The best areas for to stay in Quito are La Mariscal and the Historic Center, and other areas such as Carolina, Bellavista, La Floresta and Guapulo are also good alternatives to stay in Quito.
The city of Quito is a tourist magnet for its invaluable colonial architectural treasures and also for being the first city in the world declared by UNESCO (1978) as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
With more than 800 thousand tourists a year, Quito surprises its visitors with the mixture of baroque and indigenous art in its churches, chapels, convents and monasteries.Hundreds of tourists come to know what it feels like to walk on the 0º latitude 0′ 0″ of the planet earth.
Located at more than 2.800 meters above sea level and escorted by volcanoes and mountains , Quito offers an offer of accommodation as diverse as its tourist attractions.
The best areas to stay in Quito
Before planning your trip, it is best to know which are the best areas to stay in Quito The following are the most important neighborhoods in this charming city
The center is the cultural and patrimonial heart of the city.Unesco values this area as a unique work of art and it is catalogued as , the best preserved colonial historical centre and less altered of all Latin America
With its more than 300 hectares the tourist will be amazed by more than 4 thousand heritage buildings, of which 40% are religious architecture and 55% civil works, something worth visiting and admiring.
The tourist sites par excellence in the Historical Center are the Carondelet Palace (Government Headquarters), the Metropolitan Plaza of Quito, the Basilica of the National Vote and the Church of the Company of Jesus, an architectural jewel made on the outside with volcanic stones, while its interior walls are lined with gold leaf.
During the day, this area is subject to the ordinary noise of a city: traffic, workers, students and Quiteños solving some formalities in public buildings, bank offices and commercial centers. It is safe , even at night (although one must always be cautious in the late hours of the night).
The authorities have made an effort to increase the police presence in each of its streets and avenues, and as a result, at night they even offer guided tours for foreign and national tourists.
When deciding where to sleep in Quito, some tourists choose the historic center because during the day they can see its architectural legacy and at night they enjoy its moderate nightlife .
In the historical center there are an average of 500 places, among them bars, discotheques and places that serve food and drinks La Ronda Street is the most visited by the tourists, there are from street musicians, to karaokes and places to dance salsa.
If you feel like eating in the historic center, there are restaurants that serve international cuisine and also the traditional dishes of Quito , including hornado (pork cooked on a wood fire in a clay oven); fritada (fried pork), Yahuarlocro (soup) and empanadas de viento (made with fried corn flour, filled with cheese and sprinkled with sugar).
– Lodging in the Historical Center
is the favorite neighborhood for most visitors to stay in Quito In this area, in addition to colonial palaces and mansions, there are high-end residential towers that coexist with the highest financial buildings in the city.
Here you will find the largest number of cafes, bars, hotels, hostels, clothing boutiques and abundant local handicraft stores, most of which have been established in this neighborhood for generations. Everything the tourist needs is concentrated in this neighborhood.
La Mariscal is easy to get to by You can do it by taxi or public transport along the avenues of the sector: Amazonas, Cristobal Colon and Juan Leon Mera, it is an excellent base camp to visit the city.
In this sector you can find tourist attractions such as El Ejido Park , where tourists can enjoy trails and bike paths, if you travel with your children there is a children’s playground, and the Central Bank Museum where they are exhibiting some amazing ceremonial gold masks.
La Mariscal is known as the epicenter of the nightlife of the city Official records indicate that only in La Mariscal there are 1,500 nightlife centers, including bars, discos and many places where they serve their own beer.
The popular plaza Foch moves the neighborhood’s nightly compass In the plaza, known as the Zona Rosa or entertainment district in Quito, dance groups perform, rock bands concert, jazz groups and cultural shows
La Mariscal is a safe neighborhood .However, one must always be cautious and not display unnecessary opulence. It is possible to walk at night, although it is more sensible to do so in the busiest places, avoiding lonely alleys and unknown places.
The authorities have implemented security plans and tours of the most touristic places in the neighborhood, in response to some fleeting outbreaks of theft and robbery of belongings.
– Accommodation in La Mariscal
La Carolina is the green lung of Quito It is ideal for tourists who love nature and outdoor activities, with over 600,000 square meters of land divided into seven large recreational areas for all family members.
When it comes to choosing where to stay in Quito, this area looks tempting because it is considered the largest urban park in Ecuador It has a dedicated area for each activity: aerobics (includes wooded areas to practice yoga and tai chi, and a track to practice athletics); sports, with more than 40 courts; children’s areas, canine recreation, with spaces specially conditioned for dogs.
It also has an area for skating and cycling and a skateboard and an artificial lake, surrounded by eucalyptus trees, pines and works of Ecuadorian artists.
In this area is located the Botanical Garden of the City, the Nautical Park, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the monument La Cruz del Papa, where Pope John Paul II officiated a mass in 1985.
In the area you will easily find small businesses that serve local dishes, and in the adjacencies of La Carolina are located dozens of cafes and restaurants with a greater diversity of menus.
La Carolina is part of the Iñaquito Valley, where the financial towers of the most relevant multinationals Quito and headquarters of nine embassies, including Belgium and China.
It is a place that offers the traveler options for shopping : it has an exhibition center, two markets (with sale of food, clothes and belongings) and six shopping centers with stores of the most exclusive brands.
Moving to the area is easy.The visitor can use the metro from Quito, which has the station La Carolina or the Trolley bus that also includes a stop in the sector. It is common for this sector the profuse circulation of taxis and collective transport, but it is not recommended because of the high vehicle congestion.
– Accommodation in La Carolina
Bellavista is a upper-middle class neighborhood with elegant residential buildings and apartments located at the top of the Tandayapa Valley.
It is another of the recommended places to stay in Quito because from there you can appreciate the beauty of the volcanoes Atacazo, Pichincha, Rucu, Guagua, Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Antisana.
It is a quiet place , with some cobbled streets and slopes covered by the greenery of nature.Bellavista is ideal for resting from the hustle and bustle of the Historical Center and the nightlife of La Mariscal.
Walking the neighborhood can become a demanding day, especially its main avenue called Bosmediano, a steep hill that must be walked calmly if you want to keep your breath.
Bellavista receives many tourists eager to know its gastronomic offer , conformed by more than a dozen restaurants with famous menus in Quito to satisfy demanding palates.
The neighborhood is also popular because there lies the house-workshop of Oswaldo Guayasamín , the most emblematic painter, sculptor and muralist of Ecuador, who died in 1999.As part of his legacy, the painter left in the area the Museum «La Capilla del Hombre», a work dedicated to humanity.
Bellavista is also known for the bird watching .There is a private reserve where you can enjoy the musical revelry of more than 300 birds in the middle of a wild forest always cloudy, decorated with orchids and bromeliads, and guarded by countless toucans, hummingbirds, pumas and also by the spectacled bear, typical of the place.
There are tours and guided visits to this reserve, with weekly departures from downtown Quito.
– Accommodation in Bellavista
La Floresta is a middle class residential area, characterized by small buildings and large houses with preserved colonial structures , and houses with entrances decorated with gardens and plant pots.
It is a traditional area frequented by local and foreign artists .There are many young entrepreneurs who rent the houses of the neighborhood to undertake some artistic, commercial or musical project, which is why it has become the cultural district of Quito.
The Forest is known as the Soho of Quito because there are artists\’ workshops, theaters, cinemas, design studios and art galleries, as well as restaurants and cafes decorated with exotic plants and accessories of recycled material.
Travelers choose this neighborhood to stay in Quito because they can walk to any of its shops and there is five minutes walk from the Zona Rosa (La Mariscal) , and approximately 10 minutes of churches and museums of the historic center of Quito .
While walking through the neighborhood, tourists can be entertained by its peculiar streets decorated with multicolored gardens and creative signs on the pavement, which promote the use of bicycles and the appropriation of public space by pedestrians.
The gastronomic offer of La Floresta is varied : there are places for vegetarians and carnivores alike, as well as for lovers of salads and soups.The neighborhood is also known for selling street food.
The most popular are the grilled cholos (corn), and the famous Mishqui tripe, a dish with pieces of grilled cow tripe, accompanied by bananas and hot potatoes.the place where they sell this dish could not be called otherwise: Plaza Las Tripas
In the neighborhood there is no feeling of insecurity Its inhabitants and visitors walk quietly, without shock or fear. For those who do not want to walk, there are public transport units that run on the main roads of the neighborhood: the avenues Los Conquistadores, 12 de Octubre and Madrid.
– Lodging in the Forest
It is a neighborhood of cobblestone streets, houses with sloping roofs and settlements of small traders. It is located right next to a river that separates it from the urban dynamics of the capital and places it in front of the eastern valleys of Ecuador.
Choosing this for to sleep in Quito will allow you to experience an atmosphere similar to that of any provincial town in the Andean highlands, but without leaving Quito.
Headquarters of the Spanish and British embassies, the neighborhood has a slope called the Camino de Orellana, in honor of the Spanish conqueror who from that point began his journey to the Amazon.
In any café, tourists can enjoy the unique view of the misty mountain valleys Because of this particular atmosphere, the area is very popular with young people and couples looking for a pleasant romantic memory.
One of the biggest attractions of this neighborhood is the church Nuestra Señora de Guapulo , whose colonial architecture dates from the sixteenth century.
Nearby is the Mirador de Guápulo , where tourists come before 6:00 p.m. to not miss the intense sunset, there is also a park with trails and areas for camping and picnics.
It is a safe neighborhood , with illuminated streets and attentive and friendly people .The bars close at 2:00 am at the latest, by agreement between the inhabitants and the shopkeepers to avoid noise until dawn.
It is not advisable to drive, as its streets are very narrow and there is usually no parking space.
Which is the best area to stay in Quito?
The capital of Ecuador, is full of Inca tradition, historical monuments and local crafts, and is the Mariscal Sucre neighborhood , where the main attractions for cosmopolitan tourists are concentrated: gastronomy, culture and nightlife converge in one place.
Also known as «La Zona» , this Quiteño neighborhood located in the center-north was formerly a residential area, which with the passing of time, became the epicenter of discotheques, bars, shops, crafts, museums, restaurants and cafes for all tastes, ages and budgets.
This is the perfect area to stay because it offers a wide range of hotels that we recommend at Best Locations Hotels and because from there you can feel the vibrant night scene and also enjoy the first shopping center in Quito, a wide variety of local crafts to buy souvenirs and the tranquility that one of its iconic parks offers.
If you plan to visit Quito, the Mariscal Sucre neighborhood is the best option to make your stay cosmopolitan, diverse and safe.
If you are interested in knowing where to sleep in Quito you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in Lima or where to stay in Bogotá.
The Mariscal Sucre Neighborhood, the best area to stay in Quito
Better known as «La Mariscal» or «La Zona», the Mariscal Sucre Neighborhood is one of the 32 urban parishes in the city of Quito.It is located in the center-north of the city and its main thoroughfares are Avenida Amazonas, Avenida 6 de Diciembre and Calle 9 de Octubre.The entertainment starts in the afternoon when visitors can try the gastronomic offer while waiting for the opening of the most famous nightclubs in the area.
The accommodation offer in La Mariscal is the widest and most varied in Quito. Hotels of all prices and tastes, tourist apartments, guest houses guarantee accommodation for all types of people and budgets.
The heart of La Mariscal is Plaza Quinde, also called Plaza Foch, at the intersection of Foch and Reina Victoria streets.There, Quiteños and tourists converge to enjoy a nightlife full of partying and entertainment. Among its streets, you can hear from salsa, merengue and reggaeton, through jazz and house, to rock and ska. On Calama Street, located in the vicinity of the square, you can find higher class places like the Q Restaurant, Azuca Latin Bistro and Azuca Beach to share with friends or live a romantic evening.
If the night is very hectic, a few meters from the parties, there is Plaza Gabriela Mistral, a quiet space to rest and sometimes, admire musical shows.
On Saturdays they celebrate at Plaza Foch, the Asara Fair of the Association of Applied Arts, where you can buy figures made of leather, wood, tagua, glass, fabric offered by local artists, or take away organic products such as jams, chocolate and cosmetics made from honey.
In «La Zona» you can also visit the famous Craft Market, which is distinguished by its colorful, wide variety of handmade crafts, silver objects, jewelry and all kinds of souvenirs to give away.It includes more than 160 shops selling accessories, cosmetics, jewellery, jewellery, travel agencies, technology, hairdressers, clothing, footwear and service shops, as well as recreational offers for the family to enjoy.
In the south of the neighbourhood, the tranquillity of nature rests in El Ejido Park, which marks the division between the old and the modern city.The Circasiana Gate, which leads to the paths, bike paths and play areas, is inspired by the triumphal arch. In the park, local artists also exhibit their works during the weekend, making it an art gallery open to the public.
North of La Mariscal, is the Yuyú Square, perfect for culture lovers.It has pleasant spaces to enjoy a good coffee, various national and international dishes and even a free wi-fi signal.Just a few steps away is the modern building of the Ethnohistoric Museum of Crafts of Ecuador Mindalae, which houses the country’s craft heritage throughout its history, with a sample of the art of indigenous, mestizo and Afro-Ecuadorian communities.
Another museum in the area is the Museo Banco Central, which presents the history of Ecuador, from its first inhabitants to contemporary art.
East of La Mariscal, a contemporary bohemian style takes hold of the place.The Mercado de la Floresta is also very visited by tourists, it is known for supplying the restaurants of the city; there is also a wide gastronomic offer and a popular fair that takes place in the Plaza de la Vicentina in the afternoons.
It is worth visiting the Mariscal Sucre neighborhood from one end to the other, between Patria and Orellana avenues, from south to north; and between December 6 and August 10, from west to east.
Hotels in the Mariscal Sucre Neighborhood
The Historic Center of Quito, the other recommended area to stay in Quito
The Historic Center of Quito is also an option to stay if you prefer the colonial landscape and the architecture of the 16th century.
The San Blas square, the entrance to the Historical Center of Quito, and the San Francisco square, one of the largest in Quito, made of volcanic stone, are also worth visiting. The San Francisco church and convent, built in 1, are also worth visiting.550.
The church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced, located in the square of the same name, is a jewel of Baroque and Gothic style typical of the 16th century, featuring sculptures by Bernardo de Legarda and works by Miguel de Santiago.
The Historical Centre area competes with La Mariscal in terms of accommodation for tourists visiting Quito, with fewer hotels but a wider range of hostels and guest houses for the young visitor or those looking for cheaper prices.
Hotels in the Historical Centre of Quito