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Independence Square

Independence Square (Plaza de la Independencia), known colloquially as Plaza Grande, is the main square of the city of Quito and the perfect place from which you can set out to visit all the areas of interest in the historic center of Quito. This square is considered the heart of the city’s historical heritage and is the axis around which the town was born in colonial times. It is a historical space where a series of events of vital political importance have occurred in Ecuador, and, to this day, it is constituted as a social meeting space for the people who live in the center of the city.

Independence Square
Photo by Diego Delso,, License CC-BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons.

The basics

The Independence Square is one of the most fantastic attractions in Quito’s colonial center. Its most important element is the Independence Monument, dedicated to the heroes of independence on August 10, 1809, a date remembered as the First Cry of Spanish-American Independence. Independence Square is surrounded by the Carondelet Palace (the Seat of government and the president’s official residence), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop’s Palace of Quito, and the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito.

Things you need to know before you go and recommendations for visiting the Independence Square in Quito.

  • When walking through the Independence Square in Quito, you’ll find the iconic Monument of the Independence, also known as the Monument to the Heroes of August 10, 1809. This monument was built in honor of the Quito patriots who began the fight for independence in Ecuador.
  • Visit the sites near the Plaza Grande, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Metropolitan Cultural Center, the Carondelet Palace, and the Archbishop’s Palace.
  • Take a seat on one of the traditional benches in Independence Square or enjoy a coffee in one of the traditional cafes in the area to observe and immerse yourself in the urban life of the historic center of Quito.

How to get to the Independence Square?

Independence Square is located in the heart of the historic center. It is easily accessible by public transportation, taxi, Uber, Quito Tour Bus, or on foot from nearby points in the center. If you drive, there are public parking lots, but the streets are narrow, and traffic can be heavy.

If you use the metro, the “San Francisco” station of the Quito Metro is located a short distance from this tourist spot in Quito. The walk from the “San Francisco” stop to the cathedral lasts approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

When to visit Independence Square?

Independence Square is a tourist destination that can be visited throughout the year. You should visit it both during the day and at night. During the day, you can see the sites in their surroundings and enjoy the tremendous urban scene that unfolds there, where the local people express themselves without limits, and you can notice how Quito life goes by. On the contrary, you can see the illuminated square at night, which acquires a unique charm.

Frequently asked questions

In Independence Square, you can find the Independence Monument, the Carondelet Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop's Palace of Quito, and the Municipality of the District Metropolitan of Quito.

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