Are you going to spend some time in Peru? Wondering what are the best things to do in Lima? What to see and where to go? Below you’ll find my recommendations of what not to miss in the City of Kings.
As a tourist, you should be based around historic centre of downtown, or upscale district of Miraflores. We’ve chosen the second option and we would do it again, if ever coming back. The neighborhood is safe to walk around, even after dark; there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, etc. You’ll be within walking distance of the Pacific Coast, so make sure you watch at least one of the spectacular sunsets here! As usual, we started with a walking tour, as we would in any city. Here’s a list of best things to do in Lima:
Free Walking Tour
A walking tour will provide some basic information about the city, country and culture, but it will also give you an idea on where to go and what to see. Moreover, guides often share tips, interesting facts, rumors and recommendations not available online. I can highly recommend this particular company – Inkan Milky Way. They have two meeting points (Miraflores and downtown Lima), but both groups will merge into one in the historic centre at the beginning of the tour.
Kennedy Park (Miraflores)
Here you’ll find shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and even young Peruvians battling in rap contests. It’s unofficial centre of the district and a lot of “life” revolves around this place. It used to be famous for the large population of cats living here, but nowadays you may spot only one or two, as authorities removed the animals.
This huge shopping mall is located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There is a pleasant seating area/park on the roof, which (because of the location) is at street level. Bikers, skaters, pedestrians and even dogs can find a spot to enjoy this place and you can watch a beautiful sunset here. Apart from shops, there are many cafes, bars and pubs and your regular big brands are all here too: Burger King, KFC, GAP and Sunglasses Hut among many others. Sort of a “home away from home”.
Plaza De Armas (old-town Lima)
The most important square of the city, with the Presidential Palace, main Cathedral and few other impressive and important buildings around. There’s a lovely fountain in the middle of the square and if you’re lucky enough to be here on the 4th Sunday of July, water is replaced with Pisco (Peruvian national alcoholic drink) and you can get drunk for free. Sounds great, doesn’t it?!
Basilica and Concent of Santo Domingo (old-town Lima)
A beautiful church, with amazing history, just few steps from Plaza De Armas. As an added bonus, you may climb to the top of the Bell Tower for panoramic view of the city. Entrance is possible with a guide only and you’ll need to pay 15 Soles. You’ll also need to wait for the next available tour, but I assure you it’s worth it!
If you like great views from atop, you’ll love cable car in Bogota. Check out our post about this awesome city here.
Magic Water Circuit (Parque de la Reserva)
After dark, Parque de la Reserva comes alight. Synchronized water fountains, sound system and colorful lights are teamed up to perform a great show for you. Tourists and locals, kids and adults, couples, singles and families quiet down to enjoy 30-45 minutes of extraordinary “ballet”. Some cool pictures can be taken here too! Shows start at 7, 8 and 9pm, every day. Entrance is 4 Soles.
For an even better light show, visit Medellin during Christmas. You can read all about it here.
Basilica Nuestra Senora Del Rosario
Some disagree, but nevertheless, this church is considered the smallest in the world by many. Mainly due to the fact it has all the features of a regular sized church. It’s not really a tourist attraction as such, but if you’re in the historic centre of Lima, you may as well have a look, as it’s certainly interesting.
That’s all for the City of Kings, but be sure to come back soon and read more about Peru. It’s coming soon!