12 Best Things To Do in Lima

These are just a few of the many awesome things to do in Lima. Read on for an in-depth look at all that Peru’s capital has to offer.

1 - Plaza de Armas

While you’ll walk through the Plaza de Armas on the free tour, you don’t have a whole lot of time to take it all in. As such, you’ll want to go back there on your own at some point for further exploration. Also known as the Plaza Mayor, this was the birthplace of Lima when the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535. As per the order of King Charles I of Spain, the city was centred on a square-shaped plaza. 

2 - Catacombs in San Francisco Church

One of the most popular (and eerie) things to do in Lima is taking a tour of the catacombs under the San Francisco Church. This beautiful Spanish Baroque church was built in the late 1600’s and is probably the best-preserved in all of Lima. 

3 - Aliaga House

Back when Pizarro founded the city in 1535, he gave a plot of land near his palace to one of his trusted allies, Jerónimo de Aliaga. Aliaga built a mansion there, and it still stands to this very day. Obviously, there have been several renovations to the house over the years.

4 - San Cristobal Hill

If you’d like to admire the Centro Historico from above, be sure to include a trip up to San Cristobal Hill to your Lima itinerary. At 400 metres above sea level, this is the highest natural point in the city. 

5 - The Cat Park

If you’re a cat-lover, then you’ll definitely want to check out Parque Kennedy while in Lima. While the park is actually named after John F. Kennedy, many people simply refer to it as the Cat Park these days.

6 - Huaca Pucllana

While more and more high-rises are going up in Lima, the city still does a great job of preserving its past. There’s no better example of that than the ancient ruins of Huaca Pucllana, which are located right in the heart of Miraflores.

7 - Larco Museum

If you don’t know what to do in Lima on a foggy, drizzly day (there are many of them), just head to the Larco Museum. Housed in a former mansion and full of thousands of pre-Columbian artifacts, this is definitely the most impressive museum in the city.

8 - Barranco

Long a favourite of Lima’s artistic community, Barranco is gaining ground among travellers as a popular alternative to its more trendy and upscale neighbor of Miraflores. Even if you don’t stay there, you should definitely take some time to go explore this bohemian enclave.

9 - Magic Water Circuit

Without a doubt, one of the coolest things to do in Lima Peru is seeing the Magic Water Circuit in the evening. It really is a magical show, with several fountains, music, and plenty of laser lights.

10 - Larcomar

Some people love this slice of modern uber-commercialism lodged in the seafront cliffs of Miraflores. You can shop for designer labels, go bowling, play arcade games, eat ice cream and go to the cinema. There are also some chic restaurants with sea views and the way-too-trendy Aura nightclub.

11 - Palacio de Gobierno

Take a tour of the Palacio de Gobierno and watch the daily changing of the guard. Palace tours are free but need to be arranged at least a day or two in advance, but you can try to charm your way in without a prior appointment.

12 - Real Felipe Fortress

Back in the mid-1700s, when pirates and corsairs were harassing the vital port of Callao, construction began on a fortress to secure the port and the cargo that passed through it. The fort still houses about 1,000 Peruvian soldiers, as well as the Peruvian Military History Museum.