Lima is the capital of Peru and probably the starting point of your journey. Lima is the largest city in Peru with almost 10 million inhabitants. Lima is sometimes characterized by travelers as a gloomy city because most of the time it is cloudy. Many travelers stay two days in Lima when they arrive and depart. However, this doesn’t mean that Lima is a fun city to visit. Lima has plenty to offer, curious about what you can do in Lima and what the best place is to stay? Read the best things to do in Lima Peru in this article.
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#10 best things to do in Lima Peru
To help you get started, we’ve compiled our top 10 best things to do in Lima Peru. If you are wondering how many days in Lima you need to see the best parts, we recommend staying two days (on arrival and departure). You can do most of the things from this list.
#1 Discover the historic center of Lima
The historic center of Lima is a must-see place when you are in Lima. The best thing about the historic center is that you see the colonial influence in the buildings. Although it has been renovated several times, it retains its beauty. The best thing to do in Lima Peru is to start at Plaza de Armas. When you are at Plaza de Armas you will understand why this is the number 1 best thing to do in Lima. In this square you beautiful buildings like La Cathedral de Lima and many more. The entrance to the cathedral is $4.
#2 Walk the Malecon in Miraflores
Malecon is a boardwalk in the Miraflores district. Here you have a spectacular view of the ocean. It one of the best things to do in Lima Peru because you walk very relax and at the same time you have a beautiful view.
Miraflores is the most popular area among tourists and locals because it is very clean and the coast is within walking distance. Also, there a lot of shops which are great to visit in Miraflores. It is highly recommended to visit Larcomar during sunset. From this place, you have a great view and probably you will see paragliders. Also, there are plenty of other nice places to see in Miraflores such as the parque El Beso (the kiss) and parque Kennedy. Parque El Beso has benches that are very similar to the benches in Barcelona which are made by the artist Gaudi.
#3 Do a tour in Lima
If you want to do a tour with a local to discover Lima, you have a couple of choices. You can do it with a bus tour, bike tour, or walking tour. With all these tours you will visit Plaza de Armas, the Santo Domingo Catacombs, Plaza San Martin, and Circuit of Water Fountains.
Tip: We recommend taking one of these tours below because these tours will give you a unique experience and you will not walk the same streets over and over again like many other tours. We don’t recommend a bike tour because of the traffic in Lima.
The best thing to do in Lima Peru for budget travelers is to join a free walking tour. These depart daily at 10:40 am from Plaza de Armas. Of course, this is not completely free, because at the end you give a tip. The benefit is that you decide for yourself how much you would like to give. The disadvantage of a free walking tour is that many people participate, which can be very busy. Also, you don’t have 1on1 communication with the guide which you have with a private tour. What the best option is to discover Lima is personal. If you want to get to know Lima at his best we recommend this tour:
Half-Day Lima City Sightseeing | $36 per person
Hop-on / hop-off bus tour
The big advantage of the bus tour is that you don’t have to walk that much. Go for the Panoramic Bus Tour, with this organization you get a good impression of the city. You can choose between a city route or a historical route.
#4 Paraglide over the coast
Lima is the place to be for anyone who wants to do something active and loves extreme sports. You can paraglide over the ocean and city. The starting point is at Malecón in Miraflores. It isn’t necessary to make a reservation in advance, as long as there is wind you can do this activity. During a flight of 10 minutes, you have enough time to make awesome photos and videos. Aeroxtreme Escuela de Parapente is the organization to go.
#5 Visit one of the beautiful museums
Do like to visit museums? There are a couple of awesome museums that are worth visiting. The ones we advise are:
- Museo Larco
- Museo Pisco
- Museo de Arte de Lima
- Museo Oro del Peru
Museo Larco has mainly pieces from the pre-Inca period. Overall, this is considered Lima’s best museum. Museo Pisco isn’t officially a museum, but it is a great place to learn about the Peru drink: pisco. Museo de Arte de Lima has the largest collection of photography, paintings, and other handmade pieces. In Museo Oro del Peru you see a lot of gold.
We recommend Museo Larco because you see the most beautiful pieces and you get to know the history of Peru. Book your ticket here so you can skip the lines.
#6 Get some good food in Lima
In Peru, you can eat delicious food. Very easy tip: just go to different restaurants and get to know the cuisine of Peru. There are several good restaurants in Lima, but our favorite is Panchita. The food is very tasty and affordable. It can be busy sometimes so it is important to make a reservation if you would like to eat at Panchita.
#7 Stroll in the colorful neighborhood of Barranco
Barranco is a colorful neighborhood where you can find beautiful street art. This neighborhood is the most romantic of all neighborhoods in Lima. There are a lot of colonial houses in the district which makes it very nice to walk through. Another tip, as the legend is in Lima, is to walk to the bridge at the Puente de Los Suspiros. Whoever crosses the bridge for the first time may make a wish if they can hold their breath.
The coast of Lima is not ideal for swimming, but it is an excellent place for surfing. You can rent a board and rent clothes at Pukana Surf School for a total of $18. You must be an experienced surfer.
If you want to take surf lessons now, you can do this at Eternal Wave or Pukana Surf School. Costs are approximately between $24- $54, depending on whether you want to take a group or private lesson. Book your surf lessons via the below link.
Surf lesson Lima | $32 per person
#9 Peruvian cooking class
Want to make some iconic Peru dishes? Do you want to visit a local market? Is your answer yes? The best thing to do in Lima Peru for you is to follow a Peruvian cooking class. It is a fun way to get to know the cuisine of Peru interactively. For example, you learn to make Ceviche and Lomo Saltado. We recommend this cooking class because in addition to a cooking class you get some nice extras plus the transport is included. You can make your reservation easily via the below link.
Peruvian Cooking Class | $70 per person
#10 The 2 best day trips from Lima
If you are traveling in Peru, this tip is less applicable, because if you follow our travel route through Peru you will visit these 2 places. However, if you are in Lima for a short time and you want to see another side of Peru besides this city then Paracas, Huacachina and Nazca lines are the best places to visit. If you want to know more about a certain place, read the article we have written about it. You can easily book a tour from Lima below:
- Tour Paracas and Huacachina | $129 per person
- Tour Nazca lines and Ballestas island | $450 per person
Where to stay in Lima Peru
The best neighborhood to stay in Lima is Miraflores. This is the most touristic district and therefore also the safest district. In this district, you can do fun things all day long. Also, there are a lot of nice restaurants, shops, hostels, and hotels. There are also other neighborhoods such as the historic center and Barranco where you can spend the night. We have slept 1 night in Miraflores and 1 night in the historic center, however, Miraflores is a lot better, because it is a lot busier here in the evening. We recommend the two addresses below in Miraflores.
Selina Miraflores Lima
Selina Miraflores has a lot of rooms from different price ranges. There are small rooms and very luxurious rooms. If you are traveling alone or on a budget, you can also sleep in a dormitory. The rooms are very nicely decorated and the most important thing is that this hotel is very good value for money. This hotel scores very high on booking and is therefore very popular. So be on time when booking.
Price per night from:
$ 13 dormitory | $ 21 double room
Pool Paradise Lima
Pool Paradise is a nice hostel with a swimming pool and a nice general area to relax and get to know other travelers. The rooms look very neat and the hostel also organizes fun activities to participate in. An ideal place for travelers looking for a nice place to sleep to get to know other travelers.
Price per night from:
$ 8 dormitory | $ 21 double room