Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my latest adventure in the heart of Ecuador – the vibrant and historic city of Quito. As I explored this fascinating destination, I couldn’t help but compile a list of the top 10 things to do in Quito that you simply cannot miss. So, buckle up and join me as we delve into the top 10 things to do Quito has to offer, and discover the hidden gems that make this city a must-visit on any South American itinerary.
From breathtaking vistas to rich cultural experiences, the top 10 things to do Quito boasts will leave you in awe and yearning for more. So, without further ado, let’s embark on this journey together and uncover the top 10 things to do in Quito that will make your trip truly unforgettable.
Exploring Quito’s Historical Center
If you’re looking for a cultural experience in Quito, then exploring the city’s historical center is a must-do activity. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to some of the most impressive colonial architecture in South America. Here are the top 10 things to do in Quito’s historical center:
Visit the Plaza de la Independencia – This is the main square in Quito’s historical center and is surrounded by some of the city’s most important buildings, including the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral.
Explore the Cathedral of Quito – This stunning cathedral is one of the most important religious buildings in Ecuador and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and architecture.
Take a tour of the Presidential Palace – The Presidential Palace is only open to the public on weekends, but it’s worth the wait. The building is an impressive example of colonial architecture and is home to some of the country’s most important political figures.
Visit the Church of the Society of Jesus – This church is one of the most impressive examples of Baroque architecture in South America and is a must-visit for anyone interested in art and history.
Explore the Museo de la Ciudad – This museum is located in a beautiful colonial building and is home to a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Quito’s history.
Take a walk along Calle La Ronda – This charming street is lined with colorful colonial buildings and is home to some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.
Visit the Monastery of San Francisco – This impressive monastery is one of the oldest and most important religious buildings in Quito and is home to a stunning collection of art and artifacts.
Explore the Plaza Santo Domingo – This beautiful square is home to the Church of Santo Domingo, which is one of the most important religious buildings in Quito.
Take a tour of the Casa del Alabado – This museum is home to a fascinating collection of pre-Columbian art and artifacts and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and culture.
Enjoy the view from the top of El Panecillo – This hill is home to a statue of the Virgin Mary and offers some of the best views of Quito’s historical center.
Exploring Quito’s historical center is one of the top 10 things to do in Quito, and for good reason. The area is home to some of the most impressive colonial architecture in South America and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, culture, and art.
Breathtaking Views from Teleférico Quito
If you’re looking for a panoramic view of Quito, then the Teleférico Quito is a must-visit attraction on your list of top 10 things to do in Quito. This cable car ride takes you up to the top of Pichincha Volcano, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
The Teleférico Quito is one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, reaching an altitude of 4,100 meters above sea level. The ride takes about 10 minutes to reach the top, and during this time, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the city below.
Once you reach the top, you can explore the hiking trails and take in the stunning views of the Andes Mountains. You can also visit the restaurant and souvenir shops, or simply relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
The best time to visit the Teleférico Quito is on a clear day, as the views are even more spectacular. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
In conclusion, the Teleférico Quito is a must-visit attraction on your list of top 10 things to do in Quito. The breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains are truly unforgettable, and the experience of riding the cable car is one that you won’t want to miss.
Discovering La Ronda Street’s Charm
If you’re looking for a charming and historic street to explore in Quito, La Ronda should be at the top of your list of top 10 things to do in Quito. This cobblestone street is located in the heart of the city’s historic center and is lined with colorful colonial buildings, quaint cafes, and artisan shops.
La Ronda has a rich history dating back to the 16th century when it was a bustling street filled with merchants and artisans. Today, it has been beautifully restored and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
One of the highlights of La Ronda is the street performers who entertain visitors with traditional music and dance. You can also find a variety of artisan shops selling handmade crafts and souvenirs, as well as cafes and restaurants serving up delicious Ecuadorian cuisine.
Be sure to visit La Ronda at night when the street comes alive with twinkling lights and a lively atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to grab a drink and soak up the local culture.
Overall, La Ronda is a must-visit destination in Quito and should definitely be on your list of top 10 things to do in Quito.
A Taste of Quito: Local Cuisine and Markets
When visiting Quito, it’s essential to indulge in the local cuisine and explore the bustling markets. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Quito for foodies:
1. Visit Mercado Central
Mercado Central is a vibrant market in the heart of Quito, where locals come to buy fresh produce, meat, and seafood. It’s an excellent place to sample traditional Ecuadorian dishes like ceviche, empanadas, and hornado.
2. Try Locro de Papas
Locro de Papas is a hearty potato soup that’s a staple in Ecuadorian cuisine. It’s made with potatoes, cheese, avocado, and corn, and it’s often served with toasted corn kernels and aji hot sauce.
3. Explore La Mariscal
La Mariscal is a trendy neighborhood in Quito that’s known for its nightlife and restaurants. It’s an excellent place to try international cuisine, including sushi, pizza, and burgers.
4. Taste the Street Food
Quito is full of street food vendors selling everything from grilled meat skewers to sweet pastries. Some of the must-try street foods include choclos con queso (corn on the cob with cheese), helado de paila (fruit sorbet), and salchipapas (french fries with sausage).
5. Visit La Ronda
La Ronda is a historic street in Quito that’s lined with traditional restaurants and bars. It’s an excellent place to try local dishes like fanesca (a soup made with grains and beans) and churrasco (grilled beef).
6. Sample Ecuadorian Chocolate
Ecuador is known for producing some of the world’s best chocolate, and Quito is home to several chocolate shops and factories. Be sure to try some of the local chocolate bars and truffles while you’re in town.
7. Visit the Otavalo Market
The Otavalo Market is a famous market located about two hours from Quito. It’s known for its colorful textiles, handmade crafts, and fresh produce. It’s an excellent place to try traditional dishes like cuy (roasted guinea pig) and fritada (fried pork).
8. Try Canelazo
Canelazo is a warm, spiced drink made with aguardiente (a type of alcohol), cinnamon, and fruit juice. It’s a popular drink in Ecuador, especially during the colder months.
9. Visit the San Francisco Market
The San Francisco Market is a bustling market in Quito’s historic center. It’s an excellent place to try traditional Ecuadorian dishes like llapingachos (potato cakes stuffed with cheese) and seco de chivo (stewed goat).
10. Take a Cooking Class
If you’re interested in learning how to cook traditional Ecuadorian dishes, consider taking a cooking class while you’re in Quito. Several cooking schools offer classes where you can learn how to make dishes like ceviche, locro de papas, and empanadas.
In conclusion, Quito is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of local cuisine and markets to explore. Be sure to add these top 10 things to do in Quito to your itinerary for an unforgettable culinary experience.
Unwinding in Quito’s Green Spaces
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Quito has plenty of green spaces to offer. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Quito for nature lovers:
1. Parque La Carolina
Parque La Carolina is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. This expansive park offers plenty of space for jogging, picnicking, and relaxing. You can also rent a bike or take a paddleboat out on the lake.
2. Parque Metropolitano
Parque Metropolitano is one of the largest urban parks in South America. It’s home to a variety of flora and fauna, including over 200 species of birds. You can hike, bike, or take a cable car to the top of the park for stunning views of the city.
3. Botanical Garden of Quito
The Botanical Garden of Quito is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. It’s home to over 1,200 species of plants, including many native to Ecuador. You can take a guided tour or explore on your own.
4. Parque Bicentenario
Parque Bicentenario is a newer park that was built to commemorate Ecuador’s bicentennial. It features a large lake, playgrounds, and plenty of green space for picnicking and relaxing.
5. Parque El Ejido
Parque El Ejido is a popular spot for locals to gather and socialize. It’s home to a weekly artisan market and plenty of street performers. You can also rent a bike or take a yoga class in the park.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an active adventure, Quito’s green spaces have something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Quito for nature lovers.
Quito’s Vibrant Art and Culture Scene
Quito is not only known for its stunning architecture and natural beauty, but also for its vibrant art and culture scene. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Quito to experience the city’s rich cultural offerings:
1. Visit the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo
The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo is a must-visit for art lovers. This contemporary art museum showcases the works of both local and international artists. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored colonial building and features a variety of exhibitions throughout the year.
2. Explore the Historic Center
Quito’s Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to some of the city’s most important cultural landmarks. Take a walking tour to explore the colonial architecture, visit the many museums and galleries, and sample some of the local cuisine.
3. Attend a Performance at the Teatro Nacional Sucre
The Teatro Nacional Sucre is one of the most important cultural institutions in Quito. This historic theater hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including opera, ballet, and theater productions.
4. Visit the Museo de la Ciudad
The Museo de la Ciudad is a fascinating museum that tells the story of Quito’s history and culture. The museum features a variety of exhibits, including artifacts from the pre-Columbian era, colonial art, and contemporary art.
5. Take a Street Art Tour
Quito is home to a vibrant street art scene, and taking a street art tour is a great way to explore the city’s urban art. Many of the city’s murals and graffiti pieces have political and social messages, making them not only beautiful but also thought-provoking.
6. Attend a Festival
Quito is known for its many festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and dance to food and culture. Some of the most popular festivals include the Festival de la Luz, the Festival de la Fruta y de las Flores, and the Festival de la Mama Negra.
7. Visit the Casa del Alabado
The Casa del Alabado is a unique museum that showcases the art and culture of pre-Columbian Ecuador. The museum features a collection of over 5,000 artifacts, including ceramics, textiles, and gold and silver objects.
8. Take a Cooking Class
Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse and delicious, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn more about the local food culture. Many cooking classes include a visit to a local market to buy ingredients and a hands-on cooking experience.
9. Explore the La Floresta Neighborhood
La Floresta is a trendy neighborhood in Quito that is home to many art galleries, cafes, and restaurants. Take a stroll through the neighborhood to discover the local art scene and sample some of the delicious food and drink offerings.
10. Attend a Concert at the Casa de la Música
The Casa de la Música is a popular music venue in Quito that hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year. The venue features a variety of music genres, including jazz, rock, and traditional Ecuadorian music.
In conclusion, Quito’s vibrant art and culture scene offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors. From museums and galleries to festivals and street art tours, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Quito to fully immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural offerings.
In conclusion, the top 10 things to do in Quito offer a diverse and unforgettable experience for every traveler. From exploring the rich history and culture of the Old Town to marveling at the natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes, there’s no shortage of adventure and excitement in this vibrant city. As Journeying Jack, I can confidently say that the top 10 things to do in Quito have left an indelible mark on my Suitcase Stories, and I’m sure they will do the same for you.
So, whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique and memorable travel experience, the top 10 things to do in Quito are sure to leave you with a suitcase full of memories and stories to share. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of this incredible city, and make sure to include these top 10 things to do in Quito on your next travel itinerary.
Until our next adventure, this is Journeying Jack, signing off from Suitcase Stories. Keep exploring, and remember, the top 10 things to do in Quito are just the beginning of the countless experiences waiting for you in this remarkable city. Happy travels!