Museums in Lima | If you are coming to Lima, explore the most popular museums of Peru’s capital; the museums of Lima are the best way to discover the pre-hispanic, colonial and republican history of Lima, on top of that, visiting one of these galleries will help you to appreciate better the Peruvian history.
- 1. The most popular museums in Lima
- 2. Museums in the historic center of Lima
- 3. Free Museums of Lima
- 4. Frequently Asked Questions – FAQS
- 5. Book the most prominent FREE tour of Lima
1. The most popular museums in Lima
1.1 Museo del Oro—Gold and Weapons Museums
This museum has a collection of decorative metal pieces (mainly gold and silver), kitchen utensils, funeral masks, mummies (decorated with textiles and precious metals), weapons of war (swords, guns, rifles, carbines and Italian pistols), from the 14th century.
All the historical pieces with scientific interest are from different periods of Peruvian history (pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and republican), except for some of the weapons which brought from Europe.
This museum is located on the Jiron Alonso de Molina 1100, in Santiago de Surco district.
1.2 Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum
If you want to learn about the pre-hispanic history of Lima, the Larco Herrera Museum is your best option, because it has the largest collection of ceramics pieces in Peru, most of them are from pre-inca civilizations such as Chimu culture, Lambayeque culture and Mochica culture.
This museum is located on avenida Simón Bolivar 1515, in Pueblo Libre district.
1.3 Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History
If you want to learn about pre-Columbian history, colonial history and republican history from the 18th century, this museum is your best choice, it has an immense collection of 30,000 masterpieces from different historical periods in Peru.
The museum is located in a colonial palace known as La Quinta del Virrey Pezuela, located in Plaza Bolivar, in the Pueblo Libre district.
The Viceroy Pezuela, was one of the 40 regents that Peru had during the Spanish period, what’s more, this palace also was home to the founding fathers of the Republic of Peru: Don José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar.
1.4 Museum of Natural History of Lima—Kids friendly
History is not only made by men, but also by animals, if you are a fauna lover, this museum will enchant you because, it displays species from ancient Peru.
You will find whale skeletons, dissected animals with high resolutions and for your kids there are a lot of bone remains of dinosaurs; so if you have kids, bring them to this museum.
This museum is located on avenida Arenales 1256, in the district of Jesús María.
1.5 Museo de la Nación
The main function of this museum is to preserve the Peruvian Art, it has more than 15,000 archaeological, historical and ethnographic pieces from the pre-Hispanic, colonial and republican period.
This gallery is located on avenida Javier Prado Este 2465, in the district of San Borja.
2. Museums in the historic center of Lima
2.1 Lima Museum of Art
This museum is colloquially known as MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima), this gallery is the most popular after Larco museum, it’s visited by many tourists and local people, due to its immense collection of more than 17,000 Peruvian works of art from pre-Columbian, colonial and republican times, that represent more than 3000 years of Peruvian art history.
It is located on avenida Paseo Colon 125 (Parque de la Exposición), in Lima center (Cercado de Lima).
2.2 Museum of Italian Art
If you wish to learn about Italian art, you don’t have to travel far away, just visit the Arte Museum of Italy, located in a neo-Renaissance style building, unique in Latin America with a collection of masterpieces obtained directly from art galleries located in different regions in Italy, you will find images of Dante Alighieri, Leonardo Da Vinci, Saint Francis of Assisi, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.
It is located on avenida Paseo de la República 250, in Lima center.
2.3 Casa-museo José Carlos Mariátegui
This museum-house was home to the famous Peruvian politician and thinker: José Carlos, who spent his last five years in this republican house; he’s created in this house, the most famous socialist essay in Latin America known as the Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality in 1928.
This museum is located on avenida Washington 1946 , in Lima center.
2.4 Afro-Peruvian National Museum
You can learn about the black people of Peru, who were brought as slaves mainly from Angola during the colonial period; this museum has 9 rooms where you can see many info-graphics about how was the forced migration of black people into Peru, and the syncretism of their traditions with the Peruvian culture; in addition to this, you can also see shackles for hands and feet, clothing, etc.
This beautiful museum is located on jirón Ancash 542 , in Lima center.
3. Free Museums of Lima
The following list of museums are free only on the first Sunday of each month and applies only for Peruvians; it is a pity that this benefit is not also implemented for foreigners.
- Huallamarca On-site Museum.
- House of Peruvian Gastronomy.
- Arturo Jiménez Borja-Puruchuco On-site Museum.
- Museum of Italian Art.
- Lima Art Museum.
- Pachacámac On-site museum.
- Huaca Pucllana On-site Museum.
- National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History of Peru.
- National Museum of Peruvian Culture.
However, if you are a foreigner, don’t be discouraged, because the prices of the museums are super cheap in Lima, ranging from 3 to 10 Soles (1 to 3 USD).
4. Frequently Asked Questions – FAQS
4.1 What are the prices for the museums?
Don’t worry about the prices, most of the museums in Lima have very cheap prices, from 3 Soles to 10 Soles; however, the museums with the highest prices are:
- Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum
- General Admission ticket is 35 Soles—(11 USD)
- Adults over 60 years, pay 30 Soles—(9 USD)
- Students and kids under 17 yo, pay 17 Soles—(5 USD)
- Kids under 8 yo, have free access, regardless their nationality.
- Lima Museum of Art
- General Admission ticket for foreigners is 30 Soles—(9 USD)
- General Admission ticket for Peruvians is 15 Soles—(5 USD)
- Adults over 60 years old, students, teachers and people with disabilities, pay 5 Soles (2 USD)—Applies for Peruvians.
- Adults over 60 years old, students, teachers and people with disabilities, pay 15 Soles (5 USD)—Applies for foreigners.
- Kids under 5 yo have free access—regardless their nationality.
Note: You must bring local currency in cash for the payment
4.2 What are the operation hours?
Almost 90% of the museums are open from 10am to 6pm.
4.3 What is the best museum in Lima?
It depends in you travel interest, for example, if you love Peruvian pre-Hispanic history, we recommend the following museums: The Museum of Larco and the Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, anyone of thoses museums will make your day!
If you have kids, we suggest visiting the Museum of Natural History of Lima and the Magic Water Park; consider that the Magic Water Circuit is not necessarily a museum, but an entertainment attraction with lights, music and water.
4.4 Should I make a reservation in advance?
No, there is no need to book in advance, just go to your favorite museum, do always bring local currency and cash.
Note: If you are a teacher and have a considerable number of students, please you must book in advance.
4.5 Are the museums open every day?
No, most museums are open from Tuesday to Sunday, and what happens to Monday? we know that almost everything is closed on Sundays, as it is a holiday and due to this issue, 90% of the museums in Lima are open on Sundays; it is a decision of the Ministry of Culture so that the local or foreign visitors have open places to visit even on Sundays.
It would also be good, if you see the prices and details of each museum that you will visit beforehand, we know that, there are a few of them that open every day.
4.6 What are the best places for museums in Lima?
Lima is an immensely large city with almost 11 million inhabitants, however the best museums are located in the districts of Miraflores, Pueblo Libre, San Borja, Barranco and Lima historical center (cercado de Lima).
4.7 What days can I visit the museums of Lima for free?
The museums of Lima are Free, only the first Sunday of each month, and this benefit applies only for Peruvians.
5. Book the most prominent FREE tour of Lima
You can also join our free tours leaving from Miraflores or from Lima historic center, please book at Free Tour around Lima, we have guided tours in Spanish and English with certified and qualified guides, you can see our comments on Facebook, Instagram and Google.
Nota para peruanos: Los free tours por el momento son solamente para el turismo receptivo; sin embargo puedes realizar el city tour clásico del Lima colonial y moderna.