Lima, Peru’s capital city on the Pacific coast, is known for its fascinating colonial sites, spectacular museums, and stunning architecture. Even if you only have a weekend in Lima, you can make the most of the trip. Here’s a suggested itinerary and ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Lima so you can figure out how to experience the best of the city.

Friday Evening

Friday starts your 72 hours in Lima. When you arrive, begin with dinner at Osso. Though it began as a butcher shop, it quickly evolved into a restaurant that serves excellent steak, barbecue, cured meats, pasta, and more. You’ll also like La Mar, an authentic Peruvian restaurant with excellent ceviche and fresh-caught seafood.

After dinner, visit the Magic Water Circuit at the Park of the Reserve in downtown Lima. These fountains not only boast a stunning water show, but they also have projected images and synchronized music for a full-on visual experience. You could also stop in the bar at Gran Hotel Bolivar, which boasts a specialty drink known as the Pisco Sour Catedral that’s a great way to kick off your weekend in Lima. You’ll also find plenty of casinos and gambling houses throughout the city where you can enjoy gaming or some live entertainment.

Skyline of Lima

Sunset in Lima

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours to explore Lima. In Peru, brunch is more popular than breakfast. You can visit Rustica, a restaurant with classic Peruvian dishes like chifa and ceviche in a buffet style, or Mangos Restaurant, an oceanview restaurant with a buffet breakfast of seafood and other Peruvian favorites.

Take some time to explore the Gold Museum of Peru and Arms of the World, a spectacular museum with an extensive collection of gold objects and historic weaponry, to learn about local history. You could also stop at the Real Felipe Fortress, an ancient fort and museum with historic tours, or the Government Palace of Peru, the ornate presidential residence and palace.

After sightseeing, head to Punto Azul, a family-owned Peruvian restaurant, to enjoy local dishes in a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Some highlights include grilled octopus, crispy prawns, ceviche, and grilled fish with pesto.

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, take some time to visit the Cathedral of Lima, an ornate Catholic church with a vast museum of religious and historic artifacts. You could also visit the Park of Love, an oceanside park with a kissing sculpture. This is not only a great place to unwind before heading out for the night, but it also gives you a chance to capture the stunning coastal views.

Saturday night in Lima is when the city comes alive. Start with a romantic dinner at La Rosa Nautica, a vibrant restaurant on the old pier at Green Coast Beach. The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere with its Victorian architecture and low light, as well as an array of delicious dishes to choose from. After dinner, take in the Peruvian culture by visiting a peña, which is a traditional venue with Creole food, Peruvian drinks, and live folk shows.

Vibrant artwork at Parque del Amor

Parque del Amor

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Lima, you’ll have 24 hours left to see any sights you may have missed. Start with a small breakfast at La Panetteria, a charming coffee shop and bakery known for its pastries, breakfast cakes, and fresh bread.

Before you leave, you should visit Huaca Pucllana, an ancient ruin site with the remnants of a pre-Incan pyramid, and the Larco Museum, a museum that features a vast collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. You could also see the Basilica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima, a stunning baroque Catholic church with catacombs.

For lunch, visit Siete Sopas for authentic Peruvian soups. Their soups are hearty and nutritious, often including ingredients like oxtail and seafood, providing a full meal to fuel your day. You could even have a few cocktails at La Rosa Nautica while you watch the boats on the water.

Statutes in the Larco Museum

Larco Museum

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, you can work off your meal by strolling around Lima’s Park of the Reserve, a delightful green space with nature trails and landscaping. If you missed the fountains, this is a great time to catch the show. You could also spend time at Larcomar, which boasts an array of shops and entertainment venues.

For dinner, visit Rafael, a top restaurant with a leading chef. The restaurant is found within a historic house with a cozy atmosphere, and you can try a 3-course tasting menu to sample some of the specialty dishes.

On Sunday night in Lima, you can take part in the legendary nightlife at one of the many bars and nightclubs in the city. You can visit places like Xcess Bar, or head to a discotheque for international music near the southern beaches. Salsadromes are also popular for their live Caribbean music.

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

From its excellent seafood dishes to its fascinating culture and spectacular architecture, Lima is a vibrant city with a lot to see and do. Now that you have your itinerary for a fun weekend in Lima, you’re ready to plan your trip. Visit Expedia to browse options for Lima vacations and book your trip!