With all its splendid architectural attractions, Lima Centro might well be expected to have a more tourist-focused vibe than it does. In reality, though, the neighbourhood is very much a centre of Limeños’ daily life. The main axis is formed by the parallel streets – Jirón de la Unión and Jirón V Carabaya – connecting the grand squares of the Plaza San Martín and Plaza Mayor. Here the roads are narrow and busy, bringing together many of the city’s office workers with street workers and slightly downmarket shops. There are many fine buildings from the colonial and Republican eras, overhung with ornate balconies, yet apart from a few – notably the Presidential Palace and Torre Tagle – these are in a poor state of repair. To the north you’ll find the slightly run down, but fascinating Rimac suburb, home to the city’s bullring. South of the two main plazas, some lavish parks and galleries are within walking distance.

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