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Historic Centre of Lima (Centro Historico de Lima)
Historic Centre of Lima (Centro Historico de Lima)

Historic Centre of Lima (Centro Historico de Lima)

Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru

The Basics

The Plaza de Armas, also known as Plaza Mayor, is a good starting point for a walking tour of the district. The center’s most historically significant landmarks—the Lima Cathedral, the Government Palace (the presidential residence), the Archbishop's Palace, and the Palace of the Union—all cluster around the square. Nearby in Barrio Chino, Lima’s famous Chinatown, restaurants servechifa, a delicious Peruvian-Chinese hybrid cuisine. Other highlights include the Central Market and the Convent of Santo Domingo, whose tower offers a stunning view of the city.

Private and group walking and cycling tours exploring Lima’s historical center offer half-day and full-day options. Some combine visits to various city attractions such as the pre-Columbian site in Miraflores or, farther afield, the Inca settlement Pachacamac. Other tours focus specifically on art, culture, and Lima’s famously dynamic food scene.

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Lima Private Walking Tour
Lima Private Walking Tour
$59.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great tour
Joselyn gave us a nice tour. Very flexible about additional places to visit and her explanations were excellent. Definitely, I recommend this tour.
Jose_A, Jan 2022

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Many attractions have small entrance fees, which would be included if you are visiting as part of a larger tour.

  • Though the area is safe, always be careful with your possessions and avoid wearing eye-catching jewelry and accessories.

  • Remember sun protection and water for hydration.

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How to Get There

The fastest and most direct route to the historical center is to take the Metropolitano Bus, which bypasses traffic on its very own designated lane through the city. From Barranco and Miraflores, take the line going North (Norte)—with several stops along Avenida Bolognesi—to the Jirón de la Unión stop and walk three to four blocks to the plaza.

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Trip ideas

Must-See Museums in Lima

Must-See Museums in Lima

Food Lover's Guide to Lima

Food Lover's Guide to Lima

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How to Spend 3 Days in Lima


When to Get There

The historical center is popular with tourists, so expect crowds to follow the patterns of high summer season (December to April) and important religious holidays like Easter (March or April) and Carnaval (February). Churches and museums close at 5pm every day except Monday, when they are generally closed. The plaza is particularly lovely in the evenings when warm golden lights illuminate the park and the colonial facades.

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Plaza Mayor

The grand Plaza Mayor is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lima. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incas here and founded the city in 1535, calling it the “City of Kings.” In celebration of the Spanish victory, he ordered the plaza constructed and completed that same year. By 1821, the tides had turned, as anticolonial rebels chose the square to declare their independence from Spain as the Republic of Peru.

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