Downtown Lima

Learn about Lima’s past by touring the cathedral, palace and churches of its well-preserved historic center. Visit galleries, museums and go on a shopping spree.

Downtown Lima is a lively neighborhood that showcases a legacy of architectural masterpieces and bears witness to the development of an important Spanish colonial town. Admire centuries-old palaces and beautiful churches, explore shopping districts and visit museums and art galleries. The downtown area is also known as the Historic Center of Lima and is a constant hive of activity. 

Start at Plaza de Armas, Lima’s handsome central square, which dates back to 1535. Framing the square are some of the city’s most prominent landmarks. Step inside the opulent 16th-century Catedral de Lima to see its Baroque art and the tomb of Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire. 

Watch the changing of the guard ceremony at the Palacio de Gobierno de Perú, the Government Palace. Admire the arcaded façade and elegant wooden balconies of the Palacio Municipal de Lima, the Municipal Palace.

Just a short walk from the main square are more architectural wonders, such as the Iglesia de Santo Domingo and Basilica de San Francicso. Visit the Casa de Aliaga, one of South America’s oldest colonial buildings.  

Devote some time to Downtown Lima's galleries and museums. Inspect work by national and international artists at the Pancho Fierro Art Gallery and examine the fine collection of pre-Colombian gold at the Museum of the Central Bank of Peru. 

Stroll along Jirón de La Union, a pedestrianized avenue between Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martín. It’s where old meets new, with ancient churches located near modern retail outlets, cafés and restaurants. 

As the heart of Lima’s city center, Downtown Lima is well served by public transport. The metro stations of Desamparados and Estación Jirón de la Unión provide easy access to the neighborhood’s attractions. Downtown Lima is a short walk or metro ride from other major Lima attractions. After your visit, explore the streets of Chinatown and enjoy the gardens and art museums at Parque de la Exposición.

Guide to Exploring Downtown Lima

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