Plaza San Francisco


Walking from the Old Town’s narrow colonial streets into this open plaza reveals one of the finest sights in all of Ecuador: a sweeping cobblestone plaza backed by the mountainous backdrop of Volcán Pichincha, and the long, whitewashed walls and twin bell towers of Ecuador’s oldest church.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Quito attractions

1. Capilla de Cantuña

0.02 MILES

The Cantuña Chapel houses a small art collection from the Quito School. It’s shrouded in one of Quito’s most famous legends, that of the indigenous…

2. Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

0.03 MILES

Construction of the convent, the city’s largest colonial structure, began only a few weeks after the Spanish establishment of Quito in 1534, but wasn't…

3. Museo Franciscano

0.04 MILES

To the right of the Iglesia de San Francisco’s main entrance, and within the Convent of St Francis, this museum contains some of the church’s finest…

4. Casa del Alabado

0.07 MILES

Housed in an elegant colonial-era home, this privately owned museum with contemporary displays showcases an impressive collection of pre-Columbian…

5. Casa Museo María Augusta Urrutía

0.09 MILES

Of Quito’s house museums, this is the one not to miss: it’s a splendidly preserved, 19th-century home that was once the abode of the city’s best-loved…

6. Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús

0.09 MILES

Capped by green-and-gold domes, La Compañía de Jesús is Quito’s most ornate church and a standout among the baroque splendors of the Old Town. Free guided…

7. Monasterio Museo del Carmen Alto

0.13 MILES

The Monasterio Museo del Carmen Alto, built in 1653 and still home to an order of 20 Carmelite nuns, now houses an interesting museum. Exhibits explore…

8. Arco de la Reina

0.13 MILES

This massive arch, built in the 18th century to give shelter to churchgoers, spans García Moreno.