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7 Reasons to Love Lima, Peru

Barranco's famous bridge is one of the many things to love about Lima's unique neighborhoods
Barranco's famous bridge is one of the many things to love about Lima's unique neighborhoods | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Lima can sometimes be overshadowed by Peru’s most popular tourist destination, Cusco, but the Peruvian capital has a lot to love about it. The biggest city in Peru offers city life by the beach – a combination impossible not to love – and enough restaurants to keep even the hardest-to-please foodie happy. Here’s a look at the many reasons to love the City of Kings.

The food

Ask anyone about Lima, and one of the first responses you’ll get will be about the food. The gastronomical capital of Peru isn’t a title given, but earned. All the foodies and food traditions of the country descend upon Lima to create the best and most progressive cuisine in the nation.

Peruvian ceviche, also accompanied by an Inca Cola Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip

Big city by the ocean

There are only a handful of truly great cities that can call the ocean their neighbor. Lima has the big city lifestyle with all of the benefits of being close to the beach. After a day of working or tirelessly pursuing tourist sites, you can relax at the beach or throw on your wetsuit to surf.

The architecture

Nicknamed the City of Kings, Lima had long served the Spanish empire. The city was the Spanish stronghold in Peru and is home to some of the country’s oldest Spanish buildings. The finest example is the historical Plaza de Armas where you’ll find the famous Peruvian balconies and restored colonial mansions.

A look at the architecture in Lima's historical center © Art DiNo / Flickr

The museums

If you want to see museums in Peru, do it all in Lima. The capital is home to the country’s finest museums and most valued artifacts. Standing above the rest, though, is the Larco Museum, which holds the countries oldest artifacts and even has an erotic pottery section.

The barrios (neighborhoods)

Lima is made up of small barrios, each one different from the next. There are working-class barrios, touristic ones and artistic neighborhoods like Barranco that are full of color. To really get an understanding of Lima, you’ll need to explore each unique barrio.

A normal corner store explodes with color in Barranco, Lima Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip

The restaurants

Award-winning restaurants are a common sight in Lima, which is home to some of the continent’s finest dining options. Restaurante Central and Maido have both been crowned the best in South America, with Gastón Acurio’s creation Astrid y Gastón never far behind. Lima has found an audience for fine Peruvian dining, and it is still growing.

The nightlife

Limeños like to party, so it’s no surprise that discotecas are all over the city. Lima has also cultivated a gastropub-bar scene that serves up craft cocktails and beers in renovated colonial mansions. You can rage a dance floor or sip on a specialty drink in a historical building – this city has the best going-out options.