The 10 Best Museums in Lima

San Francisco monastery, central Lima, Peru
xeni4ka / Getty Images

From ancient cultures with advanced knowledge in architecture and agriculture, to a dark modern past that led to the rebirth of a nation, Peru’s history is as complex as the flavors found in a traditional criollo (creole) dish. To be exposed to knowledge of pre-Incan cultures, Colonialism, migration, and even terrorism in Peru can completely deepen and intensify a traveler’s experience in the Andean nation. Connect to Peru through its past and present by visiting the following museums in the country's capital city.

01 of 10

Museo de Arte de Lima (Lima Art Museum)

MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima

Courtesy of MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima

Address
Parque de la Exposición, Av. 9 de Diciembre 125, Cercado de Lima 15046, Peru
Phone +51 1 2040000

An anagram of "Lima," the MALI houses 3,000 years of Peruvian textiles, photography, paintings and more—and that’s just in its permanent collection. Navigate the rooms of the impressive Neo-Renaissance building to admire art from the pre-Colombian, Colonial, Republican, and Modern periods. With an on-site restaurant and gift shop, MALI can easily become a half-day adventure. It's located in Parque de la Exposición in downtown Lima,

02 of 10

Museo Textil Amano (Amano Textile Museum)

Museo Amano

Courtesy of Museo Amano

Address
Retiro 160, Miraflores 15073, Peru
Phone +51 1 4412909

Tucked away in Miraflores, just minutes from the malecón (coastal pathway), is Museo Textil Amano. What began in 1964 as the personal collection of Japanese businessman Yoshitaro Amano has become both an internationally recognized project of Peruvian textile preservation and a cooperative link between Peruvian and Japanese researchers. You can explore the 600-piece textile collection through informative panels, videos, and multimedia applications, though we recommend touring the museum with a guide.

03 of 10

Lugar de la Memoria (Place of Memory)

Lugar de la Memoria, la Tolerancia, y la Inclusión Social

Courtesy of Lugar de la Memoria, la Tolerancia, y la Inclusión Social

Address
Bajada, C. San Martin 151, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Phone +51 1 7192065

Spanning from 1980 to 2000, an internal conflict in Peru took tens of thousands of lives, forever changing the social and political landscape of Peru. Lugar de la Memoria (LUM) is an intense collection of documentation and investigation of the dark years of violence and uncertainty, providing a vital history lesson for everyone who enters. The museum overlooks the calm waters of the Pacific from the cliffside of Miraflores, as if encouraging visitors to ponder every text, audio clip, and video that accompanies their journey.

04 of 10

Casa de la Gastronomía Peruana (House of Peruvian Gastronomy)

Address
Jirón Conde de Superunda 170, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Food has become a powerful tool for Peru, not only boosting the economy but creating intercultural connections between visitors and locals. A few paces from the Plaza de Armas in the historic center of Lima, Casa de la Gastronomía peruana is a must for those who have traveled to Peru specifically for the nation’s renowned cuisine. The evolution of Peruvian gastronomy is displayed in 10 showrooms, which exhibit the distinctive flavors of each region, utensils and techniques used as far back as pre-Hispanic times, and the national grape liqueur pisco. Plus, you'll get to learn all about the country's traditional dishes, which just may inspire your lunch.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú (National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History)

Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú

Courtesy of Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú

Address
Plaza Bolivar, Pueblo Libre 15084, Peru
Phone +51 1 3215630

Established in 1826, the Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú (MNAAH) is itself a relic as it is considered Peru’s oldest museum. Located in Pueblo Libre, the museum boasts an incredibly broad collection of pre-Hispanic textiles, ceramics, metal, stone, and even human remains. The Lithic’s Department houses some 20,000 artifacts from all regions of Peru, including hunting instruments that date back to 12,000 B.C. Rich in quality and iconographic information, don’t miss the textiles from the Paracas collection.

06 of 10

Museo Pedro de Osma (Pedro de Osma Museum)

Museo Pedro de Osma

Courtesy of Museo Pedro de Osma

Address
Pedro de Osma 421, Barranco 15063, Peru
Phone +51 1 4670063

Tucked on the outskirts of Barranco, in a 115-year-old mansion with Art Noveau-stained glass windows, Museo Pedro de Osma exhibits the extensive personal collection of lawyer and politician Pedro de Osma y Pardo. Besides its charming architecture and gardens, the museum is most recognized for its collection of Cuzco School paintings, created by European and Indigenous painters active during the 16th to 18th Centuries. There is also furniture from the same time period displayed throughout the main house. Beyond the main building is a small gift shop as well as a collection of silver.

07 of 10

Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima (Saint Frances Monastery)

Church and Convent Of San Francisco, Lima, Peru
Markus Daniel / Getty Images
Address
Jirón Lampa, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
Phone +51 1 4267377

Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima has stood strong in downtown Lima since 1674 despite numerous earthquakes. But don’t be fooled by the buttery yellow façade—the church and convent have skeletons in their basement! Take a hair-raising tour down into the catacombs, where it is said some 25,000 bodies were laid to rest (a number which surely would have been greater had Lima not built its first cemetery in 1808). Suffer from claustrophobia? Stick to the convent’s ground-level library, which features notable antique texts and paintings.

08 of 10

Museo del Pisco

Museo del Pisco - Lima

Courtesy of Museo del Pisco - Lima

Address
Jirón Junín 201, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
Phone +51 963 620 883

Is this a museum by definition? While the Museo del Pisco is more a bar than a classic museum, it does in fact store and exhibit objects of cultural interest, and patrons will walk away with a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Peru’s national spirit. An endless variety of pisco cocktails—infused with herbs, flowers, and fruits—are served by a knowledgeable bar staff who will gladly share a brief history of the drink as well as the distillation process. This "museum" is anything but dry.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Museo Larco (Larco Museum)

Museo Larco

Courtesy of Museo Larco

Address
Av. Simón Bolivar 1515, Pueblo Libre 15084, Peru
Phone +51 1 4611312

Located in the quaint and traditional Pueblo Libre district, Museo Larco displays an extensive collection of pre-Colombian art that spans over 5,000 years. The demure 18th-century vice-royal building is most known for its cheeky collection of ancient erotic pottery. When visiting this gateway to ancient Peru, make your way through the chronologically organized rooms that, in total, showcase over 45,000 artifacts. Afterwards, rest your eyes on the lush garden as you enjoy an exquisite lunch at the on-site restaurant.

10 of 10

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art)

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo - Lima

Courtesy of Museo de Arte Contemporáneo - Lima

Address
Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 1511, Barranco 15063, Peru
Phone +51 1 5146800

An acronym for Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, the MAC is appropriately located in Lima’s most creative and trendy district: Barranco. Exciting and fresh exhibits from modern and contemporary Latin American artists grace the walls of the museum’s three exhibition walls. The industrial architecture is surrounded by a large grassy area and pond that are open to the public, while an on-site cafe and restaurant serve artisanal beer, coffee, and healthy plates. 

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The Center for Justice & Accountability. "Peru." August 2021.

  2. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. "Historic Centre of Lima."

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The 10 Best Museums in Lima