The 10 Best Things To Do In Quito

Nestled high in the Andean foothills, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a city that’s brimming with culture, history, and adventure. It’s a place where you can wander through colonial streets, marvel at architectural wonders, and then, within minutes, be immersed in the most breathtaking natural landscapes. Let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in this vibrant city that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

1. Explore the Historic Old Town

Quito’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why. With its narrow cobblestone streets and beautifully preserved buildings, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. The area is dotted with stunning churches, such as the ornate Compañía de Jesús and the imposing San Francisco Church. Don’t miss the chance to climb up the towers of the Basílica del Voto Nacional for a panoramic view of the city.

2. Stand at the Middle of the World

Just a short trip from the city center, you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere at the Mitad del Mundo Monument. It’s a unique experience and a perfect photo op. The Intiñan Museum is right next door, where you can learn about the indigenous cultures of Ecuador and even see some quirky physics demonstrations that only work at the equator.

3. Take a Cable Car to Pichincha Volcano

The TelefériQo cable car ride offers not only a thrilling experience but also some of the best views of Quito. Once at the top, you’re greeted by the Pichincha Volcano and the opportunity for hiking. If you’re up for it, a hike to the Summit will reward you with an even more spectacular vista.

4. Visit La Capilla del Hombre and the Guayasamín Museum

Oswaldo Guayasamín, one of Ecuador’s most famous artists, left a legacy that includes La Capilla del Hombre and his adjacent home-turned-museum. His powerful works, dedicated to the suffering and struggles of Latin America’s people, are both moving and thought-provoking.

5. Indulge in Ecuadorian Cuisine

Quito’s culinary scene is a delight for foodies. From street food to fine dining, there’s something for every palate. Be sure to try local specialties like locro de papa, a hearty potato soup, and empanadas de viento, fluffy cheese empanadas dusted with sugar. For the adventurous, there’s even cuy, or guinea pig, a traditional Andean dish.

6. Discover the City’s Green Spaces

Metropolitan Park and La Carolina Park offer a breath of fresh air in the city. They’re perfect for a picnic, a leisurely walk, or even a game of Ecuadorian soccer with locals. The Botanical Garden, located within La Carolina Park, showcases the country’s diverse plant life, including a stunning orchid collection.

7. Shop at Artisan Markets

No visit to Quito is complete without browsing its artisan markets. The Mercado Artesanal La Mariscal is a treasure trove of handcrafted goods. You’ll find everything from colorful textiles to intricate jewelry. It’s an ideal spot to pick up souvenirs and gifts while supporting local artisans.

8. Enjoy the Nightlife in La Mariscal

After the sun sets, head to the La Mariscal district. This area buzzes with energy, offering a mix of bars, clubs, and live music venues. It’s the perfect place to dance the night away or simply enjoy a cocktail while soaking up the local atmosphere.

9. Visit the City’s Museums

Quito’s museums are a testament to its rich history and culture. The Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, while the Museo de la Ciudad tells the story of Quito’s past through engaging exhibits.

10. Take Day Trips to Nearby Natural Wonders

The beauty of Quito is its proximity to some of Ecuador’s most stunning natural attractions. The cloud forests of Mindo, the Hot Springs of Papallacta, and the majestic Cotopaxi Volcano are all within reach for a day trip. Each offers a unique experience, from bird watching to soaking in thermal baths.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Quito?

    June to September is generally considered the best time to visit due to the dry season, but Quito’s climate is relatively stable year-round.

  • Is Quito safe for tourists?

    Like any major city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Stick to well-traveled areas, especially at night, and keep valuables secure.

  • Can I use US dollars in Quito?

    Yes, the US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador, making transactions convenient for American travelers.


Quito is a city that truly has it all – from the charm of its historic center to the natural beauty that surrounds it. Whether you’re exploring the Old Town’s colonial treasures, standing astride the equator, or venturing into the Andean Highlands, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Each of these top 10 things to do in Quito offers a glimpse into the city’s soul and the rich tapestry of Ecuadorian culture. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the wonders of Quito!

Remember, this is just a taste of what Quito has to offer. The city’s blend of history, culture, and nature makes it a must-visit destination for any traveler. And who knows? You might just find yourself coming back for more. After all, Quito is not just a stopover; it’s a destination that stands tall and proud, much like the volcanoes that watch over it.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.