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Centro Histórico Things to See and Do

You will need more than one afternoon to see and do all that Quito’s Centro Histórico has to offer. The hilly cobblestone streets take you back to the era of the Spanish Empire, with large central plazas, sprawling green parks, beautiful colonial buildings and elaborate Catholic churches. With so much to gaze at, you might find yourself just wandering through the pleasant neighborhood without setting foot inside one of the historic buildings. When you do, however, you will be instantly amazed. Check out the gold ornamented Iglesia de La Compañia, or wander through the President’s Palace in Plaza Grande. Pay a visit one of Centro Histórico’s many interesting museums, with exhibits on colonial and indigenous art, military memorabilia, and relics that chart the country’s checkered history from pre-Inca times to the present. Even if you are sleeping in another part of Quito, it is worth your while to spend time embracing one of Ecuador's most historic areas.










By Margaret Rode
A self-professed city girl, sassy staff writer Margaret Rode hails from Chicago where she received Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Spanish...
21 Jan 2013

 
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Calle La Ronda

Calle La Ronda

Parting from Calle Benalcázar, the downhill walk along Calle La Ronda is a short journey through a very significant representation of colonial...

Cultural Tour
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Mirador El Panecillo

Mirador El Panecillo

El Panecillo—or to use the Inca name, Yavira—is a lush green hill visible from many different points in Quito. La Virgen del Panecillo, the...

City Plaza
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
La Basílica del Voto Nacional

La Basílica del Voto Nacional

A relatively new addition to the Quito skyline, and now one of its most striking landmarks, is the Basilica del Voto Nacional, or simply "the...

Historical Building
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Plaza San Francisco

Plaza San Francisco

The cobbled Plaza de San Francisco is one of Quito’s oldest and most impressive sights, including, as it does, views of the magnificently white...

City Plaza
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Plaza de la Independencia

Plaza de la Independencia

As you wonder around the Centro Histórico, you’ll probably find yourself walking into the majestic Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande), at...

City Plaza
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
El Palacio Arzobispal (The Archbishop's Palace)

El Palacio Arzobispal (The Archbishop's Palace)

Opposite the cathedral in the Plaza Grande, the former Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop’s Palace) now houses a row of shops, ranging from...

Historical Building
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Palacio del Gobierno

Palacio del Gobierno

The building on the northwestern side of the plaza above the row of arched, hole-in-the-wall shops, is the Palacio del Gobierno (Presidential...

Historical Building
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Parque Alameda

Parque Alameda

Between Old Town and New Town, the small triangular Parque Alameda is the closest open space to the Centro Histórico, and therefore one of the...

City Plaza
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Iglesia y Museo de Santo Domingo

Iglesia y Museo de Santo Domingo

The Iglesia de Santo Domingo may at first seem like one of those churches that is far more impressive from the outside. However, step into its...

Museum
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Museo Numismático del Banco Central

Museo Numismático del Banco Central

The Banco Central's Museo Numismático has just what you'd expect a bank to showcase: coins. The impressive, extensive collection has monetary...

Museum
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador

Museo Alberto Mena Caamaño

Hidden up some stairs at the back of the Centro Cultural Metropolitano with no signs in sight, this museum can be tricky to find. Formerly known...

Museum
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Los Coches de La Colonia: Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours

Los Coches de La Colonia: Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours

What better way to enjoy the colonial center of Quito than in the preferred method of transportation of a century ago, a horse and buggy! Quito's...

Cultural Tour
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Museo de la Ciudad

Museo de la Ciudad

Housed in a spacious and attractively restored old hospital building just east of Plaza de Santo Domingo, the Museo de la Ciudad is certainly...

Museum
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Casa Museo Maria Augusta Urrutia

Casa Museo Maria Augusta Urrutia

Once the home of Quito’s best known philanthropist, this museum is now dedicated to María Augusta’s life and work helping Quito’s street...

Museum
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Iglesia de la Catedral (The Cathedral)

Iglesia de la Catedral (The Cathedral)

On the southwestern side of the Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande) is the Iglesia de la Cathedral. It is unusual in Ecuador, in that it's...

Historical Building
Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador
Mapa
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