Where to stay in Quito – 6 Best Areas (By a local)

Quito Tour Bus

Where to stay in Quito – 6 Best Areas (By a local)

Where to stay in Quito – 6 Best Areas (By a local)
Where to stay in Quito

If you have in mind to visit the capital of Ecuador, you must be wondering where the best places to stay in Quito are. Hence, from the beginning, we want to tell you a little about the geography of the city. It is divided into the following areas: North / La Carolina (residential, commercial, financial), Historical Center / Plaza Grande (museums, churches, monasteries), Mariscal – Plaza Foch (restaurant area, hotels, nightlife), South (residential, commercial), Valleys (Cumbaya, Tumbaco, Valle de Los Chillos: residential sectors). Once you have this in mind, and with the desire to help you plan your trip, we want to tell you about what we consider the best areas to stay in Quito.

Cover photo by Asamblea Nacional del Ecuador, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Historical Center

Where to stay in Quito - Historic center
Quito’s Historic Center. Photo by 472619 on Pixabay.

The historic center of Quito is the largest and best preserved in South America, which makes it a perfect place to stay during your visit to Quito. This area is considered the heart of the city and is one of the best areas to stay in Quito since it has a lot of hotels and boutique hotels of great renown and incomparable beauty, elegance, and luxury, like Casa Gangotena Hotel Boutique or Hotel Plaza Grande, as well as hostels, Airbnb(s), hostels and small family guesthouses very comfortable, comfortable and at good prices. That is, in the historic center there is a great variety of lodging sites that are appetizing for all types of budgets and preferences.

If you plan to visit the capital for a few days, the historical center is the best area to stay in Quito because its old town is home to most of the city’s attractions. The experience of staying in this area of Quito is simply incomparable as you will feel integrated into the dynamics of the place, and you will be able to mobilize without any problem to the most iconic sites of the area, like La Plaza de la Independencia, also known as the Plaza Grande, the political and religious nucleus of the city; El Palacio de Carondelet, the seat of the Government of Ecuador; La Basilica del Voto Nacional, a church of neo-gothic style, considered the most important in Ecuador in its style; and, La Compañía de Jesús Church, known by many as the golden church in Quito because it has impressive interior ornamentation, covered with gold sheets covering much of the church.

Other temples that deserve to be visited are the San Francisco Church and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, elevated to the Primate Cathedral of Ecuador. Also, it is recommended to visit: The Casa de Sucre Museum (the place where the Ecuadorian liberator Antonio José de Sucre resided), the Metropolitan Cultural Center, the City Museum, the Precolombian Art Museum Casa del Alabado, and Yaku Water Museum Park.

In relation to security, the historic center of Quito is considered safe both day and night, as the local government has made a great effort to reduce insecurity. However, because the nightlife in this area is considered moderate, caution is recommended late at night. A sector that comes alive during the night and that is recommended to visit in the historical center is La Ronda, a pedestrian street located south of the Plaza de Santo Domingo following Guayaquil street. You will always be able to walk in this sector where you will find typical Ecuadorian food restaurants, cafes, bars, traditional candy shops, and artisans’ workshops, among others. It is the perfect place to sample the famous canelazos from Quito (a hot drink made of cinnamon, orange, and brandy) and the delicious wind empanadas.

In general, many restaurants in the historical center offer international food and, of course, traditional Ecuadorian food. The diversity of restaurants in the area will allow you to discover the country’s gastronomic diversity. We recommend you try the delicious dishes that are prepared in different regions of the country, we are sure you will be surprised.

La Mariscal

Where to stay in Quito - La Mariscal at Night
La Mariscal at night. Photo by El Universo.

La Mariscal is another great place to stay in Quito. Located to the north of Quito’s historic center, La Mariscal, considered the epicenter of the city’s nightlife scene, has a wide range of restaurants, cafes, art galleries, bars, and nightclubs. It is an area that is very well connected with other sectors of the city and has a multiplicity of places to stay. In this sector of the city, you will find everything a tourist is looking for, from pharmacies, laundries, shopping arcades, and hairdressers, to museums, theaters, and libraries.

The Plaza Foch, officially Plaza El Quinde, is considered the heart of La Mariscal and is the reference point of Quito’s pink zone, a strategic place to enjoy the city’s nightlife. In its four corners, you can find bars, discos, and breweries of all kinds, as well as restaurants and cafes. Another place in the area that continually attracts domestic and foreign tourists is the artisan market, where dozens of vendors market an immense variety of colorful crafts and unique designs. This is a perfect place to buy souvenirs from Ecuador.

In the sector of La Mariscal, you can stroll through the park El Ejido, a well-known green space of the city where you can see several famous sculptures, such as La Circassiana Gate, the monument to Velasco Ibarra, among others. On weekends, it is possible to enjoy the large open-air gallery where local artists exhibit and market their works of art. This exhibition is installed along the boulevard that exists on Patria Avenue.

La Mariscal is considered a safe sector, however, it is recommended to exercise caution late at night, especially in the sector of Plaza Foch.

La Floresta

Best places to stay in Quito - La Floresta
La Floresta Sector. Photo by Karol Kozlowski Premium RM Collection / Alamy Stock Photo.

La Floresta is one of the safest, most colorful, warm, and interesting districts of the city. In the 1920s, wealthy people settled in this sector and built neoclassical mansions very popular at that time, and many of them can still be seen clearly. For about twenty years ago, a large community of artists, writers, and academics have been settling in this sector. Today, young entrepreneurs of independent brands rent neighborhood houses in order to promote and commercialize their products.

The presence of flowers and trees everywhere, urban art (murals, street art), decorative flower pots on the streets, as well as the existence of independent cinemas, theaters, art galleries, cafes, and bars, among others, are facts that make the La Floresta area one of the best areas to stay in Quito, especially, for those who enjoy the cultural movement.

The number of accommodations is not as varied as in the sectors mentioned above, although you can find lodging on Airbnb(s), in the surroundings of La Coruña Avenue, in some luxury hotels on Avenida 12 de Octubre, and some more on Madrid Street. Most of the sights are in the northern half of the neighborhood, starting from Madrid Street. If you decide to stay at Avenida 12 de Octubre, we highly recommend the Swissôtel Quito, located at Avenida 12 de Octubre 1820 and Luis Cordero.

The La Floresta sector is well connected and the existing public transport in the sector will direct you wherever you want. This neighborhood is within walking distance of La Mariscal and the historic center of Quito. Moreover, La Floresta is very close to Guápulo, a bohemian neighborhood of Quito that has tourist attractions such as the viewpoint and the church of Guápulo. This neighborhood is located right on the slopes of the Machángara River ravine, and its views are simply charming both day and night.

La Floresta is very famous for its gastronomic offer. You will find many restaurants of national and foreign food, breweries, bars, and, of course, the well-known Plaza de las Tripas, where typical food is sold, such as tripa mishqui (cow’s gut roasted in charcoal), empanadas de viento, morocho, dried chicken, among others. 

La Carolina

Where to stay in Quito - La Carolina
La Carolina Park. Photos by Drones Creative EC.

La Carolina is located in the financial and business heart of the city and is also the most modern part of Quito. This sector of the city is named after the presence of La Carolina Park, which has an area of 64 hectares of land and is considered the green lung of the city and one of the most important recreational areas of the metropolitan area. The proximity to the park makes this area an ideal option for families, and also for those who travel to Quito for business.

La Carolina Park is located in the Iñaquito area and within this one can find the well-known Botanical Garden of Quito, “a center for research, conservation and exhibition of the native regional flora, in particular of the species at risk of extinction” (Quito Botanical Garden, 2022). Also, inside the park, you will find the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Vivarium of Quito, and the Dinosaur Interactive Museum.

La Carolina is a perfect place for shopping. In the sector, there are several shopping centers, where you can find stores of foreign and national firms. On the other hand, La Carolina is a favorite place for travelers as walking distances to anywhere are short. There is a variety of public transportation throughout La Carolina that can easily take you to different areas of the city. If you want to move into the historic city center it will take about 15 to 20 minutes by taxi. In addition, the Naciones Unidas boulevard is the main stop of the Quito Tour Bus from where you can depart on any of our tours.

The sector of La Carolina is considered a safe sector and one of the safest areas to stay in Quito, however, it is recommended to exercise caution during the night.

Bellavista

Where to stay in Quito - Bellavista
Bellavista. Photo by Bienes Raíces Clave.

Bellavista is a residential area, hence, it does not have the wide variety of accommodation that exists in the historical center or La Mariscal. However, it is an attractive area due to its prime location and quite safe. In addition, this area has a wide range of shopping options because in the surrounding areas of Bellavista you will find several shopping centers. On the other hand, on Portugal Avenue, you can find a good offer of restaurants, and on Eloy Alfaro Avenue restaurants, bars and karaoke.

If you decide to stay in the Bellavista area, you will find yourself very close to La Capilla del Hombre, an ideal place to delight in the work of the famous Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamín. In the Guayasamín Foundation, created by the artist, you will find La Capilla del Hombre, la Casa Museo, and the studio of Oswaldo Guayasamín, a tour that will allow you to know his life, work, and inspiration.

Another place of interest in the Bellavista sector is the Guangüiltagua Metropolitan Park, which has an extension of 557 hectares. In this park, you can enjoy nature and breathe fresh air a few meters from the city, while you delight in the gigantic sculptures that are found everywhere. In the park, you can find camping sites, children’s areas, soccer fields, volleyball, and basketball.

Airport

Where to stay in Quito - Airport
Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Photo by Aeropuerto Internacional de Quito.

A lodging option that is often used by those who travel, especially for short periods, are hotels in the vicinity of airports. Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport is the main gateway to Ecuador. This one is located in the valley of Tababela, and “it is located at a distance, in a straight line, of 20.5 kilometers (12.7 miles) from the center of the city of Quito, and at the moment it is connected with three roads in perfect conditions that allow a fluid traffic between the airport and the city” (Quito International Airport, 2022). It usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour to drive from the airport to the city center.

In the airport itself, as well as in its surroundings you can find hotels and hostels, among others. If you are looking for a perfect place to relax in the vicinity of Mariscal Sucre International Airport itself, you will find the Wyndham Hotel – Quito Airport, as well as the Holiday Inn Quito Airport.

Is it worth visiting Quito? Why?

If you ask yourself if Quito is worth a visit, our answer is yes. Take the opportunity to get to know this wonderful city in the Andes. Quito, officially San Francisco de Quito, is a city highly recognized for its historical center, considered the best preserved historical complex in Latin America. In fact, on September 8, 1978, it was declared by UNESCO, together with Krakow in Poland, as the first Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Touring its streets, colonial buildings, museums, parks, and squares, as well as discovering the legends, myths, and traditions that abound in its history, is a unique experience that is worth experiencing.

Quito is a city located at 2.850 meters (9350 feet) above sea level, in the skirt of the active Pichincha volcano, and due to the presence of the Andes mountain range, it is surrounded by impressive mountains and volcanoes. The rich landscape of the area makes it an Andean city of incomparable beauty, a fact that attracts thousands of tourists who aspire to climb the mountains closest to the city, as well as all those that form part of the Avenue of the Volcanoes. This is a route that is home to 44 volcanoes throughout Ecuador, of which 17 are located in the surroundings of Quito.

Another reason that makes Quito worth a visit is that you will be able to get to know the famous Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, the site that houses the famous Equatorial Monument, an icon of the city of Quito and the country. In the 18th century, an expedition of Spanish and French scientists established the equatorial line there. Hence, in the middle of the world the latitude is 0° 0’ 0’’, that is to say, there are few places where you will find a peculiarity like this.

There are plenty of reasons to visit the capital of Ecuador. You’ll find in the heart of the city, the best preserved and least altered colonial historic center in Latin America, full of priceless colonial architectural treasures. Moreover, if you have the fortune of clear dawn you will enjoy the presence of imposing mountains, while in the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo the peculiarity of finding yourself in latitude is 0° 0’ 0’’’. South America is a place full of wonders, and Quito is a great example of this.

How many days would you need to get to know Quito?

Quito is a city that offers countless activities to do, hence we recommend that your stay there be no less than three days. The capital of Ecuador offers not only the largest historical center in South America but also several natural wonders and fantastic cuisine. What to do in Quito when there are countless activities to do? For this purpose, we recommend reading our note about the 22 things to do in Quito.
If you have little time to visit the city, we recommend that you focus your efforts on the historical center of Quito. Don’t forget that this one has a concentration of majestic churches, so visiting some of the most iconic ones is an activity that must necessarily be part of your agenda. If you want to know more about the churches that exist in the historical center of the city, I recommend you read our Tourist Guide of the 10 main churches in Quito.

Recommended hotels to stay in Quito

Below, we will share a list of the hotels highly recommended for lodging in Quito. These are located in four strategic sectors of the city, considered the best areas to stay in Quito.

A continuación, te compartimos un listado de los hoteles altamente recomendados para hospedarse en Quito. Estos se encuentran localizados en cuatro sectores estratégicos de la ciudad, considerados como las mejores zonas para alojarse en Quito.

North Zone Hotels

Hotel Finlandia
Wyndham Garden Quito
Hotel Dann Carlton Quito
Le Parc Hotel

La Mariscal / La Floresta Hotels

Swissôtel Quito

Click here to get more information

Hotel Reina Isabel
Mercure Alameda Quito
Hilton Colón Quito Hotel
Casa Aliso Hotel Boutique
JW Marriott Quito

Downtown Hotels

Masaya Quito
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Rebel Hostel
Hotel Mama Cuchara by Art Hotels Ecuador
Hotel David Quito

Aiport Hotels

Wyndham Quito Airport
Holiday Inn Quito Airport

Quito City Tour

If you want to give a first look at the city and know its most iconic places, we recommend you take the Quito City Tour, a guided, safe, and fun tour aboard the only double-decker bus in the city, the Quito Tour Bus. This tour offers you a journey of approximately 2h30, and once aboard the bus, you will notice that the bus travels through the areas of La Carolina, La Mariscal, and the historical center of the city, considered some of the best areas to stay in Quito.

Where to stay in Quito - Quito Tour Bus
Photo by Quito Tour Bus.

For more information, we recommend you read everything related to the Quito City Tour, as well as the following activities: Santa Clara Domes Tour, Basilica del Voto Nacional Tour, and Santo Domingo Domes Tour

Santa Clara Domes Tour. Photo by Quito Tour Bus.

Day tours from Quito

If you find yourself interested in knowing the surroundings of the city, Quito Tour Bus offers you a variety of day tours from Quito. We offer the following day trips with activities included: Cotopaxi Day Tour, Quilotoa Day Tour, Baños Day Tour, Otavalo Day Tour, Papallacta Day Tour, and Mindo Day Tour. In any of our tours, the pick-up is done in the areas of La Carolina, La Mariscal, Plaza Grande (historic center), and La Floresta. We do not pick up at the airport or in Bellavista sector, although if you want to be picked up in either of these two areas you must pay an extra fee.

Cotopaxi Day Tour. Photo by Quito Tour Bus.

If you were wondering which is the best area to stay in Quito, you now know that it is the historical center of the city and the sectors of La Mariscal, La Floresta, La Carolina, Bellavista, and the airport. Each of these areas has the necessary characteristics to be considered a perfect location to stay during your visit to the capital of Ecuador and to make your experience knowing it unforgettable.

Recommended Quito Tours

Download the Quito Historic Center Churches Map for your mobile for free

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It also contains

– Quito Markets
– Parks
– Museums
– Recommended attractions
– Quito Tour Bus Route
– And more…

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Day trips from Quito

Being the capital of Ecuador and in a prime location in the highlands of the country, Quito is an excellent

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