In the old town of the capital of Peru, a World Heritage Site which revolves around the Plaza de Armas, there is a mixture of colonial architecture, ruins of ancient civilizations and more modern buildings, being also one of the most frequented places by tourists visiting the city.
In addition to these architectural gems, 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, ranked among the best in the world, make this city a must for every traveler visiting the country.
This list of the best places to visit in Lima will help you prepare your itineraries in one of the most charming cities in South America, which we are sure will end up stealing your heart.
There are many places to visit in Lima. You’ll need to keep in touch with your relatives uploading photos. That’s why you may need to use one of our mobile phone plans for tourists to avoid high roaming costs. In order to make a nice trip, here in PeruSIM, we made this list of 9 places to visit in Lima.
Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas or Plaza Mayor, located in the heart of the historic center and in the same place where in 1535 the conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city, is one of the most important places to visit in Lima.
To get to the Plaza de Armas or to move around the most touristic points of the city of Lima we recommend you to take the buses that do not exceed 2 soles (half a euro) each way and if you prefer the comfort you can take a cab, 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 Free! or this complete tour with tickets, both with a guide in Spanish.
Parque del Amor
Strolling at sunset in the Parque del Amor, located in the famous neighborhood of Miraflores, 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 stroll and sit on its benches, made with colorful mosaics reminiscent of the Park Güell in Barcelona, while reading the different phrases of poets dedicated to love. The park is also home to the famous sculpture “The Kiss”, by Peruvian sculptor Victor Delfin, and a heart-shaped flower garden.
The archeological complex has a pyramidal shape reaching a maximum height of 25 meters and is composed of a set of squares, courtyards and structures belonging to the Lima culture. We recommend you to go to the highest part of the 7-story pyramid, built with mud bricks, from where you can enjoy a curious view of the ruins surrounded by modern buildings. To learn more about the history of this pyramid we recommend you to book this free tour of the pyramids of Lima and El Olivar park.
Although it is best to wander aimlessly, it is worth walking along San Martin Avenue surrounded by residential buildings, art galleries and hotels, to the charming square of Barranco and do not forget another of the best things to do in Lima and in this neighborhood: look for the fantastic murals that fill the streets and squares with urban art.
Don’t forget to make a wish while you breathlessly cross the Bridge of Sighs, a wooden bridge from the 19th century, and go to the Malecon to enjoy fantastic views of the sea.
We recommend going at sunset as this is one of the safest neighborhoods and with the best offer of good restaurants such as Ayahuasca Resto Bar to try some of the star dishes of Peruvian cuisine such as ceviche and finish in a bar drinking a last pisco sour.
The Cathedral of Lima
The Basilica Cathedral of Lima, located on one side of the Plaza de Armas, is the most important religious temple to visit in Lima and Peru. The exterior presents several styles in which highlights the Renaissance of the facade with Plateresque details, and the neoclassical of its towers and we assure you that the interior is even more spectacular, with a ceiling that recreates a starry sky and mixes Renaissance, neoclassical and baroque styles in the decoration. Also inside are 13 beautiful chapels full of details, the impressive choir stalls and the crypt of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima.
The 5-kilometer walk is along the Miraflores Malecon, 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 you will find the section of the Malecon de la Marina and a lighthouse, from where you get the best perspectives. You can stop in its beautiful parks until you reach Larcomar, the most famous shopping center of the city.
During the ride some locals will offer you a paragliding flight along the coast of Lima, without a doubt, another of the best things to do in Lima although if you discard the paragliding, another fun way to see Lima is to book this bike tour with guide in Spanish that goes through the neighborhoods of Miraflores and Barranco or this tour that includes Miraflores and Huaca Pucllana.
Monastery of San Francisco
Another of the places to visit in Lima that impressed us the most was the Monastery of San Francisco, located near the Plaza de Armas. Very famous for its catacombs and its incredible library, where you can admire thousands of ancient texts, some from the time of the Spanish conquest, this monastery also has a basilica where the main altar of neoclassical style, the sacristy, the chapter house and the cloister stand out. It is also known for its enormous catacombs where some 70,000 corpses rest, some of them in crypts full of bones that have even been placed “with a decorative sense”.
Circuito Mágico del Agua
Another of the best things to do in Lima is to see the nightly water and light show at the Circuito Mágico del Agua or Parque de la Reserva which is located in the south of the old town. To get to the park, especially if it is at night, we recommend taking a cab rather than a colectivo or the metropolitan bus, for safety reasons.
Plaza San Martin
Surely during any walk through the old town you will pass at some point by the Plaza San Martin, one of the places to visit in Lima with more atmosphere. Once you get to this square you will find yourself surrounded by historic buildings such as the Teatro Colon, the Giacoletti building and the Gran Hotel Bolivar. In the center of the square is the statue in honor of General San Martin, manager of the independence of Peru.
To get to this square we recommend walking along Jiron de la Union Street, one of the most commercial streets of the city, which leaves from the Plaza de Armas.
As you can see there are several places to visit in Lima. This guide will help you to reach many important places that you can’t miss on your tour to the capital of Peru.
Finally, we know that you have to keep communication with your relatives and friends, that you need to be able to orient yourself in new cities, that you might need help with translation and that you might need to search for restaurants or hotels. That’s why with PeruSIM you can buy a SIM card including the data plan of your need without having to worry about high roaming costs.