Plaza de la Independencia, known as Plaza Grande to the locals, was Quito’s main square in the 16th century, serving as central market and bullfighting area.
The plaza contains several important buildings: the Archbishop’s Palace to the north, City Hall to the east, the cathedral to the south, and the white, neoclassical Palacio del Gobierno (Government Palace) to the west.
The Government Palace (re-built in 1920 after its original 1650 building was destroyed by fire) is not open to the public, but you can take a peek inside the main entrance, which is a beautiful example of Moorish architecture. There is a tourist information booth just behind the entrance gate.
You’ll find more Moorish-inspired work in the courtyard of the Archbishop’s Palace (built in 1852) where there is also a small craft market and a few shops.
The tour guide was very informative and was smiling all the time! She had a great energy about her country that she never hesitated in answering all our questions. We highly recommend this tour to anyone who would only have a short time in Quito.
In the evening, we recommend you to have dinner in Lua Restaurant, it blew us away! The reviews about this restaurant lived up to our expectations and more! When you get there, please say hi to Chef Alexander for us!
Guide and driver were great. Our guide took amazing care of us all.
This tour was very informational. Esteban was a great guide and took great care of me (I was the only English speaker on the tour). The group was small and personal. I would recommend for anyone who wants to know more about Quito.
Plaza de la Independencia is the Old Town’s main square and is bordered by Chile to the north, Calle Venezuela to the east, García Moreno to the west and Espejo to the south.