We are going to take a tour of one of the most visited cities in Peru and I want you to join me in this article where I am going to tell you things to do in Lima in 1 or 2 days so that you don’t miss anything.
Lima is the capital of Peru and the gateway to this wonderful country.
It is also a connecting point for several flights due to its international airport, so many tourists take the opportunity to visit the city during their long stopovers.
It is located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, full of parks, squares, culture and history.
As soon as you set foot in this city, you will realise that it is a truly enchanting city.
Without further ado, let’s start with this article where I will tell you things to do in Lima in 1 or 2 days so you can plan your tour of the most important places in the city.
🔝 If you are going to visit Lima, you will probably also be interested in visiting other important Peruvian cities. Here we tell you things to do in Cusco in 3 days.
📜 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Suggested itinerary for visit Lima in 1 or 2 days
If you have little time to get to know the charming Peruvian capital and you don’t know which are the main places to visit in Lima, this itinerary will surely help you get organised and prioritise the places you shouldn’t miss.
If you are staying in the city for 2 days, you can stick to this travel route. Otherwise, if you only have one day, you can choose the activities that interest you most to plan your visit.
Here is a suggested itinerary for a 2-day tour of Lima.
DAY 1 – Tour the Historic Centre of Lima and Barranco
- Getting to know the historic centre of Lima
- Take a Free Tour of Barranco
- Witness the spectacular Water Magic Circuit
DAY 2 – Larco Museum and the Miraflores neighbourhood
- Tour the Larco Museum
- Knowing the history of Huaca Pucllana
- Enjoying the sunset in the Park of Love
Things to do in Lima in 1 or 2 days, 6 places not to be missed (MAP)
Now that you have my suggested itinerary for touring Lima in 1 or 2 days, let’s start with the list of must-see sights.
Below, I tell you more about each site in more depth.
1) Getting to know the historic centre of Lima
The historic centre of Lima is the oldest part of the city. Many of the buildings that comprise it have witnessed the founding of the current Peruvian capital. That is why UNESCO has decided to declare it a World Heritage Site.
🔘 Check out the rest of the World Heritage Sites we have visited.
Touring the historic centre of Lima is one of the main activities for tourists who decide to visit this city, as there they can soak up its history and culture.
Within the historic centre of Lima you will find emblematic places such as the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral of Lima and the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, among many others.
You can explore this part of the city on your own, or you can take a Free Tour accompanied by a specialised guide who will tell you about the most important places.
Plaza Mayor of Lima
Lima’s Plaza Mayor, formerly the Plaza de Armas, is located in the historic centre of the city and is surrounded by the most important historic buildings.
In 1535, Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima in the Plaza Mayor, making it the oldest city in Lima.
Over time it has become a place of celebration for Peruvians and one of the most popular places for travellers visiting the city of Lima.
The Cathedral of Lima
The Cathedral of Lima is one of the most emblematic and oldest buildings in the city.
It was built in 1535 as a Catholic temple at the request of Francisco Pizarro.
It is noted for its great architectural beauty and for having a religious museum in Renaissance-Neo-classical style inside.
In my opinion, the most interesting part of the cathedral is the catacombs where you can find skeletal remains and the various exhibitions of typical costumes.
In addition, I marvelled at the mosaic panels, the carved wooden sculptures and the 16th century decoration.
Admission to the Cathedral of Lima is free, but to visit the museum you will have to pay an entrance fee that includes a guided tour.
📷 Check out this free tour of downtown Lima with an expert local guide. It’s free!
The Basilica and Convent of San Francisco de Lima
The Basilica of San Francisco is one of the most beautiful buildings of the viceregal era. It is noted for its imposing neoclassical and baroque architecture.
Both the basilica and the convent were founded in 1535.
Inside the Basilica you will find several baroque-style details, a high altar, a chapter house and a vestibule, among others.
But the highlight of this place are the catacombs located in the underground part of the building.
In order to enter the Basilica and the Convent of San Francisco you will have to pay an entrance fee that includes a guided tour where you will be told everything about the history of the place.
2) Take a Free Tour of Barranco
The Barranco neighbourhood is one of the most picturesque in Lima and is characterised by its bohemian atmosphere, colourful painted houses and street art.
It is also home to the city’s best bars and restaurants, making it the perfect place to end a day of walking and sightseeing with a good plate of Peruvian food.
Without a doubt, Barranco is a must on the list of the best things to do in Lima in 1 or 2 days.
As I mentioned at the beginning, one of the main characteristics of this neighbourhood are the murals and street paintings. Street art makes Barranco a great place to walk around and photograph.
And behind all this urban art there are artists and stories, so the best way to immerse yourself in this world is to take a free tour accompanied by a guide who will show you the most beautiful places in the neighbourhood and its history.
The Free Walking Tours of Barranco usually take place in the afternoon and last approximately 2 hours.
This time is ideal, because after the tour you can stay and watch the sunset at the Bridge of Sighs or at the viewpoint in front of Barranco Beach.
And as the icing on the cake, you can take the opportunity to have a Pisco Sour in a bar, or enjoy Peruvian cuisine.
📷 Take this Free Tour of Barranco and enjoy!
3) Witness the spectacular Magic Water Circuit.
Finishing with the first day’s tour of the best places to visit in Lima, we arrive at one of the city’s main attractions.
The Parque de las Fuentes de Agua is a charming night-time park where you can enjoy a great show called Circuito Mágico de Agua (Magic Water Circuit) made up of lights, water and music.
It opened in 2007 and has entered the Guinness World Records as the highest fountain complex in the world.
The Magic Water Circuit is a great visual spectacle, where you will be able to appreciate 13 ornamental water fountains electronically synchronised with a set of lights and music that display a fascinating show.
📌⚠️ The Magic Water Circuit show starts at 19hs. Be on time so you don’t miss it.
📷 Take the opportunity to go on a night-time Free Tour of Lima that passes through the Magic Water Circuit.
4) Visit the Larco Museum
We begin the second day of our suggested itinerary for touring Lima in 1 or 2 days with the Larco Museum, also known as the Rafael Archaeological Museum.
This famous museum is located in the Pueblo Libre neighbourhood in the west of Lima, surrounded by beautiful flower gardens in an 18th century mansion.
It exhibits one of the largest works of ceramics from different cultures and the famous collection of pre-Columbian erotic art.
The works on display at the Larco Museum are world-renowned icons of pre-Columbian art.
✏️📌🍺 Inside the mansion where the museum is located, there is a restaurant serving exquisite dishes and excellent service. I recommend taking advantage of the tour to have lunch or dinner here.
📷 See the tour to visit the Larco Museum and Huaca Pucllana here.
5) Learn about the history of the Lima people in Huaca Pucllana
Another of the most interesting things to do in Lima is to visit an archaeological site located in the middle of the city.
Huaca Pucllana is an archaeological complex that houses ruins of objects and constructions made by the Lima culture more than 1500 years ago.
The star of this complex is its main pyramid, which is about 25 metres high. Around it are squares, courtyards and different enclosures with objects dating from pre-Inca times.
This archaeological site is very well cared for and the tour is guided by a specialised guide who tells you every detail of the Lima culture and the legacies they left behind.
It is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history and customs of the people who inhabited this region of Peru.
During the tour of the Huaca Pucllana Site Museum you will not only be able to visit the archaeological site, but you will also find an exhibition hall and a beautiful park with native flora and fauna.
⚠️ Entrance to Huaca Pucllana must be booked in advance and you can choose to visit during the day or at night. You can visit the official website of the Huaca Pucllana Site Museum for visiting hours and to reserve your place.
6) Enjoying the sunset in the Parque del Amor
We finish our list of the best things to do in Lima in 1 or 2 days with one of the most famous parks in the city.
After a day of sightseeing at the Larco Museum and the archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana, we crown the tour with a beautiful sunset by the sea.
The Park of Love was inaugurated on 14 February 1993 and since then hundreds of couples have gathered there to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
This park is located in the Miraflores neighbourhood, just a few metres from the Malecon.
The main icon of this park is a statue called “El Beso” (The Kiss) created by the artist Victor Delfin, which represents two people kissing.
You will also see a heart-shaped flower garden and different colourful structures made of ceramic mosaics containing messages.
The best plan to end the day after touring Lima is, in my opinion, to buy a good coffee and a crepe and go and enjoy it at the Parque del Amor while the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.
Flight over the Nazca Lines
Not only is Lima a city to enjoy its culture, gastronomy and history, but it is also the starting point for countless excursions.
Perhaps the main excursion to do from Lima is the flight over the Nazca Lines to admire from the sky the mystery of these drawings on the earth.
📷 Take a look at this excursion to fly over the Nazca Lines from Lima.
🔝 Travelling to Peru? Plan your visit to one of the 7 wonders of the world with our guide to Machu Picchu.
Useful facts for travel to Lima
📷 Book your transfer from Lima airport to the city, door to door, and travel in comfort.
🏨 Find here the best hotels in Lima..
Buy your travel insurance and travel safe!
🚑 Take a look at these tips for choosing the best travel insurance (updated to 2023 and with juicy discounts) for the type of traveller you are, and they will also help you clear up the most common doubts. Travel safe!
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
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- Train Tickets with OMIO
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I hope this article with the best places to visit in Lima in 1 or 2 days has helped you to plan your next visit to the Peruvian capital.
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