I’ve lived in the capital cities of 5 Latin American countries, and I constantly find myself amazed by the incredibly vibrant cultural life Quito has to offer. I would even say its up there with Buenas Aires, a city with a much more well-know reputation for culture and the arts. But Quito, it does impress.
International performers, classical music, theater, circus, national and international films, art, dance, clowns, and random things you would never think to imagine up, its all here. And most amazingly- quite often free or very inexpensive. So get out there and experience this city, there is so much to do beyond the Mariscal!
But you do have to know where to look – so once you start attending events, keep your eyes peeled for other flyers and posters for other upcoming events, but it can be hard to be able to find stuff at first. So, i’ve put together a list of all my places that i go to check out when I’m looking for something to do. This list is just on-going venues; quito has a number of different annual festivals which have a whole bunch of other events. I’ll try to put those together in another post. And please feel free to share with me any other great places you know of that i might have missed.
So here are my list of sites to check out for Quito arts and Culture:
Ahora en Quito facebook –
lots of postings and news for all sorts of cultural events in Quito
municipal government’s cultural agenda site, doesnt have everything happening in the city (as one would hope), but does have stuff you might not see listed elsewhere.
new beta site trying to house all the cultural happenings in quito. a bit hard to navigate, but shows good potential.
Ecuadorian Symphonic orchestra –
they play multiple times a month and have lots of free concerts. If you like classical music, its definitely worth it to signup for their email list
Teatro Sucre –
Quito’s most prestigious theater. Traveling shows, plays, performance dance, concerts etc. A bit pricier than some other options, but always great quality. (fyi- teatro de Variedades is their smaller venue located in the same plaza, they share the same website).
Casa de Cultura –
music, theater, ballet, dance, film screenings, kids stuff; a bit of everything. Often free or low cost.
Casa Humboldt –
German cultural foundation. One or two person plays, intimate-sized theater. German film screenings, Kids theater. Also German language courses.
Centro de Arte Contemporanio –
located in the Antigua Hospital Militar (a beautiful building). special art exhibitions, some concerts and events, but less frequent.
Alianza Francesa –
French cultural association. French films, concerts, rotating photography exhibitions, special art exhibitions, mostly all free (often with bonus free food on opening nights). Also photography and french courses.
Flacso Cine Club –
Ecuadorian and international independent films and shorts. tickets are inexpensive.
independent movie theater which shows mainly Ecuadorian and international indie films. Also has a great cafe.
Casa de la Musica –
classical music, opera, recitals. many free, some paid
Cafe Libro –
restaurant/bar. Author book/poetry readings, music and dancing (mostly salsa and tango) most nights of the week. Often charge cover, but its a great friendly atmosphere, even for beginners (on a side note, they also have a great almuerzo during the week).
Pobre Diablo –
bar/restaurant which often has live jazz and other great local groups. a bit pricier menu and they do often charge cover (but its generally worth it)