Few experiences provide cultural intoxication like exploring a city’s past. And, good news, Quito's oozes fascination. The best place to travel through the pre-Columbian era, Spanish conquest and eventual independence is a visit to the marvellous Museo de la Ciudad. Lurking a few blocks from Plaza San Francisco, this over 400-year-old hospital, the city's oldest building, was converted into a museum in the 1970s and today enthrals visitors with reconstructed indigenous houses, graphic art work, clear and concise videos and English-speaking guides. For just $3, visitors stroll around the typical Spanish colonial building which has a permanent exhibit on the first floor and temporary one on the ground. Note that like many museums in Quito, it closes on Mondays.