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Spending 2 days in Lima and looking for the best things to do? We are here to help!

Lima is the capital of Peru and it will be, most likely, the place where you start your adventure in Peru. It’s known for its interesting history, fascinating culture and delicious food.

It’s also one of the most hectic places in Peru and very different compared to the ancient Inca capital, Cusco.

In Lima, you get the seaside, the nightlife and loads of things to do if you like urban adventures.

In this 2-day Lima itinerary, we will take you through the must-see attractions and hidden gems of Lima to make sure you get the most out of your stay.

How to get to Lima

The easiest way to get to Lima is by plane. There is only one airport in Lima, making it easier for travellers.

It’s called Jorge Ch谩vez International Airport and is located on the western side of the city.

To find the best deals in terms of flights, we recommend using Skyscanner.

There are loads of direct flights to Lima from the rest of the Americas and Europe, making it a convenient travel destination.

Click here to see the best fares.

How to get from Lima airport to the city centre

Once you land at the airport, there are several options to get to the city centre.

The most convenient option is taking a taxi from the airport.

You can find a taxi booth called “Green Taxi” just after the luggage pick up area.

Give them the address of your destination and they will give you a price and assign a driver.

It’s very safe and the drivers are usually very friendly and knowledgeable about the city.

Another popular option is ordering an Uber.

Uber works well in Lima, and it’s often cheaper and quicker than a regular taxi.

Plus, you can share your location with others for added safety.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, you can take the Airport Express shuttle.

Tickets start at 15 soles and it’s a great option if you’re traveling alone or with just a couple of people. If you are travelling as a group though, a taxi will be more practical and can even work out cheaper.

It goes all the way to Miraflores and runs every hour, making it a convenient choice for travellers on a tight schedule.

It’s also worth noting that there is free wifi on the bus.

How to get around Lima

There are three main (and safe) ways to get around Lima:

  • Public transport: This includes buses and the metro. It’s also the cheapest way to get around but can be a bit long depending on your destination.
  • Taxi: This is the most expensive way but it’s quick and convenient. Make sure to book a reputable company, or ask your accommodation for recommendations rather than taking a random taxi on the street.
  • Uber: This is the best of both worlds since it’s cheaper than a taxi but super convenient, quick and safe. It’s also a popular option in Lima, so you won’t have trouble finding an available ride.

You might also hear about something called “colectivos”.

These are basically shared taxis that run along popular routes.

You can grab them from bus stops and other popular spots.

This is cheaper than Uber and more practical than public transport, however, since it’s not regulated, it may not be the safest option. Be careful if you opt for this mode of transportation.

Where to stay in Lima for 2 days

The best place to stay in Lima is hands down Miraflores.

Miraflores is one of the coastal districts of Lima and it’s known for its beaches, shopping, and residential feel.

It’s also considered one of the safest areas in Lima, making it a popular choice for tourists.

Due to its popularity, you can find a wide range of hotels and accommodations in Miraflores.

From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, there is something for every type of traveller.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Budget: Imperial Inn is a cute bed and breakfast with nice rooms and modern bathrooms. Only 15 minutes walk from the beach.
  • Mid-range: Hotel Antigua Miraflores is a beautiful 3-star hotel with stunning traditional rooms. It’s very close to the beaches and the parque del amor (Love Park).
  • Luxury: Iberostar Selection Miraflores is a stunning 5-star hotel with ocean views, outdoor swimming rooms and classy rooms.

2 days in Lima – Itinerary

Lima Itinerary Day 1: Historic Centre, food and Magic Water Fountains

Your first day in Lima will be all about discovering the historic centre, downtown Lima.

Lima’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s definitely worth a visit.

With its beautiful colonial architecture, charming streets and fascinating history, you’ll love exploring this area.

We recommend joining a walking tour or food tour to make the most out of your visit.

This area can be chaotic and not known for its safety, so having a knowledgeable guide is safer and more convenient.

Plus, you’ll learn a lot about the city and its culture. I personally went on this food and it was amazing!

We visited all the stops mentioned below, got to eat so much and learnt a lot. It is a small group which is great since you can really interact with the guide and ask all the questions you want.

Click here to see the prices.

Stop 1: Plaza San Martin

Start this Lima itinerary at Plaza San Martin, one of the most famous squares in Lima.

It is located at the entrance of the historic centre and it’s named after Jos茅 de San Mart铆n, the liberator of Peru.

In the middle of the square, you can find a statue of him on a horse.

On the side of the square, you can find the Gran Hotel Bol铆var.

This is a must-visit for any history or architecture lover, as it was the first modern and luxury hotel in Lima.

It was built in the 1920s and still maintains its grandeur and beauty.

PRO TIP: be careful in Plaza San Martin because it’s known to be a pickpocket area. Be extremely careful if you take your phone out to take photos.

Another tip, if you want to have a coffee or a drink and avoid the crowds, head to Jir贸n Quilca, it’s a small street located near the Gran Hotel Bolivar. It’s very quiet and there a couple of cafes with terraces outside.

You can sit outside and admire the views of the plaza without the noise or crowds.

Stop 2: Plaza Mayor

Main square in Lima

Once you’re done with Plaza San Martin, take the Jir贸n de la Union to the main square, Plaza Mayor.

It’s a pedestrian street that was once one of the most important streets in Lima.

You can find a lot of shops there and it takes about 10 minutes on foot to reach the Plaza Mayor.

Plaza Mayor is a much more tranquil place and there are a few landmarks here.

The first one is the Government Palace, which stands on the northern side of the square. It’s absolutely stunning and it’s definitely worth taking some photos in front of it.

This is the current residence of the President of Peru. Unfortunately you can’t visit it inside but it’s still a beautiful building to see from outside.

Another popular tourist spot in this area is the Lima sign. It’s a great place to take an Instagram photo.

There are actually two of them on the square so depending which one you choose and the angle, you can either have the cathedral or the palace in the background.

It can be a bit busy so you might need to queue to get a photo but it shouldn’t be more than 5 or 10 minutes.

Sandwich in Lima

PRO TIP: if you’re feeling a bit hungry, head to the Sangucher铆a El Chinito. It’s a small sandwich shop located next to the cathedral. They make the most delicious pork sandwiches. The ultimate one to do get is the Chicharron sandwich.

It’s a traditional Peruvian breakfast sandwich. The shop has been a local’s favourite for decades so even though it’s located in a touristy area, you will get great food here and for a good price.

Stop 3: Lima Cathedral

Located on the other side of the square, the Lima Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.

It has a beautiful facade featuring baroque, renaissance and neoclassical styles.

The first stone was laid by Francisco Pizarro, a famous Spanish conquistador who founded Lima.

The interior of the cathedral is equally as beautiful, with intricate designs and religious artwork.

There is an altar covered in gold leaf, adding to the opulence of the cathedral.

You can visit the cathedral for a small entrance fee and explore its various chapels, crypts and choir.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the cathedral, make sure to visit the museum located inside. It houses religious paintings and sculptures that provide insight into Peru’s Catholic culture.

Stop 4: Basilica and Convent of San Francisco

Your next stop is the beautiful Basilica and Convent of San Francisco.

It’s located only 2 minute walk from Plaza Mayor and is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Lima.

Built in the 16th century, this complex has stood through numerous earthquakes and still remains an important religious site for Catholics.

The highlight of this attraction is its stunning cupola, baroque architecture and the famous catacombs located beneath it.

If you are looking for something a bit unusual to do in Lima, that will be ideal.

You can take a 30-minute guided tour (available in English or Spanish) to explore the catacombs, which hold an estimated 75,000 bodies. It’s a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Another important site in the convent is its library. It’s home to 25,000 books dating from before the Spanish conquest.

You can also visit it. There is a small entrance fee and you can join the guided tour

In the cloisters, you will get to see Diego de la Puente version of the Last supper with a guinea pig.

FUN FACT: When the spanish came to Peru, they imposed their religion to the Quechua people which is why you can see pieces such as the Last Supper in many churches in Peru. But when the painters made these paintings, they also included elements that they identified to. The guinea pig is one of them since it鈥檚 one of the local delicacies.

Stop 5: Mercado Central

Fruit in Lima

Once you’re done with the sights, it’s time to visit to the lively Mercado Central de Lima, also known as the central market.

Located near China town, it’s only a few minutes walk from San Francisco convent.

This market spans 10 blocks and is filled with vendors selling everything from souvenirs to clothes and food.

You can find literally anything here but the best part is the food area.

There is a huge variety of street food and local delicacies to try.

The entrance can be a bit tricky to find but don’t hesitate to ask locals for directions.

Once you’re in, you’ll quickly notice that the market can be a bit overwhelming and confusing

This is why I highly recommend going on a food tour here.

This way, you will have a guide to take you to the best stalls with the most delicious and authentic Peruvian dishes.

You’ll also avoid getting lost in this maze of flavors and aromas and you’ll be sure to try the best things without struggling to find them.

I particularly recommend going to the fruit section so you can try some typical peruvian fruit like passionfruit, dragon fruit or chirimoya.

The meat section is also interesting and you will even find guinea pigs (but if seeing raw meat or strong smells puts you off, skip it).

The smoothie stands are also amazing and a great place to get refreshments. They have all sorts of fresh fruit and can make anything you want.

Maca smoothie in Lima

PRO TIP: try the maca smoothie!

Maca is a root vegetable known for its health benefits. It has a beige colour so that might not be the one that tempts you the most but it’s worth trying.

This is actually something you would get to try on the food tour if you decide to book it.

As a general thing, if you want to grab a cheap and authentic lunch, Central Market is the place.

The lunch spots are located behind the meat section. It鈥檚 very cheap and super good. You will only find locals here but again, if you are bothered by the smell, it might not be the place for you.

Stop 6: China Town

Founded in the 19th century by Chinese immigrants, this district has become an important cultural and culinary hub in Peru.

Peru is a country with a lot of diversity and that’s why fusion food is so popular. Peruvian Chinese fusion food is one of the main types.

China Town is known as “Barrio Chino” among locals. This vibrant area is home to numerous shops, markets, restaurants and landmarks that represent the Chinese culture in Peru.

It spans across several 2 blocks and is highly recognisable.

You can start your exploration by walking through the arches that mark the entrance of China Town. You’ll immediately be immersed in a world filled with rich colors, sounds and smells.

On the main street, you’ll find various shops selling traditional Chinese goods such as herbs, medicines and clothes.

One interesting feature of this area is the big tiles with the Chinese zodiac signs and years embedded in the floor.

Dumpling lovers should definitely visit Calle Cap贸n. Here you’ll find a few Chinese supermarkets and the famous Fabrica de Min Pao, where you can get some mouthwatering dumplings.

This street is very unique in the way that it really feels different, you almost forget you are in Peru for a second and feel like you’ve been transported to Hong Kong or Beijing.

If you’re a foodie, China Town will be like paradise for you. The fusion cuisine here is a unique blend of Chinese and Peruvian flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Stop 7: Parque de la Exposici贸n (and museums)

Once you are done in Chinatown, it鈥檚 time to head to the Park of the Exposition.

It will take about 30 minutes if you鈥檙e walking but if you’re not keen on that much walking, you can simply walk out of Chinatown and order an Uber.

Located in downtown Lima, this park is a great place to relax and enjoy some greenery after a busy day of sightseeing.

The Parque de la Exposici贸n was built by the government of Jos茅 Balta after the dismantlement of the walls of Lima in the late 19th century.

The walls of lima were actually bordering where the park is now and the creation of the park was was part of an urbanisation plan made to modernise the city of Lima.

The park is absolutely stunning and there are loads of gardens, pavilions as well as a Japanese garden.

It鈥檚 a great place for a quiet walk, away from the chaos.

It鈥檚 also home to two major museums in Lima: the Art Museum of Lima and the Metropolitan Museum.

Both museums are well worth visiting if you have time.

The Metropolitan Museum of Lima is housed in a beautiful building dating from 1925 ans was the first virtual museum in Peru.

Between all the 3D attractions and holograms, tech fans will be in for a treat.

The showrooms include exhibitions about the development of Lima鈥檚 main square, the Lima earthquake of 1746 and more.

It was very well designed and make learning about history a more ‘fun’ experience.

There is a small entrance fee of 8 soles to enter in the museum

On the other hand, Lima Art Museum is perfect for art lovers who want to learn more about Peruvian art.

Here you will find pieces celebrating 3000 years of Peruvian art.

This includes pre-columbian textiles but also pieces from the colonial times and contemporary pieces.

You will need at least 2 hours to visit so take that into consideration before heading there.

If you are interested in visiting the MALI, you should also consider booking a tour. This will allow you to discover the most interesting pieces and their history.

Stop 8: Magic Water Fountains Circuit (Circuito M谩gico del Agua)

Finally, heat to your last stop for this first day in Lima: the Magic Water Fountains Circuit.

Located in the Parque de la Reserva, this is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Lima. A true highlight!

The circuit consists of 13 fountains that are interactive and have lights and music, making it a truly magical experience.

In fact, it holds the record for being the largest water fountain park in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

These are more than simple fountains. It’s a circuit that offers a nightly show featuring synchronized music, lights and lasers. It will leave you in awe.

Make sure to head there around sunset time (you’ll need to check when that is since it varies depending on the season) because you will need it to be dark to see the whole thing.

One of the most impressive one is the Magic fountain which is 80-metre high! Another one worth checking out is the Fantasy fountain. It’s 120-metre long.

Finally, head to the tunnel of surprises. This is the most famous and definitely the most Instagrammable fountain of the circuit.

All the fountains are actually choreographed and display Peruvians symbols which is quite cool.

You will need to pay a small entrance fee to go see it. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour so you get all the explanations of the symbols.

Click here to see the prices.

Lima Itinerary Day 2: Barranco and Miraflores

The second day of your weekend in Lima will be spent exploring the coastal districts of Barranco and Miraflores.

These areas are completely different to the historic centre and are very quiet and relaxing.

Stop 1: Huaca Pucllana Site Museum

Let’s start with one of the best historical sites in Lima: the Huaca Pucllana Site Museum.

Located in Miraflores, this archeological site dates back to precolonial times and is perfect for people who want to learn more about ancient history.

Huaca Pucllana is an adobe and clay pyramid that is thought to have been built between 200 AD and 700 AD.

This site is particularly interesting because when you travel around Peru, especially in Cusco, the thing you hear about the most is the Incas.

And while that鈥檚 absolutely fascinating, it鈥檚 also very nice to get to see a site that was built by previous civilisations.

The archeological searches here started in the 80s and the site has been open to the public since the 90s.

The entrance fee is only 15 soles and includes a guided tour so you get to truly understand what you are looking at.

It鈥檚 open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Stop 2: Miraflores Central Park

After immersing yourself in ancient history, head to Miraflores Central Park for a breath of fresh air.

This park is divided into two sections: John F. Kennedy Park and 7 June Park.

Both are equally beautiful and boast gorgeous gardens and green spaces.

You can take a leisurely walk around the park or sit on one of the benches to relax and take in the surrounding nature.

But don’t be surprised if you come across a fiesta or fair here – it’s a very popular spot for community events.

One of the best things about Miraflores Central Park is that it’s open 24/7 and is completely free to visit.

So whether you want to take an early morning stroll or enjoy a late night picnic, this park is always available for you to enjoy.

You鈥檒l find a lot of street food here, making it a great spot for a quick lunch.

But what the park is most famous for is the street cats. They are dozens of them and they are absolutely everywhere.

They are looked after so there is nothing to worry about and if you love cats, it鈥檚 a great thing to visit.

Stop 3: Miraflores

Once you鈥檙e done with Central Park, it鈥檚 time to start walking down to the promenade.

You will actually walk through the entire neighbourhood of Miraflores where you鈥檒l find loads of restaurants, bars and shops.

If you want to take a shopping break, this will be your time!

Stop 4: Paddington Bear Statue

While walking through Miraflores, make sure to stop by the Paddington Bear Statue located in Parque Salazar.

This cute little landmark is a must-see for anyone visiting Lima.

But why is Paddington here? You may be thinking “wait a minute, isn’t he British?”

Well, while Paddington Bear has become synonymous with London, he is actually from Peru.

In fact, the statue was unveiled in 2015 as a gift from the British Embassy to celebrate his Peruvian roots.

So make sure to snap a selfie with Paddington dressed in his iconic Union Jack coat and suitcase before continuing on your journey through Miraflores.

Stop 5: Malecon walk

Now that you’ve reached the seaside, it’s time to walk on the Malecon – a promenade that offers beautiful views of the beaches and cliffs.

This is the perfect spot to take a leisurely stroll, enjoy the sea breeze, and appreciate the stunning scenery.

Make sure to have your camera ready as you can also catch glimpses of the Palomino islands from here.

While we didn’t include it in this itinerary, the Palomino islands are a must-visit for anyone wanting to see seals and even swim with them on organized tours.

So if you have some extra time and want to add a unique experience to your trip, consider checking out the Palomino islands.

You won’t regret it! Plus, your Instagram feed will thank you for it!

The Malecon is great for a walk but also one of the best places for cycling in Lima.

If  you want to make the best of your time, you should consider booking a bike tour of Miraflores and Barranco.

You鈥檒l get to do everything we mention and more! And since you are on a bike, you’ll cover a lot more ground.

You can also hire a bike and explore by yourself but you will get more out of the experience with a local guide. Not only will they show you everything but it’s quite reassuring to be with a group.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Stop 6: Barranco

Your next stop will be Barranco. It’s the artsy and bohemian district of Lima.

It鈥檚 very pretty and has loads of colourful buildings and picturesque narrow streets.

The best thing to do here is to walk around and soak up the atmosphere but here are the main places to see.

Firstly, head to Barranco Main Square (Plaza de Armas). It’s a beautiful square with colonial charm and fountains.

Make sure to also visit the church (Iglesia de la Santisima Cruz). It’s a stunning Catholic cathedral painted in yellow.

Then head to the Bajada de los Ba帽os which is a colourful narrow street that goes all the way to the the coast (you can see the Pacific Ocean)

Next is the Puente de Los Suspiros (The Bridge of Sighs) and the beautiful church of La Ermita.

If you want to learn more about Barranco, consider joining the free tour of Barranco.

You get to learn about the neighbourhood itself as well as the history of Peru in general.

Please note that while this is called ‘free’ walking tour, it’s actually tip-based.

Click here to book the free walking tour.

Stop 7: Paragliding

Paragliding in Lima

Once you are done with visiting Barranco, head back to Miraflores because you鈥檙e about to do one of the best activities in Lima: paragliding on the Costa Verde!

This is perfect for people who love adrenaline-filled adventures.

For this activity, we recommend booking with Condor Xtreme.

This was something I wasn鈥檛 sure of since i鈥檓 scared of height but it actually turned out to be the best thing I did in Lima (with the food tour).

For this paragliding experience, you will be picked up from Miraflores (for free) and brought to the take off spot on the beach.

The package includes a 15 minutes flight and a free HD video of your flight (filmed with a gopro)

This is a big advantage because you usually have to pay extra for this/

Obviously, you won鈥檛 be on your own, there is an experienced pilot so the only thing you have to do is relax and enjoy.

You will sit in front of the pilot who will start the engine to take off. You will then fly along the coast and get to see fantastic views of Lima and the Costa Verde.

The paraglider will then turn to return.

On the way back, he can do more tricks, turns and spins so if you like adrenaline, make sure to let him know.

If you don鈥檛 like it, let him know as well and he will make sure it鈥檚 more chilled.

The reason why we recommend to do that at the end of the day is because you can book the last slot, just before sunset.

That way when you come back you can start seeing the sunset from the beach.

It makes the views even better and is an amazing way to finish your 2 days in Lima.

Once you鈥檙e done, the driver will bring you back to Miraflores.

Normally they would bring you back to the meeting point but ask him to drop you off at Love Park since it鈥檚 on the way.

Click here to see the prices.

Stop 8: Parque del Amor (Love Park)

Sunset in Lima

By the time you reach the Love Park, it should be sunset time.

This is one of the most beautiful parks in Lima and might remind you of Gaudi鈥檚 Park Guell in Barcelona if you’ve been.

It was inaugurated in 1993 amd designed by the Peruvian artist V铆ctor Delf铆n.

The parque del amor is home to a famous statue 鈥榚l beso鈥 (the kiss) which is a huge sculpture of a man and a woman kissing.

But that鈥檚 not the only noticeable feature.

The walls around the park are also stunning.

They are made of ceramic, super colourful features amazing designs.

From the park, you also get wonderful views of the coast and when it starts being dark, the lights of the cars on the highway along the coast makes it even more magical,

All of that paired up to the sunset, makes it the perfect spot to finish your trip in Lima (and get beautiful instagram photos).

We hope you enjoyed this Lima itinerary for 2 days. If you are interested in learning more about Peru, make sure to check out our other articles.

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