The must visit areas in Quito are El Centro Historicó, the old town, and Mariscal, the lively touristy area. Head for Plaza Grande, the centre of old town, or Plaza Foch, the centre of Mariscal.
My favourite part of town, you just háve to love the buildings here. One of the most beautiful and best-preserved historical centres in South America. El Centro Historicó in Quito (together with Krakau, Poland) is the first UNESCO declared heritage site back in 1978. Calle de Las Siete Cruces is amazing with 7 immense churches in 𝐨𝐧𝐞 street. The main Plaza Grande is the heart of the old town.
La Floresta is shifting from a residential area to a trendy and hip place to be. The area La Floresta is not the place for sightseeing. You will not find much history here. Though it ís the place to visit trendy restaurants and snack at the traditional food stalls at Parque Nevarro. But I have got to be honest with you. I didn’t get the hang of this area. My main thought about this area is: expensive restaurants. And yes, there is a chill vibe, with houses being transformed into vegan restaurants. But La Floresta is mainly still a residential area in my opinion. When you are only a few days in Quito you could skip this one.
La Carolina is famous for its big park Parque La Carolina and the botanical garden. Next to this, a lot of foreigners decided to position themselves in this financial district. There are Dutch, Italian and German restaurants, bakeries and cafés. Carolina is the area with the most shopping malls and many big apartment buildings. The Botanical Garden of Quito (Jardín Botánico De Quito) is definitely a place in Quito you should visit!
Plaza Foch is the centre of the Mariscal area. It surrounded by bars and hostels. This is the touristy hostel and party area. Mariscal Sucre is the first neighbourhood built after the historical centre. Wander around to find some interesting and lesser known streets with good coffee. We really love this part of the city. It’s lively, there is choice: expensive and cheap restaurants and hotels. It is here. There are also travel agencies located in Mariscal, if you need to plan ahead for Galapagos or day tours.
La Ronda is not really a whole neighbourhood but more one street next to the historical centre of Quito. When you have found Calle de La Ronda you will know unmistakably. Packed with small restaurants, chocolate shops, live music, artisan shops and people that speak a bit too good English 😉 A great vibe in this bohemian area. Best to be visit at weekend nights.
I made a Google map at My Maps. I pinned the areas that I mentioned above. Next to this I also added a photograph of a tourist map that you can find in Quito.
As in every big city, you have to be cautious with regard to your stuff. Don’t take a lot of money with you at the streets. Leave your passport at the hotel. Preferably locked 🔐. Take extra care in public transport and at busy places.
👙 Girls, use your bra as a storage space.
👖 And men, always use your front pockets instead of your back pockets.
Hope that my information helps when you plan you trip to Quito, Ecuador!! Let me know if you need other information or if you have great ideas, happy to help! I really loved exploring Quito♥.