There are, quite literarily, more than a million things to in Lima, Peru. The country’s biggest city (and capital) is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the western hemisphere AND home to notorious nightlife, culinary culture, and arts scene. But in between meals of ceviche, trips to hip nightclubs, and popping into swanky art galleries, you might want to take a quick tour of Lima’s architectural landmarks to help you get a better sense of the amazing city.
Here are five sites that you need to see on any trip to Lima.
Although the city was officially founded in 1535 by a Spanish conquistador, the area had long been settled by the native population. In fact, the city’s name, Lima, is believed to be the Spanish mispronunciation of its original name, which proved more popular than what the colonists original christened it: “Ciudad de los Reyes.” Throughout Lima, you’ll spot ruins and remains of the Inca and others, but few are as open to the public as Huaca Pucllana, a temple believed to date back to 400-500 BC. You can check out the museum, watch current excavation work, dine in the site’s famous restaurant, and then stick around to see the restored abode’s beautiful façade lighted in the night sky.
Bridge of Sighs
A small wooden bridge (named after a more famous one in Venice), Lima’s Bridge of Sighs is more the start of romantic walk throughout the city’s hip Barranco district than anything else. Visitors report different experiences, some say it’s a peaceful stroll over an expansion that covers a stone walkway, others say it’s a bridge in a cool part of town. Either way, it’s probably worth checking out.
Plaza de Armas
Located in the heart of the city, the Plaze de Armas has been the seat of power in Peru for centuries. The view offers a wide expansion and plenty of the ornate wooden balconies famous to downtown Lima. On the north side of the square is the government palace (the Peruvian version of the White House), which features a tours and a changing of the guard. The other sides of the square are home to the Cathedral of Lima, which features a wonderful museum with hundreds of years of art and history.
Larcomar is essentially a high-end mall with a movie theater, bowling alley, and pool hall. Its stores and restaurants included a variety of American chains and Peruvian boutiques. And while all that sounds pretty mundane, here’s the cool part: it’s built into a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. So feel free to while a way a few hours shopping and taking in some breathe-taking views.
Magic Water Circuit
No trip to Lima is complete without a visit to the Magic Water Circuit. A renovated fountain in the city’s downtown area, the Magic Water Circuit features coordinated show of shooting water, music, and lights that tend to delight visitors of all ages, along with tourists and locals alike. Just be sure to see it after dark so you can get the full experience.
Have you been to Lima? Think we missed an architectural destination worth visiting? Let us know in the comments!