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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Ecuador > Quito

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Shopping in Quito

Many people come to Quito with artisanal goods on their shopping list. Handmade crafts are in excellent supply, much of it produced locally, and they can be bought at bargain prices from the market. For more modern shopping, head to the modern Mariscal district.

Key areas

The main shopping district of Quito is in Mariscal, the new town area. You'll find just about everything in this bustling, modern district with plenty of designer-brand shops and boutiques.

Buy high-quality items in specialised shops, such as Olga Fisch Folclore on Colón E10-53, a local institution, set by a Hungarian Jewish artist who fled Europe on the eve of WWII. Another great shop for handmade crafts is Tianguez, located on the same premises as the namesake café.

Many art galleries sell paintings by modern Ecuadorean artists. Galeria Beltran at Reina Victoria 326 and Galeria Catasse on Avenida 6 de Diciembre y Checoslovaquia are among the most renowned.

Markets

Look for bargains at one of many markets, such as Mercado Artesanal La Mariscal on Jorge Washington between Reina Victoria and Juan León Mera. The place is swamped with colourful knitwear, woven bags, rugs, jewellery and trinkets.

Shopping centres

It's hard to argue that there is anything remotely Ecuadorean about Quicentro on Inaquito, but homesick Westerners can head to this gigantic mall which houses all the usual global brands. Prices are undiminished, so don't expect any bargains. There's a large food court on the top floor.

Opening hours

Shops tend to be open early until late, usually 0900-2200, with some smaller establishments closing for lunch.

Souvenirs

Whether you're after a panpipe, a llama key ring or small ceramics, Quito's historical centre is full of shops selling souvenirs. Galería Latina is a safe bet for woodcarvings, jewellery and clothing.

Tax information

The value-added tax, known as IVA, on most goods in Ecuador is 12%. Tax free shopping is available in the city for purchases over $50, but the goods must have been made in Ecuador. Look out for the 'Tax Free' stickers in shop windows. Refunds should be claimed at the airport.