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Museums Tour (Self Guided), Quito

San Francisco de Quito, or Quito for short, is the capital of Ecuador. The city is home to a range of different museums that give a great insight into the history of Ecuador and its people. The most important centers deal with colonial history, an era that left a strong mark on contemporary Ecuador. Take our Museums Walking Tour to catch the best museums with collections to educate and entertain any visitor about this South American country.
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Museums Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums Tour
Guide Location: Ecuador » Quito (See other walking tours in Quito)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museo Nacional del Ecuador (MuNa)
  • Museo Camilo Egas
  • Museo de Arte Colonial
  • Museo Alberto Mena Caamaño
  • Museo Convento San Francisco
  • Casa de Sucre
  • Maria Augusta Urrutia
  • Museo de la Ciudad
  • San Diego Convent
1
Museo Nacional del Ecuador (MuNa)

1) Museo Nacional del Ecuador (MuNa) (must see)

MuNa is one of the most visited history/art museums in Quito. It contains a substantial collection of pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary art – all of these combined with high-tech informative presentations.

Why You Should Visit:
Combines colonial, archaeological, modern and contemporary art in perfect harmony.
You can start the tour from any point of the museum and connect with each art piece.

Tip:
You can download your application in the AppStore and have an audio guide.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-6pm
2
Museo Camilo Egas

2) Museo Camilo Egas

Camilo Egas was a famous Ecuadorian artist and teacher. Having studied in Rome, Madrid and Paris, he was well known as far afield as Europe and North America. His works have been displayed in some of the world's most prestigious galleries. The Museum of Camilo Egas in Quito displays his art in a small, beautiful building from colonial times. His amazing must see works were influenced by all of the modern art schools, from expressionism to surrealism to cubism. The main theme running through his work centered on the Andean indigenous peoples of Ecuador and surrounding countries.

Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 9am–5pm, Sat–Sun and holidays: 10am–4pm.
3
Museo de Arte Colonial

3) Museo de Arte Colonial (must see)

The National Museum of Colonial Art is housed in a 17th-century mansion. Inside you'll find a large collection of paintings and sculptures of Quito as well as Spanish colonial furniture. Through this museum's works, you can get a sense of the tragic events of the colonial times. Some of the paintings from this dark period in the country's history can be difficult for visitors to look at as they depict bloody scenes. The use of such extreme depictions was meant to literally put the fear of God into the indigenous peoples, so they would convert to Catholicism. In addition to these, there are beautiful pieces that date back to the 16th-19th centuries with sculptures as well.

Why You Should Visit:
Provides a good overview of colonial art and can help to illuminate some of its themes and styles, which is helpful when viewing colonial art in the neighboring churches and convents.

Tip:
Zero admission fee; however, photos are not allowed, even without a flash, except in the open courtyard.
If you don't read Spanish, hire a guide.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 9:30am-5pm
4
Museo Alberto Mena Caamaño

4) Museo Alberto Mena Caamaño

Your journey to Quito will not be complete until you go to this fantastic museum. The Museo Alberto Mena Caamaño, which bears the name of the person who donated most of its artworks, is home to many timeless masterpieces. Set on the second floor of the Metropolitan Cultural Center in Quito's historic center, the museum displays paintings and amazing wax figures depicting the massacre of the struggle for independence.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 9 am- 5 pm.
5
Museo Convento San Francisco

5) Museo Convento San Francisco (must see)

In the Museum of St. Francis' Convent you can see Ecuadorian colonial art and learn more about colonial history. Look out for the fascinating paintings of indigenous gods. The museum is housed in the city's first ever church – the Colonial Monastery and Church of San Francisco, which dates back to the 16th Century. The church itself is among the most prominent of Quito's architectural monuments.

Why You Should Visit:
Puts the Church and the Franciscans into more context through art & furnishings.

Tip:
For a very small fee, you get a very interesting free tour (in Spanish), including a visit into the beautiful choir area of the church, from where you can look down into the main aisle.
Afterward, you may also visit the shop down below where you'll find all sorts of ethnic artwork from all over Ecuador.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm; Sat: 9am-1pm
6
Casa de Sucre

6) Casa de Sucre

The Casa de Sucre is situated in the historical heart of the city. It's named after Major-General Antonio José de Sucre, who was a great fighter for the independence of Ecuador. This local hero's house is now a military museum that vividly recalls the pro-independence struggle. You can also get a sense of the lifestyle of wealthy people of that era by visiting this site.
7
Maria Augusta Urrutia

7) Maria Augusta Urrutia

Located in the colonial district of Quito, the former house of art patron Maria Augusta Urrutia has been transformed into a museum with many Ecuadorian pieces of art from the colonial period to today. Here you'll find local large bronze pots, fine French porcelain and silver dinnerware, as well as mystic pictures of Mideros and other Ecuadorian painters. The house itself is worth experiencing for its turn of the 21st Century feel - it is so well preserved that when inside you'll feel like you're in a time capsule.

Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 to 18:00; Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 to 17:30.
8
Museo de la Ciudad

8) Museo de la Ciudad (must see)

The Museum of the City of Quito was founded in 1998 at the former Hospital of Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, itself a historic site. This fascinating museum takes a creative approach to relating Quito's past, spanning from the daily life of the pre-historic era up to the 19th Century. These epochs are vividly brought to life by great wax figures and amazing sound effects.

Why You Should Visit:
Surprisingly entertaining and informative set of displays with a wide range of exhibit material.
There's also a little restaurant inside offering a relaxing place to sit and relax in the quiet with a nice view.

Tip:
As most exhibits are labelled in Spanish only, make sure you take the free tour with the English speaking guide if needed.
While inside, don't forget to look at the floors – in some places, they are a part of the display.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-5pm (admission ends at 4pm)
9
San Diego Convent

9) San Diego Convent

The San Diego Convent and Museum is located next to the cemetery of the same name. There are many beautiful statues of angels outside the church, while inside the museum you can admire religious and colonial art. As for the cemetery, it dates back to 1872 and is the place where Ecuador's most important people are buried. You can be sure that the impressive tomb with fresh flowers outside is that of Jose María Velasco Ibarra, a five-term president who was truly loved by his people. The cemetery itself is rather simple but it's a site of great importance for the history of Quito.

Walking Tours in Quito, Ecuador

Create Your Own Walk in Quito

Create Your Own Walk in Quito

Creating your own self-guided walk in Quito is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Quito Introduction Walk

Quito Introduction Walk

Nestled high in the Andes, Ecuador's capital Quito is deservedly nicknamed "the City in the Clouds". Adding to its unique landscape is the fact that Quito rests on the foundations of an ancient Incan city. The historic center of Quito preserves much its colonial past manifested in 16th-17th-century buildings featuring a blend of European, Moorish and indigenous styles. This...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Tour

A former Spanish colony, Quito is home to literally dozens of Catholic churches. The Spaniards brought their faith with them to Ecuador and built many fantastic churches and cathedrals, one of which pre-dates even the city itself. Take our Religious Sites Walking Tour to see to the most magnificent and impressive houses of worship in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles