The 10 Best Museums in Lima

Lima, the vibrant capital of Peru, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and art. As you wander through its bustling streets, the city’s rich tapestry unfolds in the form of its world-class museums. Each one tells a unique story, offering a glimpse into the past and present of this fascinating metropolis. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that are a must-visit for anyone looking to soak up some culture in Lima.

Museo Larco: A Journey Through Ancient Peru

Imagine stepping into a colonial mansion surrounded by stunning gardens, only to find it brimming with pre-Columbian artifacts. That’s the Museo Larco for you. It’s home to an extensive collection of over 45,000 pieces, including some of the finest examples of textile work and the famous erotic pottery collection. The museum’s display of gold and silver work from ancient Peru is simply breathtaking.

Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI): A Canvas of Peruvian Art

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The Museo de Arte de Lima, affectionately known as Mali, showcases a vast array of works spanning 3,000 years. From pre-Columbian sculptures to contemporary exhibitions, MALI has it all. The colonial building itself is a piece of art, and the museum’s commitment to Peruvian artists makes it a beacon of national pride.

Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú: The Storyteller

As the oldest state museum in Peru, this institution is a storyteller of the country’s rich history. Its galleries are filled with artifacts from Peru’s diverse cultures, including the Inca Empire and the independence period. The museum’s highlight is the Tello Obelisk, an engraved monolith from the ancient site of Chavín.

MATE – Museo Mario Testino: A Modern Touch

For a contemporary twist, MATE – Museo Mario Testino is a must-visit. Founded by the renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino, it’s a hub for modern art lovers. The museum not only features Testino’s iconic photography but also promotes emerging Peruvian artists.

Museo de la Nación: The Cultural Epicenter

The Museo de la Nación might not be the flashiest, but it’s the heart of Peru’s cultural identity. With exhibits that span from ancient civilizations to the internal conflict of the late 20th century, it offers a comprehensive overview of Peru’s multifaceted history.

Museo Pedro de Osma: A Colonial Gem

Set in a beautiful colonial house in Barranco, the Museo Pedro de Osma exhibits Peruvian art from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The collection includes paintings, silverware, and furniture, offering a glimpse into the lifestyle of the colonial elite.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC): The Avant-Garde Space

Located in Barranco, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo is Lima’s go-to spot for avant-garde art. Its exhibitions are constantly changing, featuring both national and international contemporary artists. The museum’s architecture, with its clean lines and open spaces, is a work of art in itself.

Museo Amano: A Textile Treasure

The Museo Amano is a hidden gem dedicated to Peruvian textiles. Founded by Japanese businessman Yoshitaro Amano, the museum houses an exquisite collection of pre-Columbian textiles that are beautifully preserved. It’s a testament to the intricate craftsmanship of ancient Peruvian cultures.

Museo de Oro del Perú: The Golden Legacy

For those with a fascination for the glimmer of gold, the Museo de Oro del Perú is like stepping into a treasure chest. The museum showcases a dazzling collection of gold artifacts from various pre-Hispanic cultures, along with an impressive array of weapons from around the world.

Museo Nacional de la Cultura Peruana: The Cultural Mosaic

Last but not least, the Museo Nacional de la Cultura Peruana presents a colorful mosaic of Peru’s diverse cultural heritage. From Amazonian tribal artifacts to Andean textiles, the museum celebrates the country’s rich cultural tapestry.


  • What are the opening hours for the Museo Larco?

    The Museo Larco is open every day from 9 AM to 10 PM, allowing visitors to explore ancient Peruvian artifacts at their leisure.

  • Can I purchase art at MATE – Museo Mario Testino?

    While the museum itself does not sell artwork, it often features exhibitions where you can buy prints or books related to Mario Testino’s work and featured artists.

  • Is photography allowed in the museums?

    Photography policies vary by museum. Some allow non-flash photography, while others may restrict it in certain exhibits or altogether. It’s best to check with each museum before your visit.


In conclusion, Lima’s museums are a testament to the city’s rich cultural landscape. From the ancient relics at Museo Larco to the contemporary showcases at MAC, there’s a museum in Lima to satisfy every type of art and history enthusiast. These institutions not only preserve the past but also inspire the future, making them essential stops on any Lima itinerary. So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious local, make sure to immerse yourself in the stories these top 10 museums have to tell. They’re sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for Peru’s artistic and historical legacy.

Kurby Team

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