CULTURE VULTURE: Discover the city that makes museums cool

We all would love to say that we enjoy heading to a museum in a new city to learn about history and culture but let’s be real, not all of […]

We all would love to say that we enjoy heading to a museum in a new city to learn about history and culture but let’s be real, not all of us are cut out for the museum life.

Sure, being able to say you’ve explored a city’s most well-known museums sounds cool, but a lot of the time we just walk around aimlessly having no idea what we’re looking at and why we’re looking at it.

Well, prepare to have a new attitude about museum day because Lima has changed the game.

Learning about a destination’s history and culture doesn’t have to be boring; it’s part of the reason we travel so why not make it interesting?

Thanks to these four museums in Lima, travellers have the chance to immerse themselves in both traditional and modern cultural experiences while genuinely being entertained and interested at the same time.




@museomate / Instagram

In Barranco, the hip, bohemian quarter of Lima, is MATE Museo that highlights the work of world-renowned Peruvian fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino. With work featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and GQ, Mario is the man.

While fashion and portrait photography may not be everybody’s thing, the way in which Mario captures iconic figures such as Lady Gaga, Princes Diana, Kate Moss, and Blake Lively will captivate anyone.

Additionally, the ways in which these images are displayed in the museum make you feel like you’re in a movie theatre. While this is the more modern part of the museum, there is also a section honouring Peruvian heritage through the work of other artists whether its photography or contemporary art of Peruvian culture.

If looking around doesn’t sound intriguing enough, MATE offers a variety of guided tours, workshops, talks, and trainings to better educate yourself about modern art and photography.




Credit: Manuel Medir / PromPeru

Located in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima is Museo Larco, privately owned pre-Columbian art museum housed in an 18th-century royal building. Already sounds interesting doesn’t it?

Somehow this Museo Larco manages to demonstrate a span of 5,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history just through galleries. While many historical artefacts seem a bit dull, the artwork in Museo Larco leans towards the abstract side with a gallery of erotic ceramic figures and other ancient artefacts from Inca and Pre-Inca times.

If anything, walking through this museum will make you feel like your house decorations could use a bit of spicing up!

Once you’re done with your tour, head to the beautiful garden where you can enjoy the scenery and mouth-watering Peruvian food at their on-site restaurant.




Credit: Musuk Nolte / PromPeru

Every tourist-heavy city has to have its classic art museum and in Lima, it’s the MALI.

Right in the downtown area, MALI looks like a government building from the outside and has the largest collection of paintings, photography, artefacts, and pottery out of all museums in Lima.

Make sure you save yourself a few hours to check this one out because you’re going to need it.

The museum tailors to their widespread audience by separating the museum into four sections: pre-Columbian, Colonia, Republican, and Modern art. Whether the older stuff intrigues you or you’re more into the intricate, abstract collection, you’ll find a corner of MALI that will keep you interested longer than you expect. From the chequered-tile floors, to the interactive events and the gorgeous palace-like architecture and design, MALI is one of the most beautiful spots in Lima where you’ll learn to appreciate art in a whole new light.




Credit: Jose Orihuela / PromPeru

When we think of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we generally think of jaw-dropping destinations like Venice, Machu Picchu, or the Great Barrier Reef. Generally for a museum to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has to be something quite special like Vatican City. And yet, Lima has done it again.

The San Francisco Church Museum dates back to the 16th century and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

The museum is a depiction of how things were in Peru during the Spanish colonial times. This was a huge religious movement as well for the Peruvians and the museum provides an insight into what that was like through colonial architecture, vintage Spanish tiles, and baroque paintings. This is generally the part that fascinates visitors the most: underneath the church there are catacombs that are said to contain between 25,000 and 70,000 human remains all the way from the 18th century.  

To discover more amazing museums in Peru, visit the Peru tourism website here.