The perfect one day in Lima Peru itinerary, With a population of almost 11 million people Lima, the capital of Peru, is the second-largest city in the Americas. There are endless things while you spend your day in Lima. Explore the bright, vibrant city of Lima for one day during your visit to Peru.
The city is also home to the largest airport in Peru, serving as a stopover for those traveling to Machu Picchu or inland other towns throughout the country. I recommend including at least one day or two in Lima during your visit to this incredible country.
The Perfect One Day Lima Peru Itinerary
This one day guide to Lima will provide you all you need to know, including where to eat, where to stay, and the best attractions for your adventure!
How to Get to Lima
Lima has one major airport, Jorge Chavez International Airport. It was bustling at 9:30 p.m. like you would expect to see at 7:00 a.m. back in the states, so expect to spend some time after that landing. When we arrived in Peru- it was late, it was dark, and we’d been traveling for over 14 hours. Fortunately for me, I had slept the entire flight like I do most flights, so I was awake and ready to take on this new city!
When we landed in Lima, the airport was PACKED despite the late arrival. We navigated our way through the mass (it was more like a sea of sweaty humans) to find a cab. Cab drivers approached us as several men screaming TAXI saw us leave baggage claim. My travel partner spoke about three words of Spanish– but he resembles someone of Latin American descent. so when I responded in broken but decent Spanish, they answered me in Spanish, but it was directed at Logan as they completely ignored me, despite his attempt at “no hablo Espanol.”
The whole interaction was frustrating and humorous at the same time. Eventually, we “bargained a deal” (we got hosed), and we were loading our backpacks into the cab to check-in at our Airbnb in Miraflores (along with a Swedish backpacker hitching a taxi with us).
You can either take a taxi or rent a car from the airport. If you are planning on road-tripping, I would recommend renting a car. We had one day in Lima, so we decided to take a taxi to and from the airport for our Cusco flight. To get around the city, we mostly walked but used the occasional Uber or Lyft for longer distances.
Take it from a couple of travelers that learned the hard way- DO NOT pay more than 50 soles for a cab from the airport; I’m not even going to tell you how much we paid because it will just upset me. Thank goodness we had an incredible Airbnb waiting for us to do some cheering up 🙂
Where to Stay in Lima
There are several neighborhood options for you to stay. We chose to stay in the popular Miraflores neighborhood, located along the ocean shoreline. The area is about a 45-minute drive from the airport and offers beautiful parks and vistas to walk around. There are also plenty of cafes, museums, restaurants, and shopping areas.
Where to Eat in Lima
Pan de la Chola
Starting my morning with coffee is a must, so the first stop of the day is almost always somewhere with coffee. This adorable shop was a perfect first stop to fuel up for the day. From tasty treats to savory sandwiches, Miraflore’s best panaderia did not disappoint.
Get anything with avocado- you can’t go wrong. I’m pretty sure the avocados in Peru are all magical. The sandwich slices of bread are baked from locally grown grains like kiwicha and my personal favorite- quinoa! I had this sugary, soft croissant pastry and a Peruvian latte (I also sampled off my friend’s plates). Everything I had was delicious.
Barranco was my favorite district for many reasons, and the food was just one of them. Amoramar has an outdoor bar and dining area with a mix of Peruvian and Mediterranean dishes (yes, they have Ceviche and pisco sours).
Dine like royalty, for an affordable price. It’s a little on the fancier side, so I wouldn’t recommend showing up in your yoga pants (even though you’ll eat so much you’ll wish you had). We went family style- and just ordered a ton of random dishes to pass around the table so everyone could try a little bit of everything. In the order in which we ate them, check out all the deliciousness we ate.
Things to do in Lima Peru
This six-mile stretch of parks winds you along the coastline with breathtaking views the entire way. The parks are so pretty, and the fitness vibes of the city are abundant along here, including paved running and biking paths surrounded by beautiful flower gardens and built-in workout equipment.
As we passed through the Parque del Amor, I’m unsure what I liked more, the colorful mosaic walls or the romantic love quotes they were covered in. Locals were in the park working out, walking their dogs, or just enjoying the day. There was even a local soccer game we stopped to watch as we made our way to the lighthouse.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
The Lima Contemporary Art Museum is worth a visit if you have some extra time. The museum has a handful of exhibits by local artists, and we were able to see them all within less than 2 hours. The art gallery is located in the Palacio de la Exposición and includes ceramics, textiles, and immersive exhibits above. The museum is operated by a private organization, supported by admission fees, contributions from members, and private donations.
Above Angle 1
Same Art Piece – Different Angles
Below Angle 2
Catch a Coastline Sunset
After you wrap up your day in Lima, you can walk down to the water to watch the sunset. There’s no wrong spot along the coast to manage the day to come to an end.
The contemporary museum looks so interesting! And the view of the hotel is divine 🙂 Saving this to use later thank you 🙂
I love contemporary museums. The artwork is open to so many interpretations in their uniquness. I’m glad you liked the article, thanks for saving it!
This made me so nostalgic! I took a trip to Lima in 2018 and loved it. I think it’s funny that the coastline had that exact same overcast weather that I remember during my trip. It looks like totally clear, cloudless days are pretty rare in Lima. I did a lot of the same activities you did, but never made it to the Contemporary Art Museum. I’d love to check that out next time I’m there!
We stayed there our 1st and last night and both times the coastline was overcast/grey 😂 so I agree about the sun! Contemporary art museums are always on my list of things to do when I travel somewhere new. I highly recommend checking them out along your travels 💜
Loved the pics of Parque del Amor, what a cool road trip. Love museums so Lima Contemporary Art Museum would surely feature in my list. Gorgeous sunset capture. Thanks for this wonderful itinerary, saving it.
Thank you! I love contemporary art museums so I try to visit them everywhere we travel. My fiance and travel buddies aren’t always as gung-ho about it but they always end up liking them 🤗💜
Sounds like you packed loads into your one day in Lima. I feel you with the taxi fare from the airport – it’s so hard to know if you’re being ripped off or not when you first arrive in a new country! But, know you’ve got a good story to tell and some knowledge to pass on.
That’s a good way to look at it 🤗 it is hard when you first arrive to somewhere new because you don’t know what to expect 😂
I loved Lima and I too chose to stay in Miraflores. Beautiful sunsets, Don’t worry about being ripped off by the taxi driver – it happens to everyone, however experienced a traveller you are but I understand your frustration. That’s why I tend to stick to public transport whenever possible. I didn’t get a chance to visit any of the art exhibitions and I had more time in Lima than you, wish I had though.
If a destination has a contemporary art museum I almost always go haha they are my favorite type! Also – glad I am not the only one getting ripped off as odd as that sounds 😂😂
This city looks facinating and I do like the look of that Pan de la Chola. Yum!
We were very sad to miss Peru this year when our cruise ship was turned away at Lima for our last port stop. We planned to spend 4 days in Lima. We planned to use Uber for most of our longer trips around Lima but planned to walk where we could in the Miraflores area. I am sure sorry we missed all that great food.
One day doesn’t seem like enough! So many amazing things to do. I’m not normally an art person but I love the image of the bricks. Of course, no trip is complete without the coast!
It wasn’t! Two would be better if you have the extra time (does anyone ever though?) hah
Peru is top of my bucket list – thanks for your recommendations these will definitely come in useful!
Alright I know I should pretend to be all cultured and talk about all the awesome things there are to do in Lima. But that crossaint-ish pastry caught my attention, and then I started thinking about quinoa-based baked goods. And I need to try an avocado in Peru, obviously. I travel with my stomach it seems.
Hahahahah this is one of my favorite comments ever. Every time I see that delicious sugary goodness of a picture everything else fades away- so I get it 😉
Your one day in Lima, Peru looks wonderful and one day I would hopefully visit Peru. Peru is in my bucket list and your tips on Lima are very useful to me. Saving your post.
Thanks girl! I’m glad you found it helpful!
This brought back memories! I once had to spend seven hours in the airport in Lima. It was absolutely heaving and there was no where to sit. I should have ventured out into the city as you did, but I was completely by myself and worried about getting lost/reports of crime. It looks like a fascinating city so I clearly missed out. Would love to stroll around El Malecon and check out those mosaic walls. And by the way, I also fell into the trap of vastly overpaying for a taxi from the airport in Cusco!
You’re amazing for solo traveling. Lima was one of the safest cities in SA I’ve been to, so no worries for next time. Plus now we BOTH will remember the taxi tricks 🤣
Great photos and itinerary. Certainly helped add some stops on my trip to Lima.
This brought back memories from my visit to Lima back in 2017. I was surprised by how good the food was & it’s true, you really did pack a lot in to 24 hours! I headed to the main square & was lucky to catch the fascinating parade of changing of the guards at the presidents house. It was a huge performance with lots of bands & marching & the president even came out to get involved. I would have imagined he had more important things to do, but apparently not!
I’ve never thought of Peru as a culinary destiantion before … I don’t know why. But it looks like Lima has plenty of delicious food to get my teeth into. I’d love to start my day with a coffee and one of those sugary buns, I’ve never been much of a breakfast person, but you need a little something in your stomach before the first spark of caffeine hits it!
The right approach when you get hosed! You’ve just got to chalk it up to experience and move on. These things happen and are the price we sometimes have to pay for independent travel.