International Museum Day in Quito

It’s International Museum Day in Quito and we here at Metropolitan Touring are definitely up for it! The celebration in Quito consists of a week-long agenda full of activities, exhibits and visits that will take place throughout the 137 museums in town. If you are visiting Quito these days, make sure you take advantage of this cultural event! Also, be aware that all museums will be free for the duration of the week-long celebration. And don’t we all appreciate a free museum entrance every now and then?

Why celebrate International Museum Day?

On the 18th of May of 1997, the International Council of Museums founded what would come to be known as the International Museum Day. Their objective: to raise awareness about the importance of museums while focusing on peaceful cultural exchanges and making it a powerful tool to positively affects people’s lives. On this day, 145 countries around the globe join forces to celebrate these spaces that have the ability to transport us to new worlds, take us back to the past, understand our ancestors and even see how life was before mankind. Other museums specialize in showing us the immortal beauty of art or teach us about science, music, technology and history. Just name it: somewhere in the world there is a museum that is home to the best and rarest subject (or object) that you might be interested in.
Interesting fact: The theme for this year’s International Museum Day is “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums”.

Museo de la Ciudad, part of the International Museum Day in Quito. Photo By Adam Kess

Museo de la Ciudad, part of the International Museum Day in Quito. Photo By Adam Kess

Stop in Quito

Even if you are coming from or going to the Galapagos Islands, you will have a stop in Quito. The next step? Make sure you stay at the best place from which to visit all of the museums and cultural sites in the city and its surroundings. Staying at the right place can be a game changer, so make sure you look for the best location, service, and food in town – as is found at hotels like the gorgeous Casa Gangotena (a totally renewed old family mansion, strategically located across beautiful plaza San Francisco). At the end of the day, the difference is in the details and they are certainly what will transform your trip into an unbelievable experience. This beautiful city in the middle of the world has much to offer, so make sure you enjoy it the right way.

International Museum Day in Quito

Here is a list of all the museums that will be open and free of charge today, as well as the agenda for the next couple of days. Check it out and organize your time in Quito accordingly. If you need assistance with transfers, directions or any other thing in particular, do not hesitate to ask at Casa Gangotena’s reception where they will make sure you make the best of your time in Quito.
These days, you can visit most of Quito’s museums permanent and temporary exhibits and participate in organized tours. Find the list of museums and schedules during which they can be visited free of charge in the following Fundación de Museos de la Ciudad (City Museums Foundation) PDF link. The link is in Spanish, but the names and the schedules are easy to understand.

Centro Cultural Metropolitano. Photo By Paulce1527 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Centro Cultural Metropolitano. Photo By Paulce1527 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The House Recommends

You will probably not have enough time to visit all of the museums on the list, but here are three of our recommendations, if you are unsure of what to see.
Pre-Columbian Art Museum – Casa del Alabado: Admire One of Ecuador’s most impressive pre-Columbian art collections and discover this beautiful country’s history through an archaeological perspective. A treat to the eyes.
Centro Cultural Metropolitano (Metropolitan Cultural Centre): This museums is home to the only wax museum in the country, which tells the story of Ecuador’s independence. It also hosts some of the city’s best and largest contemporary art, sculptures and photography exhibits. You will surely be delighted with their May agenda which caters to the theme for this year’s International Day of Museums.
Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City): This museum is located inside San Juan de Dios hospital (one of Quito’s older hospitals) tells the history of the city of Quito: its first inhabitants, the Inca and Spanish conquest, the Spanish independence, the Gran Colombia and the formation of the Republic of Ecuador. It also hosts temporary exhibits that can be visited by walking through its many Spanish-style patios.

Museo Casa del Alabado

Museo Casa del Alabado

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Nathalie Moeller is of Ecuadorian and German descent. As a child she spent her summers in the Galapagos Islands, where her mother grew up, and from a very young age learned to love the beauty and uniqueness of the archipelago. She studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, after living in Madrid and Germany for a couple of years. This gave her a culturally broader view of the world, which is reflected in everything she does. Blogging gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for travelling and writing.

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