There are so many interesting things to do in Quito that exploring it in one day is impossible. However, if that’s all the time you have to spend in the city, you will need to see some of its most outstanding landmarks. The capital of Ecuador is located very high up, so spectacular views are easy to find. The UNESCO-listed historical center of the city should be the place where you spend most of your day. Additionally here’s a rundown of 4 things you must visit in Quito if you’re short of time.
1. Compania de Jesus
The Church of the Society of Jesus is one of the most beautiful churches in Quito. It has a fascinating history, which isn’t a surprise as it took about 160 years to build this church. The plaster, carvings, and other décor of the place is nothing short of magnificent.
If you only visit one church in Quito, this must be it. Regardless of your personal religion and beliefs, this place is a historic monument that everyone should see.
2. La Plaza de La Independencia
The Independence Square is the heart of the grand city of Quito. This is where all the main events happen. It’s also where some of the most beautiful palaces of Ecuador are located. The best way to learn about the many attractions surrounding the Independence Square is to take free tours in Quito. The majority of them start or end here as this is a very popular meeting spot. Taking such a tour should definitely be on your itinerary if you want to explore the best of Quito in a day. This experience will allow you to learn something about all the best sites.
When you reach the Independence Square, pay attention to the monument that commemorates the precious moment when the people of Peru achieved their independence. It was commissioned in 1898 and has been one of the most important symbols for the people since.
3. Basilica del Voto Nacional
If you think that you’ve seen it all when it comes to churches, the Basilica of the National Vow is going to be a great surprise. Not only is it beautiful, but its design is completely unique despite being a classic neo-gothic building in general shape.
The fact that there are armadillos instead of gargoyles on the façade of the building is a great indicator of how unusual the church is. Another fact that solidifies this is that you can enjoy a cold beer right there as a small café is hidden at the upper levels. And if you manage to climb all the way to the top, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the best views of the city.
Taking a ride on TeleferiQo is a definite must among the things to do in Quito if you only have a day in the city. This gondola ride will give you a chance to enjoy spectacular views. It will also take you to the quiet and majestic mountains from the center of a bustling city. The contrast alone is a fantastic experience.
At the top, don’t miss a chance to take pictures of lamas and enjoy a drink at one of the small cafes.