10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lima

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lima

For many travelers, Lima is the gateway to renowned Peruvian gems like Machu Picchu. While it is home to Peru’s main international airport, the city is definitely worth more than just a short stopover.

Stretching out along the Pacific Ocean, the capital of Peru offers a seamless blend of cosmopolitan atmosphere, historic plazas, renowned museums, and mesmerizing ocean views.

Let’s explore the top ten attractions to visit in Lima.

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lima:

How To Visit Tourist Attractions in Lima, Peru

Lima is a sprawling metropolis and, as such, it can get quite chaotic. So, before visiting, it might be a good idea to carefully plan your itinerary.

You can visit Lima’s more popular sites on your own, though, it’s worth noting that navigating the routes and planning enough time to visit the attractions that you want can get challenging.

Alternatively, you could join a free walking tour or an expert-guided tour. When making a decision, consider the sites you want to visit. A free walking tour is often focused on the main tourist attractions in the historic center of Lima.

view of lima

Lima is a very big city which makes having a clear plan of what you want to see when you’re here very important.


If you’re looking for a more personalized, unique experience, consider a guided tour. This way, you get the chance to embark on some of the best trips from Lima and discover the top spots in the area.

Have some more time to spare? A 2-day Paracas and Huacachina tour is a wonderful way to see South America’s only oasis, go on a desert adventure, taste local wine, and visit the Ballestas Islands.


Things to Do: Lima’s Best Sites

Lima is a perfect introduction to your Peruvian itinerary and a great way to set the cultural and historical stage for what you’ll see during the rest of your adventures in Peru.

With fascinating archeological sites, urban areas, and Colonial-style architecture, the city has plenty to offer. Here are some of the best sites to visit.

ocean view miraflores

The Malecón de Miraflores is just a short walk from the Parque Kennedy and offers beautiful views of Lima’s coast.


1. Parque Kennedy

Situated at the heart of the modern Miraflores district, Parque Kennedy is often referred to as Lima’s unofficial main square.

The park is a popular meeting point for both locals and travelers and a great place to have a little break. Tall trees, colorful flower beds, street performers, and food vendors are just some of the things you can see in the park.


2. Visit a Peña

Peru’s peñas are undoubtedly the nation’s cultural relic.

A peña is a buzzing place where people come to eat, drink, and, most importantly, enjoy authentic Peruvian folk music.

You can find peña venues scattered across Lima, although the most well-known ones are in the Barranco neighborhood.

people dancing in restaurant

At the peña “La Oficina” in Barranco, there’s always a lot of fun guaranteed.


3. Museo Larco

Museo Larco offers visitors one of the largest displays of ceramics in Lima.

The museum has an impressive collection of more than 50,000 pieces with ceramic works from the Inca, Chimú, Chancay, Cupisnique, and Nazca civilizations. It also features an intriguing gold and jewels collection, too.

larco museum

The Larco museum is without a doubt a museum that’s worth a visit when you’re in Lima.


4. Malecón de Miraflores

Malecón de Miraflores, Lima’s scenic coastal walkway, is a favorite destination for travelers.

This coastal path stretches for almost six miles and offers impressive views, regardless of the weather. Dotted along the way, you’ll find plenty of sculptures, cafes, and parks.

One of Peru’s most famous lighthouses, the Faro la Marina, can be found along the way, as well.


5. The Barranco District

Barranco is often described as the Bohemian heart of Lima. For good reason, too.

Lima’s Barranco neighborhood is full of charming little cafes, fascinating street art, and some of the best shops to pick up souvenirs and national artisan goods like jewelry and ceramics.

graffiti in barranco

Barranco has a lot of beautiful street art. Make sure you have your camera ready.


6. Presbitero Maestro

The Presbitero Maestro Cemetery was built in the early 1800s on the former outskirts of Lima and is the oldest cemetery in the city.

This beautiful sanctuary features ornate tombs, gothic crypts, and a mausoleum. It also houses the final resting place of many key political, military, and literary figures.

With its wealth of culture, history, and art on display, Presbitero Maestro is definitely worth a visit.


7. Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is Lima’s focal point and the main tourist attraction in the city.

The center of the plaza was once home to the city gallows. In 1578, the centerpiece was replaced with a water fountain. The bronze fountain we see today was placed in 1651 by Viceroy Garcia Sarmiento de Sotomayor.

Lima’s Plaza de Armas is surrounded by a number of architecturally, historically, and administratively important buildings. As you walk around, you’ll find the Government Palace, Casa del Oidor, Archbishop’s Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, the Palace of Union, and the Municipal Palace.

plaza de armas lima

Lima’s Plaza de Armas has many beautiful buildings close by…and a lot of impressive palm trees as well! 


8. Catacombs of San Francisco Solano

Built back in 1535, the Convent of San Francisco is a must-visit. With Baroque-style architecture and an impressive library featuring artistic work from 17th-century European painters, the convent is perfect for those looking for a history-rich experience.

Right under the convent, you’ll find a historic cemetery whose underground tunnels and galleries served to bury more than 25,000 people.

The catacombs of Lima are considered to be one of the largest in South America, as well as the best preserved. One of the biggest attractions here is the enormous 10-meter deep well filled with human skulls and bones that were likely used to preserve the building from the impact of earthquakes.


9. Catedral Metropolitana de Lima

You can find the Cathedral of Lima in the city’s historic center. It’s arguably the most iconic building in Peru’s capital, as well as home to one of the best museums for religious art.

The Catedral Metropolitana de Lima dates back to the early 16th century and has an awe-inspiring colonial design with two tower spirals – the most recognizable feature around the city center.

The interior of the cathedral is nothing less than impressive. It effectively merges late Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical elements.

cathedral in limas center

Worth another stunning foto: Lima’s Metropolitan Cathedral.


10. La Puente de los Suspiros

Situated just a block west of the Plaza de Armas is a narrow wooden bridge over a stone stairway that leads to the beach.

Known as the Bridge of Sights to travelers, La Puente de los Suspiros is one of the most picturesque and breathtaking attractions in Lima’s Barranco neighborhood.

Legend has it that if you make a wish and hold your breath while walking till the end of the bridge (144 ft/44 m), your wish will come true.


Hop On A Lima Adventure With Exploor Peru

As with all things, Lima is far more interesting if you know the places worth a visit, and a little about their history. You can also explore different activities by checking out the 10 top-rated things to do in Lima.

Lima and its surrounding areas are a fantastic place to explore with plenty of exciting activities. If you have a day to explore, be sure to check out our Huacachina day tour from Lima. During the tour, you’ll visit the Huacachina oasis, as well as a local winery where you can taste wine and pisco. To top off your adventure, you’ll get to ride in a sand buggy and sandboard down Peru’s dunes.

huacachina oasis sunset

The Huacachina Oasis is probably the best destination for a day tour from Lima.


If you are short on time but still want to take on an adventurous activity, a sandboarding tour in Lima might be just the thing for you. This exclusive tour takes you to the desert for a unique dune expedition in an off-road jeep and offers you the chance to board down the dunes.

Looking for an unforgettable dining experience? From street food to family favorites and fine dining, Lima is home to plenty of world-class restaurants. The best restaurants in Lima mix the flavors of the Amazon, Andes, and the ocean with various local influences, and are a must-visit for any traveler.


Ready to Taste Lima for Yourself?

Without a doubt, Lima has plenty of attractions and rich culture ready to entice any visitor.

That said, the city also boasts one of the most exciting nightlife scenes in Latin America. From walking along the coastline to catching a magic water circuit, be sure to explore some of Lima’s top spots after the sun sets.

Ready to give it a try? Check out some of the best things to do in Lima at night.

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