Credit

Courtesy of Azureus70/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Best Things To Do in Lima

Lima's long, rich history and vibrant culture provides a breadth of attractions for visitors. The city is filled with squares like Plaza de Armas that feature colonial architecture as well as pedestrian hangouts like Malecón de Miraflores. History buffs can wander unique attractions like the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco and distinct museums, such as Museo Larco and Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Peru. Experiencing Lima's culinary scene is an attraction in itself, so make sure you carve out time to sit down, relax and enjoy some Peruvian cuisine. 

How we rank Things to Do

Updated May 19, 2017

  • #1
    Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)
    View all Photos
    #1 in Lima
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Known as the birthplace of Lima, the Plaza de Armas (also known as Plaza Mayor) functioned as the heart of the Spanish colony dating back to 1535. Travelers say it's a must-see for every first-time visitor to Lima.

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Museo Larco
    View all Photos
    #2 in Lima
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Named after the collector and father of Peruvian archaeology, Rafael Larco Hoyle, the Museo Larco boasts the world's largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. Housed in an 18th-century mansion, the museum fascinates visitors, who say the historic treasures housed within provide insight into the many indigenous cultures that once thrived in Peru. The collection includes more than 50,000 ceramic pots, as well as an extensive collection of gold and jewelry, including ceremonial headdresses.

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Huaca Pucllana
    View all Photos
    #3 in Lima
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This active archaeological site sits in the middle of the Miraflores neighborhood. The clay and adobe structure, which once functioned as a ceremonial site during the pre-Columbian era, dates back to 400 B.C. Since the beginning of the excavation in 1981, multiple pyramids, ceramics, textiles and tools have been discovered. Most recently in 2010, four intact mummies were found undisturbed.

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Malecón
    View all Photos
    #4 in Lima
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Spanish word malecón directly translates to "pier," but that word doesn't quite describe (or do justice to) the malecón in the Miraflores district of Lima. These cliffside pedestrian boardwalks offer breathtaking ocean views, and as such are usually filled with locals and tourists.

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Museo de Arte de Lima
    View all Photos
    #5 in Lima
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Lima's art museum – also known as MALI – is home to more than 1,200 pieces of Peruvian art spanning 3,000 years, from the pre-Columbian times to the contemporary. You'll find pieces from multiple indigenous cultures, including textiles and ceremonial items as well as modern, abstract pieces from Peruvian artists.

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú
    View all Photos
    #6 in Lima
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú (the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru, or MNAAHP) is the largest and most extensive in Peru, boasting about 300,000 artifacts.

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
    View all Photos
    #7 in Lima
    Churches/Religious Sites
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Inaugurated in 1672, this baroque-style church named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi is best known for the network of catacombs located underneath the chapel. The catacombs contain an estimated 70,000 remains dating back to the 17th century. The church and convent are also home to a library with approximately 25,000 antique texts dating back to the 15th century.

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    MATE Museo Mario Testino
    View all Photos
    #8 in Lima
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a break from the many history museums in the city, make a visit to the MATE Museo Mario Testino. This small museum in the Barranco district is named after the famous Peruvian fashion photographer, Mario Testino. Displays include photographs of fashion legends, such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, as well as collections of contemporary images from cultures around the world. Because of Testino's widespread portfolio, the permanent collection regularly rotates. A favorite among visitors is the room dedicated to Testino's photographs of the late Princess Diana. You'll also find special exhibits from other modern artists.

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Circuito Magico del Agua (Magic Water Circuit)
    View all Photos
    #9 in Lima
    Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located within the Parque de la Reserva (Park of the Reserve) south of the Museo de Arte de Lima and next to the Estación Estadio Nacional, this water light show is fun for families and kids of all ages.

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Lima

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019