This list of the best places to visit in Lima will help you prepare your itineraries through one of the most charming cities in South America, which we are sure will end up stealing your heart.
In the old town of the capital of Peru, a World Heritage Site that revolves around the Plaza de Armas, colonial architecture, ruins of ancient civilizations and more modern buildings mix, being also one of the places most frequented by tourists who visit the city.
In addition to these architectural jewels, the city has a privileged position on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, with several beaches that are perfect for surfing and relaxing on hot days and if you add to all this the Peruvian cuisine, located among the best in the world , make this city a must for every traveler who visits the country.
Being the gateway to Peru, we recommend spending a day or two in Lima at the beginning of the trip and in this way begin to acclimatize in the best way to the country and its magnificent people.
The Plaza de Armas or Plaza Mayor, located in the heart of the historic center and in the same place where in 1535 the conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the city, is one of the most important places to visit in Lima.
Surrounded by some of the most important buildings in the city such as the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Iglesia del Sagrario, this spacious square is also a good meeting point for tourists and locals around a beautiful fountain, being the most famous and busiest place in the city.
To get to the Plaza de Armas or move around the most tourist points of the city we recommend you get on the buses that do not exceed 2 soles (half a euro) each way and if you prefer comfort you can take a taxi, which is usually much more expensive.
A good way to learn about the history of this square and the main attractions of the city is to book this free tour of Lima for free! or this complete tour with tickets, both with a guide in Spanish.
Strolling at sunset through the Parque del Amor located in the famous Miraflores neighborhood, is one of the best things to do in Lima.
Inaugurated on Valentine’s Day in 1993, in honor of lovers, this is the perfect place to walk and sit on its benches, made with colored mosaics reminiscent of Park Güell in Barcelona, while reading the different phrases of poets dedicated to the love. In the park there is also the famous sculpture “El beso”, by the Peruvian sculptor Victor Delfín, and a heart-shaped flower garden.
Although it can be visited at any time of the day, our recommendation is to get closer when the sunset begins and the views of the Pacific Ocean are unforgettable.
Huaca Pullcana, an archaeological zone belonging to a pre-Inca civilization that existed from 200 to 700 AD. C., is another of the essential places to see in Lima.
Abandoned for centuries, these ruins were not recovered until 1967 to turn them, after years of restoration, into another of the great tourist attractions to visit in Lima, which we recommend you do not stop visiting.
The archaeological complex has a pyramidal shape reaching a maximum height of 25 meters and is made up of a set of squares, patios and structures belonging to the Lima culture. We recommend going up to the highest area of the 7-story pyramid, built with some mud bricks, from where you can enjoy curious views of the ruins surrounded by modern buildings.
To get to Huaca Pullcana you can take a taxi for about 25 soles from Plaza de Armas or book the Lima tourist bus that stops at all points of interest in the city and has recorded comments in Spanish.
A good option to try the most modern Peruvian food with views of the archaeological site is to dine at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant.
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Barranco, an old fishing village, is the bohemian neighborhood and our favorite neighborhood to visit in Lima.
Although the best thing is to wander aimlessly, it is worth going down San Martín Avenue surrounded by residential buildings, art galleries and hotels, up to the charming Plaza de Barranco and not forgetting another of the best things to do in Lima and in this neighborhood. : look for the fantastic murals that fill its streets and squares with urban art.
Don’t forget to make a wish as you cross the Bridge of Sighs, a 19th century wooden bridge, without breathing, and go to the boardwalk to enjoy fantastic views of the sea.
We recommend going at sunset since this is one of the safest neighborhoods and with the best offer of good restaurants such as the Ayahuasca Resto Bar to try some of the star dishes of Peruvian cuisine such as ceviche and end up in a bar having a last pisco sour.
To better know the history and anecdotes of this neighborhood you can book this free tour of Barranco for free! or this one that includes the Callao neighborhood, both with a guide in Spanish.
In addition to the Parque del Amor and the ruins of Huana Pullcana, the Miraflores neighborhood has other tourist attractions to see in Lima such as the Malecón or the Larcomar.
The 5-kilometer walk is made along the Miraflores boardwalk, located on a cliff above the well-known Costa Verde and has fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean. You can start the tour in the northern part where the stretch of the Malecon de la Marina and a lighthouse are located, from where they get the best perspectives and stop in its beautiful parks until reaching Larcomar, the most famous shopping center in the city.
During the ride some locals will offer you a paragliding flight bordering the coast of Lima, without a doubt, another of the best things to do in Lima although if you rule out paragliding, another fun way to see Lima is to book this guided bike tour in Spanish that goes through the Miraflores and Barranco neighborhoods.
Another of the best things to do in Lima is to see a nightly light and water show at the Magical Water Circuit or Parque de la Reserva.
Located in the south of the old town, this park is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for 13 fountains to launch jets of water totally synchronized with different colored light bulbs.
To get to the park, especially if it is at night, we recommend taking a taxi before a bus or the metropolitan bus, for safety reasons. Another more comfortable option is to book this tour with a guide in Spanish that includes hotel pickup and admission.
Show hours: 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.