After journeying to Laguna Quilotoa, I returned to Quito and stayed at Community Hostel. Having already checked out the well-known attractions, which you can read about in Quito Guide part 1, I began hunting for hidden gems.
You probably don’t know about these places but you definitely should:
1) Plaza Borja Yerovi
What? A square with brightly-coloured murals painted on all sides
pretty lampshades in the trees
and fountains in the centre
Why go? It’s a quirky spot to sit and enjoy the surroundings (and the free wifi!) Don’t forget your camera!
Where? On the corner of Calle 9 de Octubre and Calle Jerónimo Carrión, Quito Moderno, right next door to El Caldero Del Diablo restaurant where I work!
2) Iglesia de Santa Teresa
What? A gothic church visible from the plaza Borja Yerovi
Why go? Tourists overlook this church as it is nestled in an otherwise ugly area of the city, but if you like churches this towering beauty is not to be missed.
Where? Calle 9 de Octubre and Calle Gral Robles, La Mariscal
What? A vegetarian restaurant selling wonderful homemade cakes, all either gluten, lactose or sugar free
Why go? To eat something other than traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, for the pretty interior design and the kindly owner
Where? Calle Jerónimo Carrión, between Avenida Amazonas and Calle Juan Leon Mera, Quito Moderno
Cost? This isn’t the cheapest place to eat in Quito but the cakes are reasonably priced considering the portion size and deliciousness!
4) Cumandá Parque Urbano
What? Part sports centre, part cultural hub, the parque urbano is the sort of place where there is always something going on. I saw old people playing chess, children break-dancing, and adults in an excercise class. Language lessons also take place here, and it seems to be popular with Quiteños of all ages
Why go? To see how many Quiteños spend their free time, and to be the only tourist in sight
Where? Avenida 24 de Mayo, Centro Historico
Cost? Classes have different costs and some are free. Find out more
5) La Cleta
The name is an abbreviation of bicicleta (bicycle) and the place has a bike theme
with seats made from bike wheels! Find out more
Why go? For the relaxed atmosphere, the quirky interior design and to eat the pizza!
Where? Calle Lugo N24-250 and Calle Guipuzcóa, La Floresta
Cost? Entrance is free. Drinks and food are reasonably priced
6) Plaza Cadisan
What? A pretty square lined with exotic plants, Plaza Cadisan is hard to find from the road but is worth hunting for!
Why go? It is a charming place to rest your weary legs and escape the traffic of old Quito
Where? Calle José Mejía and Calle Benalcázar, Centro Historico
No good city guide is complete without tips, so here is some advice for making the most of your time in Quito:
- Always ask your taxi driver to turn on the taxi meter as soon as you get in, rather than asking for the price. The fare will be considerably cheaper than the fixed price that he or she will offer you. Be aware that taxis are more expensive in the evening, from about 9pm onwards.
- All buses within Quito cost 0.25c. The Ecovia and Trollybus (tram to you and I) stations have a person at a desk who will change your money if you don’t have a 25c coin for the machines.
- Beware of pickpockets, even young children are skilled in the art. Keep your valuables close, for example in a bumbag.
What more ideas of what to do in Quito? Check out my guide to the city’s must-see spots here