Independence Plaza (Plaza de la Independencia)
Chances are you’ll pass through this main plaza at some point during your time in Quito. Just about every city tour stops here, and several of the surrounding buildings are open for visits, too. Step inside the courtyard of the Archbishop’s Palace to see the Moorish-inspired architecture, view the art collection within the 16th-century cathedral, or take a guided tour of the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno) to learn about the building and enjoy views of the plaza from above.
Things to Know Before You Go
This plaza, at the heart of Old Town, is perfect for relaxing and people-watching.
Don’t forget your passport; you’ll need it to tour the Government Palace.
Wear comfortable shoes—there’s a lot to see and do in the vicinity of the plaza.
How to Get There
This central plaza sits within walking distance of much of Old Town. To get there by trole, get off at Plaza Grande and walk for about a block.
When to Get There
This outdoor space has plenty of benches for relaxing in the Andean sunshine. Come on Mondays at 11am to see the changing of the guard, or plan to visit in the evening to see the surrounding structures illuminated.
A Clean Source of Water
During the 16th century, Spanish colonists built a protected well in response to fears that local Incas might try to poison their water supply. The site of the well soon become a place for gathering and socializing; hence, Independence Plaza was born.
- Presidential Palace
- El Sagrario Church
- Quito Old Town
- Cathedral of Quito (Catedral de Quito)
- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo De Arte Colonial)
- Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús)
- Santo Domingo Plaza (Plaza de Santa Domingo)
- Casa del Alabado Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- Carmen Alto Convent (Museo de Carmen Alto)
- City Museum of Quito (Museo de la Ciudad)
- Calle La Ronda
- Archbishop's Palace (Palacio Arzobispal)
- Basilica of the National Vow (La Basílica del Voto Nacional)
- El Panecillo