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Not only Peru’s biggest city, but one of the largest in South America, Lima’s sprawling coastal suburbs and busy commercial center can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Three days is enough to take in the highlights, with time to admire the grand central plazas , explore the artsy Barranco district and hit the beaches and malls of Miraflores.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

15 Places

4 City Tips

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15 Places

Day 1

Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)

Landmarks & points of interest

Cathedral of Lima

Churches & cathedrals

Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

Architectural buildings, Religious sites, Historic sites, Libraries, Caverns & caves, Landmarks & points of interest

Plaza San Martin

Landmarks & points of interest

Magic Water Circuit

Government buildings, Parks

Day 2

Huaca Pucllana

Ancient ruins, Historic sites

Miraflores Boardwalk

Piers & boardwalks

El Parque del Amor

Monuments & statues, Parks, Landmarks & points of interest, Lookouts

Shopping Center Larcomar (Centro Comercial Larcomar)

Malls

Saqra

Restaurants

Day 3

Museo Larco

History museums

Mercado "Indios"

Speciality shops

Barranco

Neighbourhoods

Mate Museo Mario Testino

Art museums

Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros)

Trails

Zoe S's City Tips

  • The cheapest way to get around in Lima is by micro or combi (minibus) – flag them down like a taxi, tell them where you want to go and pay your fare in cash once you’re onboard.
  • Take care to only use licensed taxis and agree on a price before traveling, as there are no meters.
  • Tipping is not necessary except for in more upmarket and tourist restaurants, where 10% is a reasonable amount.
  • Tourists can be a target for petty theft, so keep a close eye on your belongings – don't hang your bag over the back of your chair or carry your passport in your back pocket!
    Day 1
  • Save
    Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)
    Landmarks & points of interest
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    At the heart of the UNESCO-listed historic center of Lima, the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) is the obvious starting point for walking tours of the city. Check out the grand Presidential Palace, the City Hall and the Palace of the Union, as well as the striking central fountain, or stop for breakfast at one of the cafes facing the square.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You'll need your passport for identification if you want to enter or tour any of the government buildings.
    • The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at the Presidential Palace every day at noon.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 117 attractions in Lima
    • Lima 25/03/2015
    • TRADITION 24/03/2015
    • Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)
    Address:
    Jr. Junin and Jr. Carabaya
    Lima
    Peru
  • Save
    Cathedral of Lima
    Churches & cathedrals
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    The exquisite Cathedral of Lima never fails to impress and visitors can marvel over the intricate mosaics, pay their respects at Francisco Pizarro's (the founder of Lima) tomb and visit the on-site Museum of Colonial Art.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The floodlit cathedral is even more photogenic at night.
    • Although you'll have to pay a small fee to visit the museum, entrance to the cathedral is free.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 117 attractions in Lima
    • See It At Night 22/03/2015
    • Incredibly Beautiful 21/03/2015
    • Cathedral of Lima
    Address:
    Jiron Carabaya
    Lima 15001
    Peru
    Phone:
    +51 1 4279647
    Hours:
    Sun
    13:00 - 21:00
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 - 21:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
    Architectural buildings, Religious sites, Historic sites, Libraries, Caverns & caves, Landmarks & points of interest
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    As well as being a striking example of Lima's colonial architecture, tours of the San Francisco church allow visitors to explore the eerie catacombs that lie beneath the church.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Access to the church is by guided tour only.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Library Like You've Never Seen Before! 26/03/2015
    • Beautiful and Interesting 22/03/2015
    • Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
    Address:
    Plaza San Francisco
    Jirón Lampa y Ancash
    Lima
    Peru
    Phone:
    +51 1 4267377
    Other:
  • Save
    Plaza San Martin
    Landmarks & points of interest
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    The towering statue of National hero Jose de San Martin dominates Plaza San Martin, but the busy square is also home to notable buildings like the Colón Theater, the Hotel Bolivar and the Giacoletti buildings. Grab a takeaway coffee and settle on the grass to watch the world go by.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin are linked by the pedestrianized shopping boulevard, Jirón de la Unión.
    • Avoid taking a taxi from here – walk a block or two and flag one down instead to avoid the inflated 'tourist' prices.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 117 attractions in Lima
    • What a sight 20/02/2015
    • A taste of the 1920s 02/01/2015
    • Plaza San Martin
  • Save
    Magic Water Circuit
    Government buildings, Parks
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Head to the pretty Parque de la Reserva at sunset, where the top attraction is the Magic Water Circuit, the world’s largest fountain complex. The dazzling display of lights, music and water includes the towering Magic Fountain, a 35-meter long water tunnel and a pyramid fountain.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Magic Water Circuit is open every day from Wednesday-Sunday, from 4pm to 10pm.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The best place in Lima 26/03/2015
    • A must see and experience 23/03/2015
    • Magic Water Circuit
    Address:
    Parque de la Reserva
    Petit Thouars Avenue Corner of Jiron Madre de Dios, Lima Center
    Lima
    Peru
    Phone:
    4240827
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Huaca Pucllana
    Ancient ruins, Historic sites
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Among the most famous of Lima’s huacas (prehistoric burial sites), Huaca Pucllana dates back to 500 AD and remains remarkably preserved. Visitors can climb the 22-meter pyramid, made out of hand-sculpted adobe bricks, as well as visit the on-site museum.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • There's also a terrace restaurant overlooking the ruins.
    • Wear good shoes if you want to head off the main path and look out for loose stones underfoot.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A MUST WITH A GUIDE 24/03/2015
    • Must see 24/03/2015
    • Huaca Pucllana
    Address:
    Calle General Borgono Cuadra, 8
    Miraflores
    Lima
    Peru
    Phone:
    511 6177148
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    9:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Miraflores Boardwalk
    Piers & boardwalks
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    My favorite spot in Lima is walking along the Miraflores Boardwalk, looking out over the rugged coastal cliffs and watching the paragliders soaring over the coast. Hire a bike to cycle along the promenade or just stroll its length, stopping for ice cream at one of the cafes along the way.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • On windy days, it's possible to try paragliding here.
    • The most atmospheric time to visit is at sunset.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Take a picnic and watch the sun set 24/03/2015
    • Stunning! 24/03/2015
    • Miraflores Boardwalk
    Phone:
    986614142
    Other:
  • Save
    El Parque del Amor
    Monuments & statues, Parks, Landmarks & points of interest, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Located along the Miraflores coast, the Parque del Amor – the 'Love Park' – is Lima's coolest park, with its quirky mosaic sea walls, towering palm trees and colorful flower beds. The eye-catching centerpiece of the park is Victor Delfín’s evocative statue ‘El Beso’ (‘The Kiss’)

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The aptly-named Love Park makes a romantic spot for lovers to watch the sunset.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Gaudi Park in Lima 19/03/2015
    • Lovely little park 17/03/2015
    • El Parque del Amor
    Address:
    Malecon de la Reserva
    Miraflores
    Lima 18
    Peru
  • Save
    Shopping Center Larcomar (Centro Comercial Larcomar)
    Malls
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Get a feel for modern-day Peru at the super-stylish Larcomar shopping mall, perched on the sea cliffs of Miraflores. Along with dozens of designer boutiques and clothing shops, there's a huge open-air food court full of restaurants, bars and cafes, a cinema, an amusement arcade and a bowling alley.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Larcomar is also a popular spot after dark, with a good selection of bars and nightclubs.
    • The mall is open daily from 11am to 10pm, but most bars and restaurants stay open until midnight or later.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 41 shopping & fashion in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • beautifull mall 26/03/2015
    • Shopping Plus 22/03/2015
    • Shopping Center Larcomar (Centro Comercial Larcomar)
    Address:
    Avenida Malecon de la Reserva, 610
    Lima 18
    Peru
    Phone:
    51 1 620 6000
    Other:
  • Save
    Saqra
    Restaurants (Peruvian, Mediterranean, Contemporary)
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Adding a contemporary twist to classic Peruvian dishes, this swish eatery is one of Lima's best. Try the traditional ceviche (raw fish with lemon), Huancaína gnocchi and picarones (fried doughnuts).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
    • Saqra is closed on Sundays.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 1,094 restaurants in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Peruvian Delight 25/03/2015
    • A delicious Peruvian experience 25/03/2015
    • Saqra
    Address:
    La Paz 646 Lima 18
    Miraflores
    Lima 15074
    Peru
    Phone:
    +51.1.650.8884
    Price range:
    $18 - $35
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    12:00 - 4:00
    Fri - Sat
    12:00 - 5:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Museo Larco
    History museums
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    If you only visit one of Lima's museums, make it this one, where the huge collection includes ceramics, gold and silver artefacts and mummies dating back to prehistoric times. Even the building is impressive – a grand 18th-century colonial mansion surrounded by flower gardens.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Make sure to explore the museum storerooms too - a unique chance to see the hundreds items not on display.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best Museum in Peru 25/03/2015
    • Best tour in Lima 25/03/2015
    • Museo Larco
    Address:
    Avenida Bolivar 1515
    Pueblo Libre
    Lima Lima 21
    Peru
    Phone:
    +51 1 4611312
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 - 3:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Mercado "Indios"
    Speciality shops
    Zoe S Says:

    Whether you want to pick up some unusual souvenirs, try local foods or invest in quality alpaca goods, you'll find everything imaginable at the bustling Indian Market, so give yourself lots of time for browsing.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Bargaining is expected so never pay the first price you're given.
    • Carry lots of small change as vendors often can't change bigger notes.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 41 shopping & fashion in Lima
    • nice place to make a visit but tricky when buying 09/02/2015
    • WOULD HAVE LIKED MORE TIME! 03/01/2015
    • Mercado "Indios"
    Address:
    Av Petit Thouars 5245
    Lima
    Peru
  • Save
    Barranco
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Lima's most bohemian district offers a welcome change of pace to the busy city center, with its eccentric street art, distinctive colonial architecture and flower-filled parks. Spend some time wandering around the many art galleries, clothing and crafts shops, bars and cafes.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Trendsetter
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Barranco is also a popular nightlife destination, with a number of venues hosting live music.
    • It's best to get around Barranco on foot, but wear comfortable shoes.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 117 attractions in Lima
    • Boho district 26/03/2015
    • Lovely neighborhood 25/03/2015
    • Barranco
    Address:
    Barranco District
    Lima
    Peru
  • Save
    Mate Museo Mario Testino
    Art museums
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    Locally born and now globally famous, Mario Testino is the subject of this small but stylish art museum, featuring an impressive collection of his most captivating celebrity portraits, as well as photographs of traditional Peruvian dress.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Trendsetter
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Kate Moss and Princess Diana are among the famous faces on display.
    • There's also a cafe in the museum garden.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 117 attractions in Lima
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Small but Good Quality Museum 13/03/2015
    • Fascinating photos 09/03/2015
    • Mate Museo Mario Testino
    Address:
    Avenida Pedro de Osma 409
    Barranco
    Lima Lima 4
    Peru
    Phone:
    +51 2517755
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 22:00
    Tue - Sat
    11:00 - 0:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros)
    Trails
    See more photos
    Zoe S Says:

    You can’t pay a visit to Barranco without walking along the iconic Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros), the district’s most distinctive landmark. Watch the sunset from the bridge, then head down to the Bajada de los Baños below, where you’ll find many of the neighborhood's best bars, restaurants and music venues.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Follow the road from the bridge towards the sea for a magnificent coastal view.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #67 of 187 activities in Lima
    • The bridge is just ok; it's the surrounding area that's worthwhile 10/09/2014
    • Underconstruction 31/08/2014
    • Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros)
    Address:
    One block from Parque Municipal
    Lima
    Peru
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:30 - 23:00
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