Your first acquaintance with the country of Peru will most likely be the city of Lima. Lima is the capital and most international flights fly to Lima. It is a city with a number of interesting districts and with several beautiful sights. In the old center there are fantastic buildings and nice museums and the districts Miraflores and Barranco are super nice to visit. What are the best sights of Lima?
The 11 best sights of Lima!
Lima is the capital of Peru and it is the largest city in Peru. Almost 10 million people live in this bustling city. The city consists of 43 neighborhoods, all of which are managed by their own mayor. Lima was founded on January 18, 1535 under the name La Ciudad de Los Reyes (the city of the Kings) and in the 16th century the city was named Lima. The city has kept the history of the colonial period, the period of the Spanish conquistadors, well preserved.
In Lima you can eat the best dishes from Peruvian cuisine, wander through colorful streets and modern neighborhoods, view colonial buildings with a story and relax in green parks!
I myself have been in Lima for three days and I found it a surprising city. To view Lima well you need a total of two to three days. I selected the 11 best sights of Lima for you!
The 11 best sights of Lima
1. Musea Convento San Francisco y catacumbas
This is a beautiful colonial church that has a number of very beautiful spots inside. You can take a look at the church, the monastery, the library and the catacombs. I particularly liked the catacombs. There are 25,000 skeletons in the spaces below the church. These ghostly crypts were used until 1821 and formed the largest cemetery in Lima. All these skeletons are arranged in 1946 and laid out very special and they form such a frightening sight. The library is the oldest library in the world and seems to come from a Harry Potter film. The monastery is also impressive to see. You can visit this church on your own or follow a tour with a guide. This is for sure one of the best sights of Lima!
- Location: Plaza San Francisco
- Opening hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
2. Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is located in the historic center of the city. The square is well maintained and is fun to see, to walk over and to sit down. Here you can see both tourists and locals enjoying the surroundings. The architecture of most buildings, for example the presidential palace, the town hall and the cathedral, around the square is beautiful and comes from the Spanish settlers.
3. Discover the neighborhood Miraflores
A very nice neighborhood in Lima is Miraflores and this district is right on the coast. You can shop, dine and drink perfectly. Along the coast there is a wide and beautiful promenade from where you have a great view over the Pacific Ocean. This is the place where people walk, cycle, skate and enjoy in the beautiful parks on the boulevard. In Miraflores is also the Huaca Pucllana and this is a large ruin of a pyramid and remnant from the pre-Inca period. According to researchers, this pyramid was built 2.5 thousand years ago, but this amazing archaeological site was only known in the middle of the 20th century. Miraflores is one of the best sights of Lima!
4. Wander through the neighborhood Barranco
This district is probably the coolest place in Lima and has a great historical architecture and a thriving art scene. In the evening Barranco transforms into a neighborhood with many restaurants and alternative bars for Peruvians and foreigners. The boutiques and small shops can be found in the streets of San Martin and Miguel Grau. One of the most interesting places to see is Puente de los Suspiros.
This bridge connects two main streets and it is said that if you cross the bridge while you hold your breath, your wish will come true!
Another attraction is the MATE museum. This museum was founded by the famous Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino. The museum is housed in a restored 19th century mansion and shows the best national and international contemporary art and photography.
5. The cats in Kennedy Park
Kennedy Park is in the center of the Miraflores district and is home to about sixty cats. Nobody knows how this happened, but the Kennedy Park has become a refuge for cats. The municipality has sterilized most cats and keeps an overview of the number of cats and the hygienic conditions. An association has been set up for the care of the cats. You can see the cats sleeping under the benches, on the sidewalk, in the trees or in the grass. Regularly there are some artists who display their work there and souvenirs are sold.
Kennedy Park is also known for the variety of Peruvian food you can buy at the many stalls. My tip is the Picarónes! This is a traditional Peruvian dessert. It looks like a baked donut, but the dough consists of sweet potato and it is sprinkled with honey. Also a must is Chicha morada! This is a fruit juice made from purple corn and is flavored with clove, cinnamon and sugar. Kennedy Park is one of the best sights of Lima!
- Location: Miraflores. The park is at the intersection of the three main streets of Miraflores: Manuel Pardo, José Larco and the diagonal.
5. Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología, e Historia
This archeology, anthropology and history museum is great to visit and gives you a nice insight into the history of Peru from prehistory to the colonial era. The displays are well organized and easy to understand. The variety is impressive with well-preserved examples of ceramics, carvings, obelisks, mummies, jewelry and carpets. There are pieces in this museum that are more than 5,000 years old. If you visit this museum then it is advisable to have lunch in the adjacent restaurant Antigua Taberna Queirolo.
- Location: Plaza Bolívar s/n Pueblo Libre.
- Opening hours: 8:45 am – 4:30 pm
6. Enjoy the Peruvian cuisine
The Peruvian cuisine is delicious and you should not miss a visit to a restaurant in Lima. The dish you should definitely order one time is Ceviche. This is a delicious dish of raw fish, red onions, chili peppers and sweet potato and this is marinated in lime juice. It is a simple but delicious dish that you can get in almost any restaurant in the city.
One of the most typical dishes from the Peruvian kitchen is Lomo Saltado. It is a stir-fried dish with beef with tomatoes, soy sauce, vinegar, fries and rice. The dish has its origins in the 19th century and originated under the influence of the many Chinese immigrants who knew Peru at that time.
7. The Amaz restaurant
Are you looking for a restaurant with good quality, visit the Amaz restaurant! This restaurant is known for its special and unknown dishes from the Amazon of Peru with delicate aromas, freshness of the ingredients, intense flavors and all dishes are a true taste explosion.
This restaurant is in the top 50 best restaurants in the world!
- Location: Avenida La Paz 1079, Miraflores
- Opening hours: 12:30 – 23:30
8. Paragliding on the coast
Paragliding on the coast is an activity where you have an amazing 360 degree view of the sea, the neighborhoods Miraflores, Barranca and San Isidro and in clear weather over the whole city of Lima. Pre-booking is not necessarily necessary. The costs are about 75 euros for a flight of 10 minutes. Two companies where you can arrange this is via Condor Xtreme or Aeroxtreme Escuela de Parapente.
9. A bike tour
A nice way to discover the city is with an organized bike ride. I myself followed a four-hour gastronomic bike tour through Huarique Bike and this was great!
So you see a lot of the city in a short time and you also learn a lot about the Peruvian cuisine. A nice win win situation!
During the bike ride you have ears so that you can understand everything that the guide tells you on the way. The bike ride crosses the Miraflores and San Isidro districts and you stop at various places to eat something. You stop at a fruit and vegetable market in Miraflores and get an explanation about the various exotic fruits. You can also taste them! During this bike light I also ate the freshest Ceviche ever prepared on the spot! For the dessert you stop at a location where you can taste the best ice cream in Peru.
10. Walking along El Malecón
This is a long boulevard whose route goes through several parks and where you have a great view of the Pacific Ocean along the way. From the high cliffs you can see many surfers in the Pacific Ocean and see the vast coast of the city of Lima. On a foggy day (of which there are many in Lima) it looks almost magical. It is a great place for a picnic, a moment out of the hustle and bustle of the city and to watch people.
11. Shopping in Lima
Lima is a big city and shopping is super nice. Are you looking for shopping malls then Jockey Plaza and Centro Comercial Larcomar are recommended! If you want to visit a market, it is best to visit the Mercado Municipal San Isidro, the Mercado nro 1 de Surquillo or the Mercado Central. The best place to get souvenirs is Mercado Incas and Indian Market – Centro Artesanal Miraflores. The markets are one of the best sights of Lima to shop!
I believe these are the best sights of Lima! What do you think are the best sights of Lima?Check here my travel route for the north of Peru
Weather in Lima
Lima is close to the equator, but because of the high altitude and the fog (called garúda), the temperature in the city is usually around 20 degrees. It hardly rains in Lima, despite its location by the sea. During the winter months, the city can be somewhat gloomy because of the fog. But the Spanish settlers have given the houses fresh colors and the houses look happy.
I have slept a few nights myself at hotel Casa Andina Select Miraflores. It is a great hotel with a delicious and extensive breakfast. The rooms are large and the location is perfect. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Very nice is that they have an option for a late check out. The hotel is a standard hotel, which you have in many cities in the world, and you know that everything is always well organized.
- Not what you are looking for? Find here more great places to stay in Lima!
- The most beautiful beaches in the north of Peru
- Travel route for the north of Peru
- 23 things you didn’t know about Peru
- The 5 things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Santa Cruz, Galapagos
- 7x what you need to know when you go to the Galapagos Islands
- The most beautiful island of the Galapagos: Isla Isabela