The main tourist information office of Lima is located in Pasaje Nicolás de Ribera El Viejo, 145 (behind Lima's municipality). There's other tourist offices in each district of Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro, Callao and Old Town.
They provide information on leisure activities, guided tours, public transportation, and other questions of interest in Spanish, English and many other languages. In addition, tourist offices offer the following services:
- Tour guides, books, maps etc. about Lima and Perú
- Accommodation booking
- Tickets for local public transport as well as international bus connections
- Tickets to various events from guided tours to concerts
- Postcards, stamps, and envelopes
- Free Wi-Fi
Sightseeing in Lima
The main sights of Lima that you cannot miss when visiting the city are:
- Lima Main Square: In 1535, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima on this area over an existing indigenous settlement. It is the oldest public place in Lima.
- Museo del Convento de San Francisco (San Francisco Convent Museum): Considered one of the most impressive monuments to Spanish architecture in all Latin America. Over the years it turned into the most significant religious complex in Lima.
- Palacio Torre Tagle: This mansion from the early 18th century is said to be one of the most splendid buildings in all Latin America.
- Archeological Museum Rafael Larco Herrera (Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera): Itpresents the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Perú.
- Municipalidad de Miraflores: Miraflores is the trendiest place for tourists, visitors, foreign expats and even locals. Prices are a bit higher, but this is a great location to find ritzy accommodation, go shopping, enjoy fashionable restaurant, relax in a modern cafés and enjoy the best of Lima.
- Artisan Markets: Miraflores is filled with markets selling nearly everything Peru is best known for. For more details, refer to our section on shopping.
- Mercado Surquillo No.1: If you are looking for something local, Mercado Surquillo is the place! This massive and bustling location is where locals do their grocery buying on the weekend. It offers great quality food in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, fish and seafood at very affordable prices.
- District Barranco: During the very first years of the 20th century, Barranco was home of the most famous writers and artists, which gave the district a unique bohemian character, still preserved today.
Tours in Lima
There are several travel agencies and tour companies that offer quality city tours. The most popular tours in Lima:
- Haku Tours: Haka tours organizes responsible sightseeing with small groups tours (only 1 to 6 participants) promoting local shopping to give back to local communities in need.
- The Lima Gourmet Company: It offers gastronomical city tours presenting Perú's star dishes in top-notch restaurants.
- Integrity Tourism & Transport: This transportation company and tour operator offers private and tailored tours to tourists.
- SkyKitchen: Cooking lessons of the most famous Peruvian dishes.
- Bike Tours: It covers everywhere from the trendiest to the most traditional locations in ima, always by bike.
- Lima Walks: Discover Lima on foot.
- Turibus: Tour the city by two-floor, panoramic buses.
- Lima Vision: Probably the best (and the most expensive) tour operator in Lima. Qualified professional bilingual tour guides lead the tour, together with responsible drivers, modern busses with comfortable seats and AC, pick-up service from any hotel, as well as many other amenities.
Festivals in Lima
Perú is a country with numerous festivals and holidays. Most are dedicated to honour and celebrate saints or important personalities.
Most important events in Lima:
- Anniversary of Lima: On the 18th of January 1535, Lima was founded by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizzaro.
- National Pisco Sour Day (Día Nacional del Pisco): Held on the first Saturday of February since 2003, Peru's national drink, the Pisco Sour, has its own day of celebrations.
- Carnival: Celebrated in February throughout the country. The biggest celebrations are actually outside of the capitol.
- Grape Harvest and Wine Making (Fiesta de la Vendimia): Held in March, it celebrates wine.
- National Horse Tournament of the Peruvian Caballo de Paso: The most important tournament of Peruvian horse breeders.
- Saint Peter and Saint Paul: June 29th Saint day.
- Anniversary of Perú (Fiestas de Patrias): Dedicated to the memory of the announcement of independence on the 28th of July 1821.
- Saint Rose of Lima (Santa Rosa de Lima): Each year on the 30th of August a parade honours Santa Rosa de Lima, the patron saint of Lima.
- Gastronimic Fair (Mistura): Each year restaurants, farmers and producers from different parts of the country gather in Mistura fair to promote Peruvian cuisine.
- Lord of Miracles (Señor de los Milagros): The biggest procession in Latin America honours Señor de los Milagros (The Lord of Miracles) every year at the end of October to the beginning of November.
Discounts in Lima
Lima does not offer any "city cards" to get discounts over attractions, sights, landmarks and museums.
However, if you are under 30, a student over 30 or a teacher/professor, you are entitled to get the ISIC card and enjoy thousands of discounts worldwide.
A youth card or student card can offer you a lot of advantages abroad and it recognises your student status. These international cards will give you discounts abroad and are essential for those taking a gap year or going backpacking:
ISIC (International Student Identity Card) - Issued in over 130 countries, the ISIC card serves as an internationally recognized proof of student status and offers discounts in over 125.000 locations worldwide. It is issued for full-time students over the age of 12. Depending on the country, its price varies from 4 to 25 USD.
The ISIC card can be purchased online or at a local ISIC issuer. You will need a proof of your student status, an ID document, and a passport sized photo. The card is valid up to 16 months; its start and expiration dates depend on the academic year of the country where you purchase the card.
To find businesses that give discounts for ISIC card owners see the discounts worldwide.
The ISIC offers two additional cards that offer many of the same benefits and discounts and can be obtained either online or at a local issuing office:
What the card offers:
- Valuable discounts on air, travel, bus and ferry transport as well as accommodation (gap year backpacking discounts)
- Access to over 33,000 discounts in over 100 countries
- Reduced admission to museums, galleries and historic sites
- Access to student travel organisations in over 90 countries
- 24 hour emergency, legal and medical help line services
- Basic sickness and accident travel insurance
ISE Card (International Student Exchange Card) - An internationally recognized identification card with thousands of discounts in over 80 countries. It is valid for one year from date of issue. Students of ANY age are eligible, as well as faculty members, children and young adults from 12-25. The price is 25 USD and you can purchase it online.
The International Student Card (ISIC) gives you, for example, a discount of almost 50% of the entrance ticket cost to Machu Picchu (from $70 to $41)