Cercado de LimaLima

Image for Downtown Lima featuring street scenes and heritage architecture

Visit Cercado de Lima

Lima Travel Guide

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.

Top hotels in Cercado de Lima

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center
Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center
4.5 out of 5
Paseo De La Republica 170, Lima, Lima
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
AU$151
per night
Jan 31 - Feb 1

This family-friendly Lima hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Lima Art Museum and Plaza San Martin. Plaza de Armas de Lima ...

4.3/5Excellent! (252 reviews)
Lima stay

"A wonderful place to stay! Very comfortable and clean. The beds were amazing. Staff was courteous and helpful. The breakfast included was expansive in selection and very good."…"

Reviewed on 22 Oct. 2019

Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center
Hotel Diamond Lima
Hotel Diamond Lima
2.5 out of 5
Jr. Cuzco, Lima, Lima
AU$110
per night
Jan 29 - Jan 30

Located in Lima Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Huaca Pucllana Ruins and Kennedy Park ...

4.3/5Excellent! (48 reviews)

"The staff were amazing, nothing was a problem and made our stay so enjoyable. The room and beds comfy and stylish, couldn’t have asked for more! Highly recommend staying here with the team."…"

Reviewed on 20 Jan. 2020

Hotel Diamond Lima
Gran Hotel Bolivar
Gran Hotel Bolivar
3 out of 5
Jirón de la Unión 958, Lima
AU$131
per night
Jan 29 - Jan 30

Located in Lima Historic Center, this hotel is steps away from Jiron de La Union and Plaza San Martin. Plaza de Armas de Lima is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.

3.5/5Good! (44 reviews)

"Building style is beautiful. Shows grandeur of a time period in Perú."…"

Reviewed on 23 Oct. 2019

Gran Hotel Bolivar
Orchid Hostels
Orchid Hostels
1.5 out of 5
Jirón Carabaya 959, Cercado de Lima, Lima, Lima
AU$50
per night
Jan 29 - Jan 30

Located in Lima Historic Center, this hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Jiron de La Union and Basilica and Convent ...

4.1/5Very Good! (27 reviews)
Great location

"Great location in Lima historic center."…"

Reviewed on 12 Oct. 2019

Orchid Hostels
Hotel Paris Lima
Hotel Paris Lima
3 out of 5
Jirón Rufino Torrico 850, Cercado de Lima, Lima, Lima
AU$66
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jiron de La Union and Plaza San Martin. Plaza de Armas de Lima is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away.

3.9/5Very Good! (48 reviews)

"Low class hotel not worth the stay would not reccomend"…"

Reviewed on 16 Oct. 2019

Hotel Paris Lima
Hotel San Agustin Riviera
Hotel San Agustin Riviera
3.5 out of 5
Av Garcilazo De La Vega 981, Lima, Lima
AU$87
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

Located in Lima Historic Center, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Jiron de La Union, Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Lima Art Museum and Exposition ...

3.2/5 (150 reviews)

"Very well located, confortable room and nice people"…"

Reviewed on 15 Sep. 2019

Hotel San Agustin Riviera

Popular things to do in Cercado de Lima

Plaza San Martin
Image for Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

4/5(7 reviews)

This ceremonial square, which stands as a memorial to Peru's great liberator, is filled with artisans, street performers and musicians. 

Plaza de Armas de Lima
Image for Plaza de Armas de Lima

Plaza de Armas de Lima

4/5(14 reviews)

This historic heart of Lima, where Francisco Pizarro founded Peru's government and the city cathedral was placed, is widely regarded as the city's birthplace.

Jiron de La Union
Image for Jiron de La Union

Jiron de La Union

Wander down one of the city’s most historic boulevards to get a sense of the local culture and see the churches and plazas that surround it.

Cathedral of Lima
Image for Cathedral of Lima

Cathedral of Lima

4.5/5(3 reviews)

The majestic white facade and swirling twin towers of this 16th-century cathedral make for a fantastic view as you dine or enjoy a coffee around Plaza Mayor. 

Exposition Park
Image for Exposition Park

Exposition Park

This park, which once hosted Lima's International Exhibition, features picturesque buildings and an art museum with a peaceful ambience. 

Church and Convent of San Francisco
Image for Church and Convent of San Francisco

Church and Convent of San Francisco

This 17th-century religious complex features a fascinating underground cemetery and an ancient library, found around its central Baroque-style church. 

Top activities in Cercado de Lima

Small-group Lima Discovery Tour
Image for Small-group Lima Discovery Tour

Small-group Lima Discovery Tour

AU$54

This fun and dynamic tour of Lima is more than a history lesson, it connects you with the heart and soul of this fascinating Peruvian city, from the people that really know what it's like to live there – the locals.

Small-Group Larco Museum & Magic Water and Lasers Dance Show
Image for Small-Group Larco Museum & Magic Water and Lasers Dance Show

Small-Group Larco Museum & Magic Water and Lasers Dance Show

AU$115

Larco Herrera Museum Tour Have you ever thought about immersing yourself in the mythical and magical history of the ancient Peruvian civilizations. We have designed a special tour for history , archeology and mysticism lovers.

Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour
Image for Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour

Wildlife of Palomino Islands Half-Day Tour

AU$162

Witness the fascinating wildlife and the gorgeous rocky cliffs of the Palomino Islands off the coast of mainland Peru. On your way out to this paradise in the Pacific, pass by other stunning islands, and then once you arrive, jump in the refreshing waters to swim alongside sea lions.

Half day Historic & Modern Tour of Lima
Image for Half day Historic & Modern Tour of Lima

Half day Historic & Modern Tour of Lima

AU$52

We will have a tour through Lima’s streets and plazas. Starting at “Parque del Amor” in Miraflores, with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, and then we are heading to the Huaca Pucllana, ceremonial center of the Lima culture, for a panoramic view.

Private Best of Lima City Tour
Image for Private Best of Lima City Tour

Private Best of Lima City Tour

AU$183

Eight hours is not a lot of time to visit such an immense city as Lima, but with this perfect one-day tour highlighting it's best treasures, you will be sure not to miss a thing! We'll begin with a visit to historic Lima where you will observe traditional plazas, beautifully ornate churches and the stately presidential palace.

Convent of Santo Domingo Admission Ticket
Image for Convent of Santo Domingo Admission Ticket

Convent of Santo Domingo Admission Ticket

AU$6

Visit: Basilica y Monasterio de Santo Domingo, Jiron Camana 170, Lima 15001 Peru The Convent of the Holy Rosary, better known as the Convent of Santo Domingo de Lima, was founded in 1535. Its construction began in the mid-sixteenth century.

Other areas in Lima

Miraflores showing a sunset, landscape views and general coastal views

Miraflores

4.5/5Wonderful!(45 area reviews)

Enjoy extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean, wander boutiques in an award-winning mall and savour top-class restaurant meals in this wealthy district. 

Miraflores
Barranco featuring street scenes as well as a large group of people

Barranco

4/5Very Good!(4 area reviews)

Climb cliffs for ocean views, before descending the coastal walkway and crossing the Bridge of Sighs to reach the shore.

Barranco