolina Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).