The centre of the old town is the Plaza de Armas, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its excellent restoration of many important government buildings, such as the Government Palace on the north of the square, where changing of the guard takes place at midday each day. The cathedral was restored in 1755 and despite this has retained its colonial façade, and next door the Archbishop’s Palace has a superb wooden balcony.
Some of Lima’s museums are worth of a visit, such as the National Museum, which traces the origins of the aboriginal races in the country. The Anthropological and Archaeological Museum also houses Inca artefacts and textiles, and the National History Museum has a collection of colonial and early republican paintings. The newly renovated Museo Larco is also known for its pre-Columbian exhibits.
The convents of Santo Domingo and San Francisco are both equally elegant, the latter with its eerie and intriguing catacombs adding a completely different dimension.