The capital city of Peru is brimming with things to do! While often just a stopover on the way to Machu Picchu, Lima holds its own for all things food, adventure, culture, history, shopping, and nightlife! Discover our 101 fun ideas for things to do in Lima!
1. Paraglide over the city
What could be more thrilling than starting your Peru vacation paragliding over its capital? Giving a birds-eye view of Lima’s beaches, parks, its modern cityscape, and probably its traffic – paragliding in Lima is the best way to get a spectacular overview of the city! We recommend: Parapuerto
2. Visit Museo Larco
Museo Larco or Larco Museum is #1 on Tripadvisor for things to do in Lima! Built inside an 18th-century mansion, the collection of over 30,000 Peruvian artifacts housed in this Lima museum is impressive. The coolest part? The pieces not on display in the main museum are still accessible for the public to view! Bonus: The Larco Café is a gorgeous spot to have dinner after your museum tour.
3. Drink bottomless mimosas at Franklin Restaurant
Who doesn’t love brunch on vacation? Breakfast in style like a Limeño by heading to Franklin Restaurant in San Isidro between 10am and 1pm for bottomless mimosas and bellinis served until 4pm for only $20 USD (70 Peruvian soles). A breakfast buffet is also available or you can order food à la carte.
4. Shop with ocean views at Larcomar
A great thing to do on your Peru vacation is to shop in Lima! Larcomar is a mall built into the cliffside, giving ocean backdrops that any shopaholic would adore. Bring your haul to one of the many restaurants there for a great meal with a fantastic ocean view! We recommend: Tanta restaurant
5. Make a wish on Barranco’s Bridge of Sighs
The story goes that if it’s your first time seeing Barranco’s Bridge of Sighs you need to hold your breath and make a wish as you cross. Within walking distance from Barranco’s main square, this bridge is seen as an icon of Barranco and worthwhile to visit during your adventure in Peru.
6. Check out Lima’s Plaza Mayor at night
Lima’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and as soon as you drive through it you’ll understand why. Amber painted neo-baroque and neoclassical architecture styles line the Plaza Mayor and when the night time lights turn on, the city of kings really does look gold. Photographers, romantics, and wanderlusters need to cross seeing this historic landmark in Peru off of their bucket list.
7. Take a surfing class
Head to the best beaches in Lima, like Playa Makaha in Miraflores or Playa Barranco, to take a beginner surfing lesson. Equipment rental for a board and wetsuit and a 1-hour private class costs only $20-$30 USD (70-100 Peruvian soles). Surf school options are plentiful but we recommend Willy’s Surf School. Learn more about surfing in Lima here!
8. Admire the Balconies of Lima
Beautifully built wooden balconies adorn colorful Spanish colonial buildings in the Lima Center. While they make for fantastic photos, these decorative pieces are also crucial parts in Lima’s history. They are considered to be cultural heritage items because they played such a pivotal role in crowning the historic center of Lima as a UNESCO heritage site.
9. Try ice cream at Blu, Colonia & Co, or Creme de la Creme
Barranco boasts not one but three incredible ice creameries: Blu, Colonia & Co, or Creme de la Creme. Depending on which Peruvian you ask, you’ll get a different answer as to which one is the best! Decide for yourself by trying a taste at each!
10. Buy souvenirs at the Inca Market
One of the top things to do in Lima is to check out the various markets. The Inca Market is located in the tourist district of Miraflores and is great for shopping in Lima because it’s super close to most hotels. Grab all of the best things to buy in Peru like Pisco, Maras salt, chocolate, Peruvian textiles, alpaca scarves and sweaters, and various handcrafted items all in one conveniently located place.
11. Visit the San Francisco Catacombs, Convent, & Library
The San Francisco Convent is a famous landmark in the historic center of Lima. A baroque style church towers above while below the catacombs house hundreds of artfully arranged human bones. Inside features geometric tile-work, a library filled with historic texts in their original leather bindings, and a serene inner courtyard and garden.
12. See live music at La Noche de Barranco
La Noche de Barranco is a popular nightclub in Lima and known because it caters to all. One side has live music while the other has dance music and both sides have very reasonably priced beverages! Tip: Check out the schedule for their free or cheap tickets to live concerts to line it up with your trip.
13. Take a bike tour around Lima’s neighborhoods
Check out the different tourist spots in Lima, famous buildings, and beautiful neighborhoods by taking a bike tour of any of Lima’s districts. We recommend: Lima Bici for awesome Lima tours, or to rent bikes at Larcomar.
14. Visit the MAC Museum
Barranco is home to many different artists and galleries, but the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lima or MAC is always finding new contemporary Peruvian artists to showcase in their galleries making it a great spot for spending some time in Lima.
15. Try Churros San Francisco in Lima’s Main Center
During your Peru vacation, you’ll encounter many street vendors selling the delicious sugar covered dough filled with manjar blanco known as a churro. While it’s rare to find a bad one, the churros at Churros San Francisco are unlike any other that you’ll ever try! You’ll recognize it by the long line up of people waiting for the freshly made treat. Tip: Don’t have time to head to the center? No problem, Manolo’s churros are the best in Miraflores.
16. Head to a weekend Farmers Market
Use your time in Lima to get acquainted with local vendors and flavors by visiting a market. On Saturday’s 8:30am – 2:30pm, Parque Reducto’s bioferia is brimming with fresh vegetables, local Peruvian products, handmade beauty supplies, and vegan/gluten-free treats. On Sunday Barranco’s Bioferia has similar but varying products to Reducto’s. Kombucha, organic veggies and fruits, and even cute succulents you’ll wish you could take back home with you!
17. Visit the cats at Kennedy Park
Parque Kennedy or Kennedy Park in Lima is a popular tourist attraction, especially for animal lovers! Years ago, the nearby church used cats for pest control and as they bred they took over the park. Now they are well taken care of by a local organization and wander freely in the park where anyone can visit them. Be sure to look in gardens and even up in the trees because this park is home to hundreds of these four-legged friends.
18. Dance salsa at Sargento Pimienta on a Tuesday night
Looking for something fun to do in Lima even during the week? On Tuesday nights, Sargento Pimienta is lively with salsa dancers of all levels. Salsa teachers hang around and offer dances to anyone wanting to learn. At around 1am a live band comes on stage for you to put everything you’ve learned to practice!
19. Win big at a casino
Avenida Larco is a main street in Miraflores and is home to many fun things to do, shops, cafes, restaurants, and glittering casinos. Head to the Majestic Casino attached to the JW Marriott Lima for their onsite casino right by Larcomar mall.
20. Visit the MALI Museum
The Lima Art Museum or MALI is located in the historic downtown center of Lima. The art collection of Peruvian textiles, pottery, and paintings is housed in a palace built in the 19th century.
21. Eat at Central or Maido
Lima is home to some of the Top 50 Best Restaurants in the world! While you’re visiting Peru, one of the best things to do is eat! Dinner at Central in Peru will cost you about $150 USD per person for the 17-course tasting menu. The 13-course tasting menu at Maido will cost just shy of $200 USD a person but the price is worth the Michelin-star experience.
22. Visit Surquillo Market
Taste famous Peruvian products while crossing off lots of things to do in Lima by visiting Surquillo Market. Taste fresh fruits, try well-prepared ceviche, and get acquainted with local Limeños while practicing your Spanish.
23. See the Magical Water Circuit
The Magical Water Circuit holds the Guinness world record for the world’s largest fountain complex in a public park. It mixes lasers and lights with water to create a spectacular show! Head here any night at 7:15pm, 8:15pm, or 9:30pm for daily shows made from images projected onto the floating water particles, or wander around the park to photograph all of the impressive water fountains.
24. Photograph a cool drink at Carnaval
Carnaval Bar was ranked #13 on the 50 Worlds Best Bars list and boasts some cool cocktails that might even be from a sci-fi movie! Think dry ice coming out of an elaborate handmade ceramic dragon’s mouth. While the prices are pretty steep, even just one cocktail here will be a highlight of your time in Lima!
25. Swim with Sea Lions at The Palomino Islands
Not enough time to take a day trip from Lima to Islas Ballestas in Paracas? Head to the nearby Palomino Islands in Callao where you’ll be invited to jump into the (cold!) water and swim with sea lions!
26. Visit the MATE museum
The Mario Testino Museum or MATE is one of the museums in Lima that you have to check out on your Peru vacation! Testino is a famous Peruvian photographer who has captured images of everyone from Beyoncé to Princess Diana. He holds his own place in the fashion photography world and his museum is certainly a place to visit in Lima for those looking for Peruvian fashion inspiration!
27. Eat at Mercado 28
Mercado 28 is the perfect option for groups looking for things to do in Miraflores. With 17 different restaurant options in one place, it’s great for even the most indecisive eaters.
28.Shop at Jockey Plaza
Jockey Plaza is where it’s at for shopping in Lima, Peru! With 433 stores and services in a partially open concept mall space, you can pick up the perfect outfit for Machu Picchu here, treat yourself, and people watch fashion-forward Limeños shopping!
29. Barhop in Barranco
The nightlife in Lima, Peru is great and Barranco is the best place to barhop. Start at Juanitos for a traditional “chela” or Pisco sour, then head to Ayahuasca Bar for a unique cocktail in their cozy converted mansion. Santos Bar is located under the Bridge of Sighs and is great for spotting trendy Limeños. Finish the night dancing at El Dragon!
30. Escape Room in Miraflores
Looking for things to do in Miraflores to bond your travel group? How about escaping out of a locked room in one hour? Work together to hunt for clues, puzzle solve, and escape at Traplima. Are you game?
31. Take a day trip from Lima to Pachacamac
Pachacamac is an enormous (600 hectare) archeological site located 25 miles outside of Lima. It’s the perfect day trip for all types of travelers. History lovers can visit the Pachacamac museum and wander the ruins, while adventure seekers can mountain bike on the nearby hilly landscapes.
32. Jade Rivera gallery in Barranco
Jade Rivera is a popular street and studio artist in Lima. His works feature realistic subjects in surreal ways making you stop in your tracks to admire his work. Visit his gallery in Barranco district for a chance to see more of his work, and pick up some prints as unique souvenirs from your Peru trip.
33. Take a Lima food tour with Exquisito
Food tours in Lima are the best tours to take if you want to get to know the true side of Lima. Exquisito offers walking tours of Lima while also stopping at famous monuments and restaurants around the city. Discover some of Peru’s hidden gems and learn about the history of Lima, Peru while trying one delicious thing after the next!
34. Check out the Barranco Feria
One of the cool places to visit in Lima is the Feria in Barranco! This outdoor market-style feria houses products like vegan leather bags, natural beauty products, and handmade jewelry. The best part? The pen filled with puppies up for adoption that you can play with!
35. Walk the Malecón & Visit the Lighthouse
The Malecón is the main promenade that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is brimming with parks, dog walkers, families, ice cream vendors, and picturesque stops. You can’t leave Peru without taking a stroll along one of the most visited spots in Lima. Along the way you’ll tick off #41 (The Love Park) and visit the La Marina Lighthouse (or Faro la Marina) – the most famous lighthouse in Peru!
36. Barhop in Miraflores
Looking for nightlife in Lima, Peru? Head to Avenida Berlin in Miraflores for some of the best bars in Lima. Start at Houlihans or Molly’s for a casual Irish pub style atmosphere. Next, head to BarBarian or any other small local brewery on Bonilla street. After that, head to Bizarro or Bazar (both located on Francisco de Paula Camino) to dance!
37. Indoor rock climb at Pirqa
Pirqa is an indoor bouldering gym in the heart of Miraflores. This climbing academy is for children, adults, beginners, and experienced climbers and offers different types of memberships that suit each climber’s style.
38. Visit the House of Gastronomy
When planning your time in Lima, Peru you’re going to want to include a visit to the House of Gastronomy in Lima’s center. Learn all about Peru’s famous products and flavors with over 2,000 years of culinary history packed into one cool place to see! Located next to the Government Palace, this is something you can do in the Lima Center while also ticking off #6, #8, #11 #74, and #78 from this things to do in Lima list.
39. Discover the First Pisco Sour or the Biggest Pisco Sour in Lima
Morris’ Bar in Lima is credited as the birthplace of the famous Peruvian cocktail the Pisco Sour. Meanwhile, the nearby Gran Hotel Bolivar is credited with the title of the biggest Pisco Sour in the city! Decide for yourself which one you prefer by trying them both when visiting the Lima city center.
40. Get a massage
Masajes en Braille or Massages in Braille is a massage therapy center where your masseuse is vision impaired. Perfect for anyone who’s on the shy side but needs some relaxation on their Peru vacation and conveniently located in Barranco.
41. Take a Picture at Parque del Amor
Inspired by Gaudi’s mosaic style, Parque del Amor is a photographer’s dream in Miraflores, Lima! Brightly colored tiles adorn winding benches and organically shaped structures with love poems, quotes, and phrases written by various Peruvian poets included in the mosaics. You’ll also tick off #84 by seeing the “El Beso” statue by Peruvian artist Víctor Delfín.
42. Dance at Lima Bar
Located in Miraflores, Lima Bar is a night club in Lima. Its swanky decoration filled with well dressed Limeños dancing to Latin music makes Lima Bar a fun thing to do in Peru. Pay $45 for entrance or plan ahead and put yourself on a list on their Facebook page for free entry for you and your travel buddies.
43. Take a day trip from Lima to Lunahuaná
Lunahuaná is a town 65 miles outside of Lima and is a popular day trip from the city! Lunahuaná gives you a genuine Peruvian feel while also being beautifully surrounded by the nearby Pisco and wine vineyards aching to be tasted. The mighty Cañete River has seasonal rapids perfect for thrill-seekers wanting to river raft. Perfect too for history and archeology lovers, the 15th-century Incahuasi Ruins are there for us and future generations to learn from.
44. See the birthplace of civilization in South America: Caral ruins
There are lots of incredible historical sites in Peru so if the ruins in Cusco impress you, then Caral is going to blow your mind! Caral is a famous site in Peru because it was the most ancient city in the Americas. Aka: the birthplace of civilization in South America! Don’t pass up this day tour from Lima when ruin hopping in Peru.
45. Try ceviche at Canta Rana
The lineup outside of Canta Rana on a weekend morning is a common thing to see in Lima! This ceviche spot has been around for decades and is so worth the wait! If you’re going to try ceviche in Peru, it’s gotta be at Canta Rana!
46. Take a yoga class
Whether you are a practiced yogi or just looking for active things do in Lima, there are tons of options for yoga classes throughout the city. Lima Yoga offers scheduled classes in studio and mat rentals, while Open Yoga offers tip based outdoor classes along the Malecón near the La Marina Lighthouse.
47. Look for gnomes at Parque del Olivar
San Isidro is home to a 500-year-old olive grove with gnarled trees that might make you imagine gnomes living inside them. Also a great spot for birdwatching, home to turtles, koi fish, and frequented by many dogs, it’s a natural paradise in the middle of the modern city of Lima.
48. Sato Wine Boutique
Sato Wine Boutique is a perfect food stop for travel groups looking for something unique to do on vacation. Peruvian-Japenese chef Humberto Sato crafted this incredible menu of Nikkei food (#87 on our list) and pairs it with a wine experience. With over 40 wine vintages available to dispense in small tasting quantities your photos of dinner and drinks will make everyone back home live vicariously through you.
49. Hike at Lomas de Lachay
Day trips from Lima are awesome ways to get outdoorsy in the capital city! Lomos de Lachay or Lachay National Reserve is a protected area in Lima where the foggy atmosphere blankets the green hills. It makes for an awesome view as you look into the distance because you can see green, desert, and ocean.
50. Dine at Huaca Pucllana
Huaca Pucllana is one of the many historical sites in Lima. Dated back to the 5th century, this ruin predates the Incas and gives clues to the culture and history of ancient Peru. Enjoy a unique dining experience of traditional Peruvian dishes with picturesque views of one of the famous buildings in Peru.
51. Have breakfast at Homemade
You’ll recognize Homemade by its bright pink exterior and the long line of people waiting for a table outside. Homemade is the best option in Miraflores for a hearty homemade brunch made from wholesome ingredients. Undeniably delicious, Homemade is recognized by local Limeños as a must-try hidden gem.
52. Take a Night tour of Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro
Take a night tour of one of the oldest cemeteries in Peru by visiting the Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro. This unique Lima tour is the perfect thing to do with your time in Lima if you love the spooky side of a city! Considered to be the first municipal cemetery in Latin America it is one of the famous monuments in Peru you need to visit.
53. Immerse yourself in the submarine in Callao port
Abtao Naval Submarine Museum is a hidden gem located outside of Lima’s tourist center. It’s home to a submarine that can be entered and explored. Great for families, submarine enthusiasts, or those looking for something different to do in Lima.
54. Microtheatre in Barranco
The Microteatro in Lima is a theater house close to the Barranco main square that plays short 15-minute skits. It’s a great way to enjoy some fine Peruvian arts even if you’re not fluent in Spanish or aren’t wanting to sit through a whole 2-hour musical. Bonus: Don’t miss out on the amazing food and drinks available between shows as well!
55. Hike at Lomas de Lucumo
Hiking here is a fun thing to do near Lima for those who prefer to play outside. If you’re looking for a day trip from Lima then you should visit Lomas de Lucumo. Explore caves, hike the trails, spot wild animals, and enjoy one of the many interesting places in Peru near Lima.
56. Take a family visit to the Natural History Museum
Dinosaurs, spectacled bears, and harpies oh my! The Natural History Museum (Museo de Historia Natural) is one of the best museums to visit in the city for its impressive displays of flora and fauna. Great for families, nature lovers, or to tag along when doing #90 on our list.
57. Try Chifa with Inca Kola
Chifa is a Peruvian Chinese food fusion and as you drive through the capital city of Lima you’re sure to find hundreds of Chifa restaurants! Madam Tusan is a Chifa restaurant by world-renowned chef Gastón Acurio but there are many local spots around as well. Chifa Kam Mey My has the best spring rolls in the city and tons of vegan-friendly options! The famous Peruvian product Inca Kola is highlighter yellow and tastes of pink bubblegum. Like wine is paired to a fine steak, Inca Kola is paired with chifa.
58. Take a Spanish class
Learning a new language is the best way to meet locals, negotiate deals, and learn from everyone you meet! For cool things to do in Peru that are more off the beaten tourist path, getting acquainted with the local language is sure to be a huge benefit during your South American adventure! We recommend: Time2Talk for it’s laid back conversation-style teaching approach.
59. See Art at Monumental Callao
Monumental Callao is a collection of art galleries, open studios, shops, and restaurants located in the mural-covered Callao. This point of interest is worth checking out during your time in Lima if you like culture and art.
60. Dpaso Horse Show
One of the cool things to see during any Peru trip are the local dances. Peru is diverse in its ecosystems, landscapes, and traditional dances! The Dpaso Horse show is a dinner and show where you watch dances from regions all over Peru. Eat delicious Peruvian food, enjoy the costumes, and revel in the music. Once dinner is done, you’ll head outside to see the beautiful Peruvian horses that seemingly dance to the beat of the music.
61. Day trip from Lima to Marcahuasi
Marcahuasi is located 40 miles east of Lima making it another great option for a day trip from Lima. Famed for its mystical rock formations that resemble humans and animals as well as pre-Incan ruins. Marcahuasi is a great option for hikers, explorers, archeology enthusiasts, and photographers alike!
62. Relive History at Bar Cordano
A trip to the Lima center isn’t complete without tasting something off the menu at Bar Cordano. This local establishment has weathered hardships and has been in business since 1905. What makes it so special? Practically every famous Peruvian has eaten here! From politicians to poets to “Che” Guevara, make yourself among good company by grabbing a table here.
63. Try chicha morada
A must-do in Peru is try the traditional purple corn beverage called chicha morada. Packed full of antioxidants, this famous Peruvian product is not only healthy, but also delicious!
64. Learn about chocolate
Chocolate is one of the famous products made in Peru. Learn about the process of making chocolate from bean to bar and taste how the different and important places in Peru affect the flavor of the chocolate. We recommend: El Cacaotel or Chocomuseo
65. Watch a soccer game/concert at the National Stadium
You can find the best Lima concerts at the National Stadium of Lima. International sensations from Radiohead to Katy Perry have played there. While energy-filled soccer games can be attended almost year-round!
66. Go to a Peña
You’re likely to get your fill of Top 40 Latin music at any nightclub in the city, but if you’re looking for the real nightlife in Lima, then get yourself out to a peña. A peña is a lively establishment with typical Peruvian food, classic Peruvian drinks, and Peruvian folk music. You’ll start the night reveling in the delicious flavors and sounds before making your own way to the dance floor after a couple of Pisco sours. We recommend: La Oficiana (where the 2019 Peru For Less Christmas party was held), and Don Porfirio.
67. Day trip from Lima to Huacachina
Huacachina Oasis is a popular destination outside of Lima for thrill-seekers. 100-foot desert dunes surround a lush green lagoon making for some spectacular panoramic views. What’s more? If you feel so inclined, you can take a rugged ride on a 4×4 through the dunes and even sandboard down them!
68. Step inside the House of Peruvian Literature
When visiting all of the other famous monuments in the Lima center, don’t pass up actually going inside of the House of Peruvian Literature. Originally built as a train station in 1912, you’ll be met with a gorgeous stained glass ceiling, but want to stay longer because of all the fun now to be had inside. Free for everyone and open to all ages, check out Peruvian literature, temporary and permanent exhibitions, Peruvian art, and in-depth information about all the languages in Peru besides Spanish.
69. Take a Cooking Class
You’ve heard it a million times, but seriously! Lima is famous for its food! Learn from some of the great chefs, get to know Peruvian flavors, and try great wines and Pisco. Azafran and Exquisito offer cooking classes from renowned chefs in Lima.
70. Visit a South Beach: Asia
South of Lima is beach country where many wealthy Limeños own beach houses. Asia is a popular party spot with a lively nightlife in the summer season (January – April). These South Beaches are by far the best beaches in Lima, making the traffic-filled drive worth it for the sand-covered playa!
71. Check out the Lima Film Festival in August
Also known as Encuentro Latinoamericano de Cine de Lima, the Lima Film Festival is held in August every year. One of our favorite things to see in Peru is the art and culture that it produces. Check out the works of Peruvian directors, various Latin American cinematography, or take a master class and visit lectures on your trip to Lima.
72. Have a drink at Piso 21
Wanting to do some sightseeing in Peru with a drink in hand? Piso 21 is the bar on the 21st floor (piso) of the Estellar hotel in Miraflores. Grab an artfully made cocktail or delicious Pisco Sour while getting awesome views of the city!
73. Try Anticuchos
Anticuchos are grilled marinated cow heart meat on a skewer. While not for all, the adventurous eater will be able to try this typical Peruvian dish in the Lima center, Barranco, or Miraflores. You are on vacation in Lima, Peru after all! We recommend Anticucheria El Tio Mario in Barranco or Isolina which serves authentic Peruvian cuisine (but tends to have a line).
74. Visit the Convent of Santa Rosa de Lima
Santa Rosa is the patron saint of South America, the Philippines, and Lima, holding a special place in the heart of Limeños. It is said that when she died in 1617, Lima smelled like roses. While not all of Lima smells so rosy anymore, during the week around August 30th (Saint Rose of Lima day), roses permeate the air at the Convent of Santa Rosa. You can purchase them outside to place at the site where she once lived and died.
75. Eat bread at La Panetteria & Drink coffee at Laboratorio
La Panetteria is a small bakery in the Barranco district of Lima and is always packed with people eager for a taste! If you can grab a table or seat at the bar do so, or grab their baked bread to go. We promise that you won’t be disappointed you made a stop at this gem in Lima! Laboratorio is its sister company across the street devoted solely to the famous Peruvian product: coffee! Have impressively made caffeinated beverages while also being able to snag some of the items on Panetteria’s menu! You’ll be mistaken for a local!
76. Visit the Real Felipe Fortress in Callao
Want to know more about Lima’s history with pirates? Check out the Real Felipe Fortress. By day it’s museum is perfect for families and explorers alike. But on Saturday nights you can take a Night Walk to learn ghoulish tales of crimes, urban legends, and Lima’s paranormal activity!
77. Walk around a 500-year-old house: Casa Aliaga
Aliaga House is an elegant colonial mansion in the historic Lima city center that has been resided in by the Aliaga family for the past 17 generations. This makes the Casa Aliaga the oldest dwelling in the Americas! Get a look at the inside of this 500-year-old house by taking a tour when visiting downtown Lima. Bonus: Reserve in advance for a tasting menu by chef Jeronimo de Aliaga (only available on Thursdays).
78. China Town
Barrio Chino or China Town is nestled in the downtown historic center of Lima on Calle Capon. Try Chifa, pork dumplings called siu mai from the street, pick up amulets and charms, or learn about your zodiac sign.
79. Day trip from Lima to Cieneguilla & Antioquía
Cieneguilla is a scenic small town with mountain views about 25 miles outside of Lima. Here you can find the archeological site Huaycán de Cieneguilla which was used as an administrative center for the Incas and is part of the original Inca Trail. Antioquía is 25 miles outside of Cineguilla and is a noteworthy small town that’s been painted, making you feel as if you’ve stepped inside of a life-size Peruvian retablo.
Puruchuco Ruins are Incan ruins located right in Lima! Once a palace to an ancient ruler, now it’s a site to be explored by curious souls. When sightseeing in Lima, don’t pass up a visit to these 500-year-old ruins.
81. Try Cremoladas and Alfajores at Curich Cremolada
Close to Parque del Amor and the Malecón, Curich Cremolada can be recognized by its brightly colored fruity exterior. Cremoladas are fruit smoothies that taste awesome especially after a long day of sightseeing in Lima. Alfajores are a delicious Peruvian treat that is a must-try during your Peru trip! La Casa del Alfajor (Alfajor House) is worth mentioning. But we recommend grabbing one at Curich Cremolada because it has amazing brown sugar alfajores.
82. Museum of Italian Art
A gift given to Peru from its resident Italian community in 1922, the Museum of Italian Art is the only European arts museum in Peru. Housing a stained glass inspired by Boticelli, decorative details inspired by Michelangelo, and a facade with Venetian mosaics, the building itself is a work of art.
83. Visit the Don Bosco Artesans Shop in Barranco
The Don Bosco Artesans are a group of woodworkers from cooperatives around Peru. In Barranco, you can visit and see the incredible artistry and ingenuity in the furniture for sale. Functional, yet with a symbolic, religious, or artistic purpose the furniture at this shop is different from anything else you’ve seen.
84. See art by Víctor Delfín
Víctor Delfín is a famous Peruvian artist. His “El Beso” statue can be spotted at Parque del Amor but few people know that there’s another one! Second Home in Barranco is the house and studio of Víctor Delfín now converted into a small bed and breakfast. You can wander the quaint colonial house filled with Delfín’s works, and even head down the steps and enter into his very own art studio where you’ll see the second “El Beso” that also kisses in front of ocean views.
85. Rappel down a waterfall at San Jeronimo de Surco
Take a day trip from Lima to San Jeronimo de Surco. About 45 miles outside of Lima, you can immerse yourself into the lush green landscapes with a nature hike that leads to a waterfall. There, you can opt to rappel down the waterfall if adventure calls!
86. Visit the Pedro de Osma Museum
The Pedro de Osma Museum gives insight to what the inside of a century-old Spanish mansion looks like while displaying an impressive collection of colonial art. Wander the rooms and gaze at the beautiful paintings, chandeliers, and stained glass. Or tour the gardens with roses and palm trees for a peaceful respite in the heart of bustling Barranco.
87. Try Nikkei food
Nikkei food is Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine—you’d be checking this off when eating at Maido #21 or Sato wine bar #48. Acevichado sauce is a savory sauce made with Peruvian chile pepper. It takes the best of Peruvian ceviche and mixes it with sushi for an incredible dining experience. We recommend: Edo sushi bar ($), Osaka ($$), and Maido ($$$). Tip: While you can get ceviche and seafood in Cusco, it’s best to get it in coastal Lima where it’s fresh.
88. Have a Wine Tasting in Lima
Exquisito offers a cava experience that pairs wines and cheese together. Alternatively, you can head to practically any top restaurant in Lima and ask to do a tasting of their in house wines. We recommend: Bodega Dalmacia, Curador Wine Bar, or Troppo.
89. Take a peek inside of Hotel B
A Relais & Châteaux luxury property in Barranco, Hotel B is one of the beautiful things to see in Lima. While maybe outside of the budget for most, don’t be afraid to take a step inside to view the gorgeous lobby with its marble interior. The friendly staff might see you looking and offer up a fact or two about this historic building in Lima – like that Lenny Kravitz was once a guest. Or take a tour to learn more secrets and see all of the Peruvian art housed inside.
90. See the Moorish Arch at Friendship Park in Surco
The Friendship Park (Parque de la Amistad) is a 3-hectare park in Surco, Lima that is home to a 95 ft tall Moorish arch. Amongst many other family-friendly activities (like a train ride around the perimeter!), be sure to capture a picture of you and someone you care about at the Friendship Park.
91. See the Lord of Miracles procession in October
On October 28th, 1746 an earthquake shook a town outside of Lima leveling all surrounding buildings except the one with an image of Jesus drawn on the wall. Now this site is home to the church of Las Nazarenas which is the starting point for the Lord of Miracles procession in Lima. This huge religious festival includes a parade, head to toe purple outfits, and all the excitement and tasty street treats that go along with it!
92. Learn about Lima’s past at the LUM
The LUM or Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion in Miraflores details the 20-year history between terrorist groups and the Peruvian government. This museum is dedicated to the 69,000 deaths that occurred due to terrorism between 1980 – 2000. Immerse yourself into Lima’s history by learning about some of its hardships.
93. Try Peruvian Puku Puku Coffee
The city of Lima is filled with all kinds of delicious coffee shops but Puku Puku is our favorite! Located on Avenida Larco (one of Lima’s main city streets) you’re sure to pass by this small batch coffee shop while checking off #2 and #17 from this must-do in Lima list. With coffees from different points of interest all over Peru, you’ll be able to get a taste of the whole country in a cup!
94. Gold Museum & Weapons Museum
Ancient citizens of Peru were experts with gold, when you visit the Gold Museum in Lima you’ll see first hand their mastery of the craft. In addition, you can visit the attached weapons museum to see some exquisitely made weapons. See a sword owned by Napoleon, ornate pistols owned by former presidents, and hundreds of pieces of antique weaponry.
95. Visit the Lima Planetarium
The Lima Planetarium and the onsite museum house a collection of meteorites, telescopes, and information-packed scientific models and photos. Enjoy state-of-the-art projections of the solar system and videos of the stars even on an overcast day.
96. Legends Park and Zoo
Over 200 species can be found at the Legends Park and Zoo (Parque de las Leyendas), from jaguars and white tigers to capybaras and macaws this zoo has got everyone’s favorite animal. Interestingly, it was built atop a set of pre-Incan ruins and also houses a serene botanical garden easily making it one of the fun things to do in Lima.
97. See a Peruvian hairless dog
When checking off numerous items from this to do in Lima list, you’re likely to encounter a Peruvian hairless dog! Spot these famous animals jogging with their owners at 5am along the Malecón or going on a walk down any of Lima’s city streets. Friendly owners may even let you pet one if you ask!
98. Eat in an old train in Barranco
The Cafe Express Virgen de Guadalupe is an old train car that has been converted into a restaurant/cafe. Enjoy a coffee, buffet menu, or à la carte options in a truly unique atmosphere. Stained glass windows and old dark wood with a coffee in hand makes for some great vacation memories. Pro Tip: there are no electrical outlets inside to recharge low batteries.
99. Parque la Muralla
Looking for family-friendly things to do in Lima? Look no further than Lima’s fantastic parks like Parque la Muralla in downtown Lima. Free for all and filled with swans, vertical gardens, children’s play areas, and even an archeological site, it’s the perfect way to spend quality time together while exploring the city.
100. Electricity Museum
The Electricity Museum is a small museum in Barranco that showcases the history of electricity in Peru. Learn about Lima’s old electric streetcars, ways of generating electricity, and the impact of electricity on daily life in Peru. Bonus: Book in advance and your group can take a ride on the last functional electrical train in Lima!
101. Try Peruvian Potatoes at La Lucha
La Lucha Sandwich is a popular spot for tourism in Lima and boasts many locations all over the country. It is a classic sandwich shop with delicious food and smoothies, but La Lucha is best known for its awesome fries made from Peruvian potatoes. Tip: Don’t miss out on trying every sauce!
Lima is home to incredible restaurants, hundreds of historical sites and famous monuments spread throughout the city. Art and culture thrive here, as well as a lively nightlife! With many more things than just these 101 things to do in Lima, what can you not do in Peru?
Originally from Canada, Michelle is a wanderer who has made Peru her home since 2018. In search of the best Red Velvet cupcake, she has been eating and travelling her way through Peru and South America ever since. Obsessed with glaciers, mountains, and french fries Peru has become her home away from home.