How To Spend 24 Hours in Lima, Peru's bustling capital

Cathedral of Lima
Cathedral of Lima | © David Stanley/Flickr
Brandon Dupre

Lima is a sprawling, gridlocked Metropolis that can be intimidating to get around in. Buses fly around the city with recklessness, swerving in-and-out of the ubiquitous traffic. Everything moves so quickly it can make your head spin and make crossing a street a death sentence. Mix these ingredients up and a drink at the hotel lounge may sound more appealing. But don’t let it as Lima has a lot of unique things to offer. If only for 24 hours, here is what you need to do in the Peruvian capital.

1. 00 am


Start your day with some Peruvian coffee. While there are a lot of great coffee shops that have sprung up in Lima over the last couple of years, don’t miss out on Bisetti. It is a family owned coffee shop that has been a Barranco and Lima staple for a while. You can also grab a bite to eat here before you start your day.

Tostaduria Bisetti, Avenida Pedro de Osma 116, Barranco, Peru

9:00 am

If you’re not jet-lagged and are in the mood for some exercise, go surfing. Peru has a rich surfing history and some of the best waves in the world. If you’re in Miraflores, just take the stairs down the cliff to the ocean and you’ll find plenty of companies offering surfboard and wetsuit rentals. For those visitors who don’t know how to surf, fear not, every rental company will also offer lessons. Boards will be about $8 each for the day and lessons will be around $20.

11:00 am

Paragliding over Peru’s coastline

2. 00 pm


Now that you’ve worked up quite the appetite, it’s time to enjoy some ceviche. Peru is known for this delicious seafood and for good reason: you can find fresh ceviche everywhere in Lima—even on street corners. But if you’re looking for some of the best Lima has to offer, go to Sonia’s in Chorrillos, just south of Barranco. It is family owned, Sonia prepares the ceviche that her husband catches that morning, and has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations. With real, colorful fishing equipment used for decoration and a pianist playing off to the side, Sonia’s has as much charm as any restaurant found in Lima.

Sonia’s, La Rosa Lozano and Tirado 173, Chorrillos, Peru + 51 1 2516693

Peruvian ceviche | ©KaMpErƎ & Le-tticia/Flickr

1:30 pm

Take a taxi and head to Plaza De Armas in Lima’s historic center. Here is where you’ll find Lima’s most breathtaking colonial architecture. Francisco Pizarro established the center in the 16th century to serve as the capital of Colonial South America. Though not one building remains from that period, the center is nonetheless stunning. To the east of the plaza resides the Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop’s Palace), which has ornate Moorish-style balconies, something very unique to Peruvian architecture. In the Northeast is Palacio de Gobierno, a grandiose baroque-style building that serves as residence for Peru’s president. Wander the streets and enjoy the intricately carved balconies and colonial-style buildings.

3. 00 pm


Before you leave the center, head to Plaza San Martin, which is only a short walk away from Plaza De Armas. Once there, head to Gran Hotel Bolivar, where you can try their famous Pisco Cathedral, which has five ounces of pisco in it. Not only is there pisco to drink big, but their bartenders make some of the best pisco sours in the city.

Hotel Bolivar, Jirón de la Unión 958, Districto de Lima 15001, Peru +51 1 6197171

Pisco sour | © Ildi Papp / Shutterstock

4. 00 pm


End the night eating at Central Restaurante, which got voted best restaurant in the world. Owned by Virgilio Martinez, the restaurant offers a menu that reflects and celebrates the biodiversity of Peru. Diners are treated to 11 or 17 course meals arranged according to elevation and made up of ingredients from some of the most remote places in Peru. The dishes are as gastronomically pleasing as they are aesthetically striking.

Central Restaurante, Santa Isabel 376 Miraflores Lima, Peru

10:00 pm

If you still have energy after the long day, go to Pizza Street just off of Parque Kennedy. The street is lined with bars and it is always busy. People don’t start going out until 10 or 11 in Lima, so prepare for partying into the morning.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article