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Visit Lima: Your Travel Guide

Lima may have started a culinary revolution. A renewed verve has overtaken the capital’s kitchens, where chefs whip up dream concoctions. Fleshy African berries plop into curries of chilli, pepper and citrus, and ripe avocadoes garnish every plate. It’s enough to make any foodie’s mouth water.

Things to Do in Lima

Plaza Mayor of Lima
The birthplace of modern Lima. This square is where Peruvians hearts and minds were engaged most in the fight against Spanish colonisers. Lush flowerbeds cover grounds that were once gallows, markets and bull-fighting rings. Yet most of all, the plaza is a symphony of life – where locals chatter, salesmen hawk postcards and musicians jam, in one big beautiful mix.
Jiron de La Union, 3rd Block, Lima Centro, Lima, Peru
Casa de Aliaga
The story of one of Peru’s greatest families begins with Pizarro. The Spanish Conqueror gave Captain Aliga y Ramirez this mansion’s keys in January 1585. The mansion survived wars, revolutions, coup d’etats and fires, and seventeen generations lived out their lives here. Book dinner via the mansion’s website and hear Aliaga’s family secrets directly from one of his descendants.
Jiron de La Union 224, Lima Centro, Lima, Peru
Open Monday-Sunday 09:30-17:00
Plaza San Martín
Plaza San Martín is rarely quiet. Arterial roads frame this square, where cars beep, exhaust pipes burp and wardens direct heel-to-toe pedestrians. A statue of founding father José de San Martín stands at its core, built to memorialise a hundred years of independence. Only night interrupts the constant dynamism – when it’s a good time to be elsewhere.
Intersection of Jirón Carabaya with Av. Nicolas Piérola, Lima Centro, Lima, Peru
Reserve Park
What’s large, green and wet all over? This place! The“Magical Water Circuit” met fierce opposition when it was built to the tune of 13 million USD. These days, it has everyone grabbing for their galoshes, with 13 fountains that shoot H20 in a light-n-sound spectacular. Follow pre-set trails from 16:00 for the show, or take a languid evening walk beneath the red-berried pepper trees.
Intersection of Av. Petit Thouars with Jiran Madre de Dios, Lima, Peru
Open Monday-Tuesday 06:00-13:00, Wednesday-Sunday 06:00-13:00 and 16:00-22:00
National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History
Witness the making of modern Peru. Since 1822, Peru’s first and largest museum has housed a legacy of Peruvian art and artefacts. Items like fearsome golden statues salvaged from Incan temples, fierce long-forgotten deities made of sandstone, and costumes that alarm with their intense colours, centuries after their creation. Plus pottery that’s older than Methuselah.
General Vivanco Avenue 8th Block, Plaza Bolivar Square, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru
Open Tuesday-Saturday 08:45-17:00, Sunday 08:45-16:30
Larco Museum
Five thousand years of Peruvian history in one place. Pre-Colombian artists were obsessed with clay depictions of animals, humans and plants – plus themes of love, death and ritual sacrifice. The works on display here are frank and insightful. The most popular and potent are the erotic clay objects. Think a 3D “cerama-Sutra” that depict various states of misbehaviour.
Av. Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre, Lima, Peru
Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-22:00
Museum of the Nation
Locals beam with pride when they talk about their hard-won nationhood. Built in bold Brutalist style, this museum traces the origins of modern Peru. Artefacts are displayed chronologically, from pre-Spanish ceramics to chulucana pottery to Incan treasures. The Yuyanapaq, its most confronting exhibition, is a series of photographs that capture 1980-2000’s social turmoil from the front-line.
Avenida Javier Prado Este 2466, San Borja, Lima, Peru
Open Tuesday-Friday 09:00-17:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-13:00
Huaca Pucllana
The ruins of Huaca Pucllana, outskirts of Lima, 1982. Winds howl, dogs scavenge and plastic bottles wisp by like tumbleweeds. These remains of the Lima Empire’s centre for ritual games lie in disrepair. Thankfully, Peruvians rally to save this vast site from utter destruction. Come here to see the great adobe and spiralling pyramids that were almost lost to time.
Calle General Borgoao, Block 8, No Number, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Open Wednesday-Monday 09:00-17:00
Kennedy Park
Let’s take a walk around Parque Kennedy. This swatch of inner-city parkland is a favoured spot for Saturday night salsa-dancers, beloved by joggers and lunching locals. Yet its most famous for its 50 feral cats who are more treated and teased than a Parisian pompadour. Come here to bird-watch with the felines, splay a picnic blanket or dine at the triangulating restaurants.
Intersection of Manuel Pardo Avenue, Jose Larco Avenue, and Diagonal Avenue, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Church and Convent of San Francisco
Lima’s most resplendent church holds scrolls, reliquaries and objects. However, scores line up along the nave for something quite different – a tour of the catacombs. Bones from twenty-five thousand long-lost limeños are the grim decorations along these serpentine tunnels. Most of the buried were plague victims or executed during the Inquisition. Not for the faint-hearted.
San Francisco Square, Corner of Jirones, Ancash and Lampa, Lima Centro, Lima Peru
Open Monday-Sunday 09:30-17:30

When to Go to Lima

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
80 ℉ 69 ℉
81 ℉ 70 ℉
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71 ℉ 65 ℉
68 ℉ 63 ℉
66 ℉ 61 ℉
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69 ℉ 62 ℉
71 ℉ 64 ℉
75 ℉ 66 ℉
17 %
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12 %
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Traveler Reviews & Photos

Tereza
6
Review score
The city is nice but dangerous, for tourists, at least in the historical center. During our stay we were warned several times by locals that it’s not safe to walk around with camera or mobile phone that we are gonna get robbed.
Tereza
Czech Republic
April 17, 2018
Robert
10
Exceptional
Miraflores is an excellent location for parks, restaurants, bars, shopping. The indoor mercado is worth a visit. Huaca Huallamarca Pyramid and ruins is a must.
Robert
United States of America
April 13, 2018
Jon
8
Very Good
Nice city. Going anywhere new has its advantages. This really wasn’t my kind of town. Just certain parts are good for average tourist.
Jon
United States of America
April 18, 2018
Miriam
10
Exceptional
Great city especially Miraflores... good bus transport from AirPort via Quick Llama
Miriam
Netherlands
April 15, 2018
Karoline
6
Review score
Pretty places in a few streets but in general very badly maintained city. Good restaurants!
Karoline
United Kingdom
April 16, 2018

Accommodations & Hotels in Lima

Radisson Decapolis Miraflores

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1,836 reviews

$124

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    68 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    65 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    60 related reviews
Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport

8.2 Very Good

Score from 3,117 reviews

$178

Average price per night
  • “good connection to airport”
    288 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    78 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    77 related reviews
Atton San Isidro

9 Awesome

Score from 973 reviews

$87

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    40 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    35 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    22 related reviews
JW Marriott Hotel Lima

9.1 Awesome

Score from 745 reviews

$239

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    47 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    28 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    21 related reviews
Dazzler Lima

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1,496 reviews

$109

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    38 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    38 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    33 related reviews
NM Lima Hotel

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1,045 reviews

$109

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    44 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    36 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    29 related reviews
Thunderbird Hotel Fiesta & Casino

8.5 Very Good

Score from 387 reviews

$105

Average price per night
Four Points by Sheraton Miraflores

8.6 Excellent

Score from 354 reviews

$128

Average price per night
Hotel Estelar Miraflores

8.5 Very Good

Score from 998 reviews

$119

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    52 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    47 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    28 related reviews
Discover Lima

Popular Neighborhoods in Lima

Miraflores

671 properties

For some, Miraflores is slick and commercial. Larcomar Shopping Centre holds shoppers in thrall with big-brand names. For others, it’s a place to laze about on alabaster sands in the heat of midday sun, or stroll along the beachfront boulevards,. Yet Miraflores also holds local surprises, like the vibrant Indian Market on Avenue Petit Thouars.

Barranco

95 properties

Barranco houses a thriving artistic community. Poets, painters and novelists live in vintage burnt-orange buildings near squares lined with evergreens. It’s a place to loiter in vintage shops, seek out a quirky exhibition or try some uniquely Peruvian cuisine. For the latter, try Tio Mario for anticuchos or take tea at La Bodega Verde.

San Isidro

89 properties

San Isidro is a bastion of business. Every morning, a wave of workers in pink-striped shirts march two-by-two into skyscrapers and pre-fab office blocks. Come lunchtime, they escape to El Olivar Park for walks in natural light. The area’s suit-and-tie restaurants serve Lima’s most luscious foods – try La Bistecca or Bravo.

Santiago de Surco

77 properties

This portside district is a gateway to the great outdoors. The fondant-coloured Moorish Arch lords over lagoons and Parque de la Amistad. From brunchers to baby buggies, it’s a place where locals love to walk, jog and linger. To escape the heat, try the Peruvian desserts at Bienmesabe in Primavera Real Plaza or shop at Jockey Plaza.

San Miguel

73 properties

Let San Miguel entertain you. Since the 1960’s, it has been Lima’s go-to spot for shops, bars, clubs – and the zoo. Parque de las Leyendas is Lima’s first, an A-Z of curious creatures. Shop at Plaza San Miguel Mall and have a milkshake at 4D Café. If you like to move it move it, you won’t be at a loss for karaoke bars here.

Callao

50 properties

Military might. The Fortress of Real Felipe once guarded Lima from attack by sea. Canons, iron fountains and victory statues form a surplus of displayed militaria – if you’re lucky, you might spot a troupe of actors recreating long-ago battle scenes. When you’ve seen enough, drop anchor on El Balneario de La Punta beach a short walk away.

Lima Historic Centre

26 properties

Lima’s centre is both unnervingly grand and grittily real. Custard-coloured mansions, palm filled oases and elaborate fountains fill the centre, while rich graffiti blankets the nearby streets. Quilca Street’s shops are like a curio cabinet of kitschy oddities, from Machu Picchu souvenir mugs to bamboo panpipes. Play it safe here at night.

Pueblo Libre

21 properties

Pueblo Libre retains a small town feel, despite its connection to the big city. Generations live in colonial-era houses, home to generations of patriotic Peruivan families. The Larco Herrera Museum is a major source of national pride; it traces the sweep of Peruvian history, from pre-Columbian to contemporary artefacts.

Local Tips for Lima

Bosque el Olivar
Filipe by Filipe

Half-Spanish, half-Brazilian Filipe loves to surf and snowboard around Peru’s dramatic landscapes.

Nestled in the San Isidro financial district, this park is a living relic of colonial Peru. Olive trees were first introduced by the Spanish, and today hundreds of ancient gnarled trees cast their shade over this vast green space in the heart of the city.

  • Av San Felipe, Jesús María 15072, Lima, Peu
Costa Verde
Luis by Luis

Sports-mad Luis enjoys cooking and says his favourite place in the world is the sea.

As a water lover, I can’t resist the city’s Green Coast – a long stretch of tree-lined beaches. You can surf, swim and fish in the ocean, or go paragliding to see Lima from above. Just across the road you’ll find Larcomar Mall, a shopaholic’s paradise with some excellent restaurants.

  • Av Costa Verde, Lima, Peru
Restaurant Cala
Carla R. by Carla R.

Proud mum Carla is an avid reader, keen film fan and self-confessed fast food junkie.

Perched right on the coast, this bar-restaurant is one of my favourite places for after-work drinks or a romantic dinner. You can watch the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean from the outdoor terrace, or splash out and rent the private box for a special occasion.

  • Playa Barranquito, Espigón B-2, Circuito Vial Costa Verde, Barranco
  • Open Monday-Saturday 12:00-15:00, Sunday 12:00-18:00
Dedalo Art and Handcraft
Carla U. by Carla U.

Yoga-lover Carla is never happier than when she’s travelling – especially if it involves the beach!

The bohemian Barranco district is home to beautiful beaches, colonial buildings, unique shops and lively bars. One of my favourite spots is a shop and art gallery called Dedalo Art and Handcraft, where you can pick up ceramics, clothes and jewellery crafted by contemporary artisans.

  • Paseo Sáenz Peña 295, Barranco
  • Open Monday 11:00-19:00, Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-20:00
Day trip to Lunahuana Valley
Gabriela by Gabriela

Gabriela is Lima born and bred, and spends her time swimming and surfing in the Pacific.

Just 2 hours’ drive south of Lima, the lush green Lunahuana Valley is a sun-soaked escape from the city. Pretty villages, orchards and vineyards line the banks of the River Cañete, a popular rafting and kayaking spot, while restaurants serve fresh shrimp and trout and local wines.

  • Carretera Imperial-Yauyos Km. 35, Carr. Cañete Yauyos, Lunahuaná, Peru
Day walk in Barranco/Miraflores
Felipe by Felipe

A visual arts fan, Lima-born Felipe grew up in Ecuador but moved back to his hometown in the 90s.

The best way to get to know Lima is on foot! Wander around shops, galleries and cafés in traditional Miraflores, then head towards the Pacific Ocean for a stroll along Malecón de la Reserva, before finishing your day with a drink in the bohemian Barranco district.

  • Circuito de Playas, Barranco/Miraflores, Lima
Hotel Maury
Raquel by Raquel

Raquel is a history fanatic who falls in love with her country more with every trip she takes.

Lots of people try their first pisco sour in Lima, but for a truly authentic experience, you need to visit Hotel Maury. It’s one of the first places this mouthwatering cocktail was ever recorded: sit back and listen to the barman tell the story of its creation as you sip your drink!

  • Jr. Ucayali 201, Lima
  • Open Monday-Thursday 12:00-21:00, Friday-Sunday 12:00-01:00
Bajada de Baños
Fiorella by Fiorella

Keen salsa dancer and passionate cook Fiorella loves to travel, but always comes back home to Lima.

This steep lane was once used as a fisherman’s shortcut to the sea. Today it’s still a quick way to reach Barranco Beach, but is better known for its restored historic houses harbouring quirky bars and intimate restaurants – perfect for a romantic evening.

  • By the Puente de los Suspiros in Barranco

Be sure to visit the Museum of the Inquisition and the Catacombs under the Convent of San Francisco. And hire a guide that speaks English everywhere you visit, it is totally worth it.

Unless you have your mins set to it, avoid franchise restaurants. Don't miss out on the jungle and andean cuisines either.

Monastery of San Francis, down town Lima, Barranco district

The city is plain and the traffic is hue

The Larco is magnificent--no secret.

Great and inexpensive Peruvian food.

You have to eat at Alfresco.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Lima for food?

Cheviche.

Transportation

Lima Transportation

Air – Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez

Jorge Chávez International Airport is situated around 11 km from central Lima. There’s no public transport, so you’ll need to get a tax to the centre. There are 3 official taxi companies with stands just outside the exit doors of the International Arrivals hall: CMV Taxi Remisse, Taxi Green and Mitsoo. Expect to pay about PEN 70–80 to hotels in San Isidro/Miraflores. The drive should take about 30–40 minutes, longer during peak times (06:30–09:00 and 16:30–20:00).

Metro

Lima’s modern metro system is fast and efficient, but its single line runs far from the main tourist sights. To use the metro you’ll need a smartcard, available for PEN 4.50 from booths or self-service machines in stations. Minimum top-up is PEN 5 and each trip costs PEN 1.50. Smartcards must be validated at the turnstiles on your way in and out of the station. Stations are marked with a green-and-white Metro de Lima sign, and open from 06:00 until 22:00 daily.

Metropolitano

This modern network of gas-powered articulated buses speeds through the city in its own separate lane, stopping only at dedicated platform-style bus stops. To use it you’ll need a smartcard, available from self-service machines on the platform. Cards cost PEN 4.50, the minimum top-up is PEN 5 and tickets cost up to PEN 2.50. To pay, touch your smartcard on the reader before getting on the bus. Metropolitano runs from 07:00–21:00 daily (public holidays 09:00–16:30).

Car

Driving in Lima can be a stressful experience – expect high speeds, heavy congestion, honking horns and a general disregard for traffic signals, particularly during rush hour (06:30–09:00 and 16:30–20:00). If you do choose to drive, car hire is available at the airport. On-street parking is free, while 24-hour private car parks cost PEN 3–8 per hour. Many roads are poorly maintained and accident rates are high, so be cautious at all times and avoid driving at night.

Bus

A chaotic network of large buses, mid-sized vehicles (‘micros’) and minibuses (‘combis’) skirts around the historic centre and crisscrosses the city, providing the main form of transport for Lima’s locals. Don't expect clearly defined routes, timetables or bus stops – the route number, starting point and destination are shown on the windscreen, and buses stop wherever people want to get on or off. Prices range from PEN 0.50 to 2.50: just pay in cash on board.

Taxi

Taxis are everywhere in Lima, but not all are registered. When flagging one down, check the windscreen for a Setame registration sticker – if there’s no sticker, wait for another taxi. Fares aren’t metered so you’ll need to agree a price with the driver before getting in. Tipping is uncommon and you should try to pay with exact change, as drivers often can’t change notes. You can also ask your accommodation to book you a secure taxi in advance.

Food in Lima

Top Restaurants in Lima

Upscale Dining
Seafood
Embarcadero 41 Fusion
  • Jiron Ucayali 149, Lima Centro
  • Open Monday-Saturday 12:00-21:00, Sunday 12:00-17:00
  • 0051 14263493
Mid-Range Fare
Gourmet
Relleno Gourmet
  • Jiron Miro Quesada 159, Lima Centro
  • Open Monday-Friday 08:30-18:00
  • 0051 14285332
Mid-Range Fare
Peruvian
La Muralla
Mid-Range Fare
Bar Bites
Bar Cordano
Cheap Eats
Chinese
San Joy Lao
Cheap Eats
Chinese
Salon de la Felicidad
  • Jiron Paruro 795-799, Lima Centro
  • Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-23:00
  • 0051 14264516
Cheap Eats
Chinese
Wa Lok
Mid-Range Fare
Peruvian
Bodega Queirolo
Upscale Dining
Peruvian
La Taberna de Don Francisco
  • Rufino Torrico 969, Lima Centro
  • Open Monday-Sunday 08:00-20:00
  • 0051 14238951
Upscale Dining
Bar Bites
El Rincon Cervecero
Cheap Eats
Peruvian
El Chinito
  • Jiron Chancay 894 esquina Zepita, Lima Centro
  • Open Monday-Saturday 08:00-21:00, Sunday 08:00-13:00
  • 0051 14232197
Upscale Dining
International
La Cupula
Upscale Dining
International
Las Palmeras
Cheap Eats
Japanese
Sato Ramen
Mid-Range Fare
Grill
El Pollerio
  • Av. Sucre 1099, Pueblo Libre
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 12:00-16:00, Thursday-Sunday 12:00-22:00, Friday-Saturday 12:00-23:00
Cheap Eats
Grill
Gran Parrillada Timbo
  • Av. Bolívar 944, Pueblo Libre
  • Open Monday-Sunday 12:00-23:59
  • 0051 14610014
Mid-Range Fare
Peruvian
La Leña
  • Av Bolivar 987, Pueblo Libre
  • Open Monday-Saturday 09:00-19:00
  • 0051 17480575
Upscale Dining
Peruvian
Quinta Bolivar
  • Jiron Carlos de los Heros 285, Pueblo Libre
  • Open Monday-Saturday 12:00-23:30
  • 0051 13028559
Mid-Range Fare
Seafood
Goya Restobar
Upscale Dining
Peruvian
Antigua Taberna Queirolo
Upscale Dining
Peruvian
El Bolivariano
  • Rosa Toledo 289 - 291, Pueblo Libre
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 12:00-23:59, Thursday 12:00-01:00, Friday-Saturday 12:00-02:00, Sunday 12:00-04:00
  • elbolivariano.com
  • 0051 12619565
Upscale Dining
Grill
Baco y Vaca
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Pasteleria San Antonio
Upscale Dining
Cafe
Cafe del Museo
Upscale Dining
Italian
La Romana
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