For those who are planning their next vacation to Peru, we highly recommend visiting the beautiful city of Cusco. Well, this destination will not only leave you wanting more, but it will also take you a few days to fully explore it. This incredible destination is a mandatory stop for those looking to tour the Inca archaeological complex. And to have an optimal experience, the ideal is to rest a few days in the city to better acclimatize. Therefore, together with Cusco Peru Travel, we have prepared a small article for when you decide to visit the Imperial City. We will show you the best things to do in Cusco.
Inside the Imperial City, you’ll find endless activities to occupy yourself while learning about the local culture. From visits to museums, cathedrals, archaeological ruins, and other sites of interest. There are so many things to do in Cusco that it is better to think about enjoying a few days in the city. Here’s a little glimpse of everything you can do inside the Imperial City.
Some of the greatest things to do in Cusco
- Take a stroll in the Plaza de Armas
- Visit the San Pedro market
- Try the Andean cuisine
- Enjoy the nightlife
- Explore Sacsayhuaman
- Relax in San Blas
TAKE A STROLL IN THE PLAZA DE ARMAS
First of all, you have to visit the famous cultural center of the city. Before the Spanish invasion, the Plaza de Armas was already an important administrative center for the Inca Empire. Today, it is one of the main attractions of Cusco. It is where most tourists and locals take a break and enjoy the outdoors. It is also usually the starting point for the different guided tours of the city. Along the square, you will find different bars, restaurants, and cafes where you can spend the afternoon and enjoy a spectacular view of the city. In the center, there is a very well-kept garden and it is in the square where most of the public events take place.
If you are on a tight budget, spending a sunny afternoon on the banks is a perfect excuse to meet new people or simply marvel at the simplicity of things. Around you will also find a great number of historical Cusco’s buildings. Such as beautiful cathedrals and churches to explore and visit. A place that you cannot miss within the city.
VISIT THE SAN PEDRO MARKET
Very close to the Plaza de Armas, you can enjoy one of the largest and busiest markets within the Imperial City. We refer to the popular San Pedro Market. Being able to explore this busy market is a perfect opportunity to meet the tastes of the locals and marvel at all that they have to offer. Inside you will find fruit stalls, clothing, souvenirs, and everything you can imagine.
It is a place that is as colorful as it is noisy. A great variety of stimuli and smells will invade your senses. We advise you to try to haggle with the sellers. Although in other countries you do not find bargaining as something common, in Cusco it is usually a fun game. Don’t be ashamed and always fight for a better price. Among all the tourist attractions in Cusco, this market occupies an important place. And for this alone, it is a must-see for any foreigner. If you are hungry, you can also take advantage of the many food stalls that you will find. It is a great way to taste the traditional cuisine of the Andean country.
TRY THE ANDEAN CUISINE
One of the best things to do in Cusco is to try the famous and renowned Peruvian cuisine. And in the Imperial City, you can take the opportunity to try different traditional dishes. It is true that Peruvian food changes depending on the region you are in, but from Cusco, you can expect delicacies. You will find many restaurants in Cusco Peru that are worth knowing. Although you don’t need to go to fancy international restaurants to get a taste of what the city has to offer.
You will find the characteristic Andean flavor throughout the entire city. There are many places with personal touches and even general dining rooms where you can eat a menu at a very affordable price. There are also many Peruvian cooking courses for those interested when you return home to show off your new skills. Places like the ChocoMuseo are perfect to enjoy classes and workshops where you can learn a little about local techniques.
ENJOY THE NIGHTLIFE
Cusco is a city with very active nightlife. You know, not everything is guided tours and museums. The Cusco nightlife is quite an experience in itself. During the night, the city takes on different colors and both tourists and locals come together to have fun. You can enjoy the many bars and clubs in the Imperial City and get to know the other side of the city. With different approaches and for all types of public, nightclubs in Cusco are an excellent opportunity to relax with friends and dance for a while. If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you’ll find bars with balconies offering spectacular views of the city. If you were wondering if Cusco is safe to travel, the answer is yes. Even at night, you don’t have to worry as long as you keep an eye on your belongings.
The fortified complex is one of the most unmissable places in Peru. Before embarking on the mystical journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu, make sure you know this site. To get to the well-known complex, you have a 45-minute walk from the city center or much less if you go by bus. This ancient Inca ceremonial fortress was built in the 15th century. According to historians, the place had a religious and military function. The construction of its walls is a great mystery to this day since it has stone blocks that weigh up to 300 tons each. Being able to visit the place is an incredible experience due to the varied and beautiful views that you will have at your disposal.
The exact architectural technique used for construction is not known, but it is quite a marvel to behold. With their titanic walls, they form one of the greatest wonders to explore. If you were looking for things to do in Cusco, this is definitely one of them. Make sure to include this site in the different tours in Peru.
RELAX IN SAN BLAS
Strolling through the San Blas district is one of the best things to do in Cusco. The magical neighborhood of San Blas is a place apart from the city. This resort is full of young travelers looking to have a good time. This unique place is located on the hill of the Plaza de Armas. It is a popular tourist center for locals and newcomers. You will find many vegetarian restaurants, art workshops, and much more. Its characteristic steep and cobbled streets will leave you enchanted. And the different stalls and art shops are a fascinating attraction where you can buy souvenirs. It also has a beautiful Plaza that turns into a market where you can buy everything on Saturdays.
As if this were not enough, there is also the church of San Blas, which has a private altar to contemplate. If you plan to visit Cusco, you have to walk and get to know this emblematic place.
“DO THINGS THAT FEED YOUR SOUL, NOT YOUR EGO AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY.”
In conclusion, you can do a lot within Cusco. Therefore, before embarking on your adventure to Machu Picchu, we recommend spending a few days here. In addition to that, it is always strongly recommended to take the first few days to acclimatize to the altitude. And even if you don’t have much time on your side, there are incredible one-day guided tours! It’s just a matter of getting organized. These examples are just a small glimpse of the things to do in Cusco. We hope together with Cusco Peru Travel to have been of help. Remember to consult with our advisors in case you have doubts. We’re looking forward to your visit!