10 free tourist attractions in Lima

Lima has famous tourist attractions such as the Pachacamac sanctuary, Huaca Pucllana, the Palomino islands, the Real Felipe fortress and more. The entrance to all these sites has a cost. But in the ‘City of Kings’ there are also destinations whose entry is free for everyone. Some of them are public spaces of great beauty. Others are historical buildings that are worth visiting. Find out what they are, where they are, when to visit them and more.

Cathedral of Lima
Cathedral of Lima


The Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of sighs
Bridge of Sighs

This wooden bridge has a unique tradition in Peru. They say that if you cross it while holding your breath, the desire that crosses your mind will be fulfilled. True or not? The bridge is one of the most visited sites in the tourist district of Barranco. There you will find a placid environment, surrounded by green areas and many stories.

The bridge was built in 1876. After the War of the Pacific, it was rebuilt several times to its current shape. A few steps from the bridge there are parks, viewpoints, handicraft shops as well as various restaurant and bar services. This bridge is mandatory for visitors. When you go, don’t forget to bring a camera and a wish in mind.


The Cathedral

Cathedral of Lima
Cathedral of Lima

The Cathedral is the most important Catholic church in the city of Lima. It is in the heart of the city, in front of the Main Square. Although the entrance to the church has a cost of 10 Peruvian soles, the temple is open to all the public during mass hours. Inside it is possible to observe important works of art with great historical value.

Among the treasures of the Cathedral include the ‘Chapel of the Peruvian saints’, the ‘Crypt of Francisco Pizarro’ (where the bones of the Spanish ruler are) and more. The temple was built in the 16th century. On the outside, you can see its Renaissance and neoclassical architectural design. It is an ideal place to take the best photos of the city.


The Chabuca Granda Mall

Chabuca Granda mall
Chabuca Granda mall

The Alameda Chabuca Granda is one of the most pleasant public spaces in the historic center of Lima. His name refers to the Lima singer and songwriter Chabuca Granda (1920 – 1983). There the visitor will be able to walk on a boardwalk on the banks of the Rímac River. You can also enjoy public music and dance shows as well as the sale of typical food from the city.

The mall occupies an area of ​​800 square meters. It is located near the Lima Main Square. The shows are held especially in the evenings. It stands out for the shows of traveling comedians, the sale of picarones, anticuchos and more. The mall is open at all hours of the day.


Main Square

Main Square of Lima
Main Square of Lima

Lima Main Square is the historic heart of the town. The city of Lima was founded there in 1535. As was the custom of the time, the most important buildings were established around it, such as the Cathedral, the Municipality of Lima and the Government Palace. The square is available every day at all hours.

This public space fills with beautiful colors at night. The façade of the Cathedral stands out with a play of night lights. Every day at 11:45 in the morning the ‘Changing of the Guard’ is carried out by the escort at the Government Palace. You can stroll through the historic surrounding streets like Jirón de la Unión.


Congress of the Republic

Congress of the Republic
Congress of the Republic

The Legislative Palace is the official building where laws and reforms are debated by the Congress of the Republic of Peru. In the viceregal era, it functioned as classrooms at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. In 1822 the Congress of Peru was established there for the first time. It has a style called ‘French academic’. Its current design began in 1906 and ended in 1939.

Visits to the Congress of the Republic are free, although they must be made in advance through the official website of this state entity. It stands out for its canvases, its rooms, its hemicycles as well as the historical events that took place there. It is located in the heart of the city, in front of Square Bolívar and the busy Abancay avenue.


Government Palace

Government Palace
Government Palace

This historic building is the official palace of the Executive Branch as well as the home of the President of Peru every 5 years. Its history dates back to Inca times as it was the palace of the curaca Taulichusco. In 1535 it was occupied by Francisco Pizarro, when he founded the city of Lima. There resided the viceroys, the liberators Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín, as well as the continuous presidents of the country in the republican era.

The current structure of the Government Palace was designed by the French architect Claude Antoine Sahut as well as the Polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski. It has a neo-baroque style of French influence. Visits are made with an online reservation through the official website. Inside there are works of art of great historical value.


Museum of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru

Museum of the Central Reserve Bank
Museum of the Central Reserve Bank

The building of this important entity of the Peruvian State was created in 1922. It has an ‘Academicist’ style architecture designed by the American architect AC Bossom. Inside there is a museum where it is possible to appreciate jewels, colonial paintings as well as pre-Columbian objects.

Entrance to the museum is free for everyone. For this it is necessary to make a reservation through the website of the Central Reserve Bank. The museum has four rooms: Traditional Art Room, Paintings Room, Temporary Exhibition Room and Pre-Columbian Art Room.


Miraflores Boardwalk

Miraflores Boardwalk
Miraflores Boardwalk

The Miraflores boardwalk offers one of the most famous views of the city of Lima. Some adventure sports such as paragliding are carried out there. In addition, there are the main commercial services of the city. It has incredible views of the Lima coast. It is very popular with both locals and foreigners.

The boardwalk is made up of four spaces: the Marina boardwalk, the Cisneros boardwalk, the Reserve boardwalk and the July 28th boardwalk. It is famous for the Larcomar shopping center as well as for the Parque del Amor. The visit is free all day. There is 24-hour surveillance so it is considered a safe space.


House of Peruvian Literature

House of Peruvian Literature
House of Peruvian Literature

The House of Peruvian Literature was inaugurated in 2009 to become a cultural space for the dissemination and study of literature in Peru. In its museum, sixteen rooms are exhibited that revalue (with panels, audios and videos) the main representatives of letters in the country: César Vallejo, Mario Vargas Llosa, Ciro Alegría, José María Arguedas and more.

Entrance to this cultural space is free for all people. You only have to register at the entrance door. Every week there are lectures on various authors as well as book presentations. It is located a few steps from the Main Square and the Government Palace. It is a space for both adults and children.


San Cristobal Hill

San Cristobal Hill
San Cristobal Hill

Cerro San Cristóbal is a symbol of the city of Lima. It is the highest Andean foothills in the city (its top reaches 400 meters high). From there you have a privileged view of the historic center of the city and even the Callao seafront. There is a cross that lights up at night in different artificial colors.

The entrance to Cerro San Cristóbal is free for all people. The only optional cost is the transport bus to its top (many tourists decide to take a tourist bus). However, it is also possible to climb the famous ‘thousand steps’ up there. This route crosses graffiti and murals in the populous district of Rímac.

 

By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, November 25, 2021


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