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Quito Old Town
Quito Old Town

Quito Old Town

Free admission

The Basics

The best way to explore the Old Town is on a walking tour. Most sights are within strolling distance of the main squares—Plaza de la Independencia (aka Plaza Grande), Plaza Santo Domingo, and Plaza San Francisco—making it easy to check off top attractions such as the Central Market (Mercado Central), the Independence Monument (El Monumento a la Independencia), and the Archbishop’s Palace (Palacio Arzobispal).

Many Quito city tours combine a walking tour of the Old Town with a view from Panecillo hill, a ride on the Teleferico to the top of Pichincha Volcano, or a visit to the Middle of the World monument, Ecuador’s equator line.

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Explore Old Town Quito: Sightseeing, Food, Culture Small Group Walking Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Explore Old Town Quito: Sightseeing, Food, Culture Small Group Walking Tour
star-4.5
$35.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great guide, tour and value!
Our guide Etiel was very knowledgeable about Quito and Ecuador. He was very attentive to our comfort and interests, and we enjoyed a great introduction to the historic center's sites and gastronomy. Highly recommended!
Marilyn_H, Apr 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Quito

star-5
Great intro to Quito
Tori_H, Jun 2021
Quito Old Town Tour with Gondola Ride and Visit to the Equator
Great intro to Quito. We loved the gondola ride and the equator museum. We learned a ton. Our tour guide was great! Super nice and lots of info. She put up with all our picture taking. Lol
star-5
A great way to see Quito
Meera_W, Mar 2020
Quito Old Town Tour with Gondola Ride and Visit to the Equator
My husband and I were very pleased with our private tour. Our knowledgeable guide, Malena, knew many facts and answered all our questions. We wanted to see more of the city of Quito and fewer historic sights. She helped to make this possible. Great driving by driver, Alexis. We enjoyed a delicious Ecuadorian lunch on the way to Mitad del Mundo. The group tour there was a bit long but we learned some interesting facts. A great day!
star-5
Quito in a day
Diane_T, Feb 2020
Quito Old Town Tour with Gondola Ride and Visit to the Equator
This is a great way to see Quito in one day. We were on our way to Galapagos with a day lay over in Quito. In one full day we went to the equator, Mitad Del Mundo, gondola to El Teleférico highest point, a local lunch and tour of old town.
star-4
Quito in a day
Giannina_P, Feb 2020
Quito Old Town Tour with Gondola Ride and Visit to the Equator
First I would like to start with our guide Carlos. He was awesome! He explained what the day would entail driving to our first location along with the suggestion that the day would be what we wanted to see. Our first stop was Mitad del Mundo which was full of fun facts about how things work on the equator. Even though we participated in a larger tour at this location, Carlos remained with us and also answered any questions we had. Next stop was the Gondola ride. Line was longer than normal and Carlos suggested the fast pass which was an additional cost but not a significant amount more. The ride up was spectacular and the day was sunny and offered amazing views of the city. Then it was off to the old city where we had lunch before beginning our walking tour. The restaurant was reasonable and the menu varied from traditional Ecuadorian cuisine to more main stream. Afterwards we visited some of the churches and other historical buildings in the old city. Carlos provided historical information as we wandered thru the city. This tour is a great way to see the highlights in one day. Again our guide Carlos was awesome and made the tour a success!
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Quito is located at an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850 meters), and visitors flying in from areas of lower altitude may need a day or two to acclimatize. It’s best not to plan any strenuous activities during this time.

  • Many of the Old Town’s restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues are located along La Ronda.

  • Many of Quito’s museums are closed on Mondays.

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How to Get There

Plaza Grande marks the center of Quito Old Town, which lies between La Mariscal in the north and El Panecillo in the south. It’s easy to get around the Old Town on foot, but trolley buses and taxis are also widely available.

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Trip ideas

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When to Get There

The Old Town is closed to traffic on Sundays from 8am to 2pm, a lively time when the pedestrianized streets are filled with street performers and handicraft vendors. Another popular time to visit is on Monday morning at 11am, when the weekly Changing of the Guards ceremony takes place outside the Presidential Palace (Palacio de Carondelet).

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Religious Buildings of Quito Old Town

The Old Town has more than 200 churches, convents, and monasteries. Among the most impressive are the Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, on Plaza de la Independencia, and the neo-Gothic Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito’s largest church, both of which offer spectacular city views from their bell towers. Also notable are the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, known for its lavishly gilded baroque interiors, and the Convento de San Francisco, now home to a huge museum of religious art.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Quito Old Town?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Quito?
A:
As well as visiting the Quito Old Town, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: