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Plaza Mayor is a spacious square in the historic center that contains some of the most recognized attractions in Lima. The Government Palace takes up the entire north side of the plaza, while the Cathedral of Lima sits on the east. The area is known as the birthplace of Lima, such is the importance of its landmarks. There is a large fountain in the center of the square and multiple green areas and trees around the edges. It is a spacious pedestrian zone where travelers and locals go to learn about the city’s history and to get away from the hectic lifestyle around the city center.
Capture photos of the Government Palace with palm trees and the fountain in the foreground. Reserve a guided tour of the palace where the country’s president resides and the government converges. Watch the changing of the guards routine from the plaza. It takes place daily at noon.
Visit the majestic 16th-century Cathedral of Lima. Marvel at its baroque façade and twin towers. Gaze at the paintings inside and find the tomb of a Spanish conquistador. The church has many side entrances that lead to Plaza Mayor. Take a look at the Archbishop’s Palace of Lima next door to the cathedral. It has a gothic design with spikes and elaborate windows.
Enjoy a picnic with your family while deciding which attraction to see next. Stay until the evening to witness the fountain and the historical attractions bathed in warm lights. Gaze at the statue of the city’s founder, Francisco Pizarro, on horseback. You can also find many restaurants and shops in yellow, colonial buildings around the square.
The area is also known as the Plaza de Armas (The Plaza of Weapons). It was inaugurated in the early 16th century. Over the years, it has been used as a market, bull-fighting ring and as the city gallows.
You can find Plaza Mayor in the center of the city, just to the south of the Rimac River. It is a block south of the old Desamparados Station. You can also take the bus to Estación Jirón de la Unión and walk northeast for three blocks. In the surrounding area, there are other attractions, such as La Merced Church and Parque de la Muralla (Park of the Wall).
There's no place anywhere exactly like Plaza Mayor. To help you make the most of your time here, we've put together a list of the top things to do:
For more things to do, have a look at our Lima things to do page.
Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Huaca Pucllana Ruins and Kennedy Park are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Located in Cercado de Lima, this hostal is steps away from Jiron de La Union and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.
Located in Cercado de Lima, 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.
Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Church and Convent of San Francisco and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) away.
Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Pedro Church, Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Torre Tagle Palace and Jiron de La Union are also within 10 minutes. Miguel Grau Station is 26 minutes by foot.
Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Lima Art Museum and National Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in Cercado de Lima, this apartment building is steps away from Government Palace and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.
Located in Cercado de Lima, this hostel is within a 5-minute walk of Plaza de Armas de Lima, Government Palace and Cathedral of Lima. Church and Convent of San Francisco and Plaza San Martin are also within 15 minutes.