What not to miss: a guide to Quito

Ecuador’s capital Quito lies high on the mountainside up to almost 3000 meters from sea level. The altitude can leave you breathless on first days so better take it easy and not plan anything too rough.

The old centre is beautiful with its historical buildings and narrow streets going up and down the hills. In fact, Quito has one of the best-preserved and largest historical centres in the whole Americas.

“The traffic seemed to be jammed from morning to evening but walking is a good option for getting around.”

We had a lovely stroll around exploring the city slowly, discovering beautiful buildings one after another. The temperatures stayed mild throughout the day, but we were lucky to get some sun as well.

What not to miss

Old town – An UNESCO World Heritage Site with spectacular buildings, churches and plazas presenting both colonial and liberation eras heritage. Start from the Plaza Grande, stroll Calle de la Ronda and don’t miss out Basílica del Voto Nacional, Church of San Francisco & La Vírgen del Panecillo

Teleférico – Crab the cable car to view Quito from above. We had a lovely escape to the surrounding mountains combined with horseback riding.

Mitad del Mundo – The centre of the world monument only a Short drive away from Quito.


Like everywhere mind your belongings, but be extra aware if you are on the move during dark hours, don’t be drunk and/or alone. Avoid all parks on nighttime and don’t grab a taxi from a street even on daylight. Ask your accommodation for a reliable taxi service and be sure to know neighbourhoods not to go to. There’s no reason to be paranoid, but just stay aware all times and don’t flash your fancy jewellery and iPhone around. We had absolutely no problems during our stay in Quito.

“Don’t blame yourself too hard when local senior citizens pass by you running with heavy shopping bags, and you’re simply losing your breath from walking uphill. It’s not you, it’s the altitude.”

If you are looking for a nice day trip out of Quito, check the famous Quilotoa Crater.

• Quito, Ecuador

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