10 Things to do in Lima, Peru

The Peruvian capital often gets a bad wrap for being one of South America’s most boring cities – but this really isn’t the case. While it may not have the splendour of other capitals in the region, there is certainly enough to warrant a couple of nights’ stay in Lima. Besides, Lima is the gateway to Peru and you’ll likely be passing through here en route to Machu Picchu and Cusco – so why not take the time to enjoy a new city!?

10 Best Things to Do in Lima

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

The heart of the city and also the birthplace of Lima, Plaza Mayor is a social place for both locals and visitors alike. Located in the central area of Miraflores, there is much to see and do in this part of town. Take a walk through one of the many alleyways and get gloriously lost while enjoying the gastronomic flavours of Peruvian cuisine (a blend of many other cuisines), shopping in small boutiques and soaking up the livelihood of Lima.

Monastery of San Francisco

You can’t come to Lima and not visit the Monastery of San Francisco. The exterior is indescribably impressive, particularly as the pigeons circle the air above. Inside you’ll be able to learn much about the history of Lima since the Spanish invasion, and this is certainly one of Lima’s top attractions. Entrance fee is about $2.

The Historic Centre

While you’re here, be sure to wander around the historic centre of Lima and appreciate the architecture and history that surrounds you. Lima is highly susceptible to earthquakes, but many of these buildings have managed to stand the test of time which is impressive in itself. Just by walking around the area of Miraflores you will be able to view a timeline of history – you’ll struggle to not be impressed!

Cathedral of Lima

If you enjoy observing church architecture, even by European standards the Cathedral of Lima is pretty impressive. Located in the Plaza Mayor, the interior of this cathedral is spectacular.

Archbishop’s Palace of Lima

Adjoining the Cathedral of Lima is the Archbishop’s Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Lima and the administrative HQ of the Roman Catholic Church in Lima, originally built in the 1600s. Quite impressive and not out of the way as you’re already amidst the historic centre of Lima.


Eat Peruvian Cuisine

If there’s one thing you can’t go without in Lima, it is good food. Lima has so many great restaurants to choose from that, to be honest, it might be the hardest choice you face for your entire stay. For this I’d recommend you play it safe and head to Trip Advisor to check out your options, as there are so many different cuisines to choose from that it all boils down to personal taste. Just be sure to book a table in advance as you won’t be the only travellerย eager to taste the flavours of Peru and afar.

Museo Larco

If you’re looking for a fantastic museum to visit in Lima, you can’t go past the Larco Museum. Inside you will find thousands of artefacts, ceramics and textiles sourced from over 3,000 years. Admission is $11.50 and the museum is open 9am – 6pm daily.

Miraflores Boardwalk

For a different take on the city of Lima, head down to the ocean and stroll the Miraflores boardwalk. The giant cliffs overlook the Pacific Ocean and even on a misty day (of which there are many in Lima), it feels almost magical. This is also a great spot for a picnic lunch, to take a moment away from big city life, or the perfect place for people watching.

Take a Food Tour

Because Lima is the gastronomic capital of Latin America (seriously, they know how to do food here!), why not maximize your food-tasting-abilities by joining a local food tour. There are a number of great companies running them, so feel free to shop around. Delectable Peru have a pretty solid reputation.

Torre Tagle Palace

Torre Tagle Palace is a foreign office building that more than likely won’t be on your radar, but could quite be the most beautiful foreign office in the world so why not take a look. It is located just two blocks away from the Plaza Mayor, found at Ucayali 363.



I visited Lima with Trafalgar as part of the 8 day “Highlights of Peru” tour. Lima was the first and last stop of the tour – combined with the likes of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu!

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    October 23, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Actually being Peruvian myself, I’ve visited most of these places in Lima (My dad is a Limeno). The Cathedral is actually in downton Lima and Miraflores is a district bordering the ocean. It’s about 20 min to 30 min away from downtown Lima. Also, I agree that you should definitely check out Barranco, its a really hip neighbourhood that tourists should really check out.

    June 11, 2015 at 2:53 am

    I love Peruvian food! As the matter of fact, I love any South American food – it’s always so good! Sometimes a bit weird and unusual but ALWAYS good!

    June 9, 2015 at 1:56 am

    I’m dying to go to Lima! When I was in Argentina at the beginning of this year, I thought about booking a ticket there on my way home. Wish I had!

    June 8, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Lima is actually the most visited city in South America…

    June 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I often dream of Peru. I suppose it is because I’ve been planning my trip to Machu Picchu since I was a wee little girl. I may as well start planning my other adventures in Peru. This is a great list to start with. Thanks!

    June 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I would love to go there someday

    PS: I have a blog
    I recently posted on being happy!
    Please check it out lovelies xxxx

    June 8, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Thanks for the informative article! I work for a Spanish school in California and I take Adult Spanish students down to Latin America a few times a year to tour different countries, with Central America being my area of “expertise” (not sure if I would qualify as an actual expert, lol). Anyways, I am taking a group to Peru in November and it will be my first time so I’m trying to learn ALL that I can before. We are planning on going to Lima, Cusco, Macchu, Puno, Arequipa and then back to Lima! So excited!!

    Would you recommend staying in Miraflores?!

    Melanie Zelnick
    June 8, 2015 at 2:07 am

    I want to go to Peru so badly!!! Thank you for the guide!
    Melanie @

    June 8, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Trip adviser is always a good idea when exploring new food places :]

    June 8, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Lima shows it’s interesting sides on a second or third look. Thanks for sharing you’re experiences. Sadly, you missed Barranco on your list ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Wanderlust Storytellers
    June 7, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Interesting ideas! I must say it doesn’t seem to grab me as much as Cusco and Peru! They are amazing and definately on our ‘must-see’ list.

    June 7, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I would love to go there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    June 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Sounds incredible! Peru has been on my ‘must travel’ list for the longest time, and this post is definitely convincing me I need to go ASAP!


    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    June 7, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Agh I can’t wait to go to South America! Still a few years away I think but great to know Peru has a lot going for it aside from just Macchu Picchu! Just one tiny critique though Brooke… would love more photos ๐Ÿ˜€

    June 7, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I never thought of Peru as a ‘go to’ place for me…but you might have just changed my mind! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love architecture and good food. Throw in a proper food tour and I’m sold!

    June 7, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for the suggestions, it’s on the bucket list.

    Bart Steenbergen
    June 7, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for the post! Just been to Lima, but luckily ticked off some of your list! I am truly sorry I went home without being inside the monastery of San Francisco. I visited the Larco Museum which was nice to know more about the pre-inca time of Peru. And the food – it’s superb.