Attractions and best restaurants in Cuzco
Cusco is the most visited city in Peru. Especially because it is the closest main city near the famous Machu Picchu and, therefore, the perfect starting point for walks and trips to the legendary city in ruins. Many tourists pass Cusco for this reason and do not plan much time for the city itself. The capital of the Inca empire has much more to offer. There are many places worth seeing and much to discover.
What to do in Cusco?
First stop: Cusco Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas is the central square that can be found in both the smallest and largest cities in Peru. He is the center of the city; either in Arequipa, in Lima or only in Cusco.
The Plaza de Armas in Cusco is known for being one of the most beautiful in Peru and, therefore, should be part of an experience in this place. Especially extraordinary and beautiful is that all the shops around the square are integrated into the image of the colonial architecture of the buildings. Even the McDonald’s store in the city is adapted to this historical style.
On the second level of the surrounding buildings, there are some bars and restaurants with small balconies. From there you can enjoy the view of the Plaza de Armas, where there is always something to do. Both during the day and at night, the city center is well attended and there are always small concerts, dance shows, and festivities. On December 24, there is even a small and romantic Christmas market, where local suppliers sell their different handicrafts.
You should also visit the cathedral located directly in the main plaza. Built between 1560 and 1668, the imposing church is a mixture of different architectural styles, such as Baroque and Renaissance. For only 13 soles per person, the cathedral can be visited daily from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Second stop: Temple of the Sun – Coricancha / Santo Domingo
Coricancha, or Qoricancha, was the most important temple in the entire Inca Empire. This was exposed by the earthquake in 1950 and is located in the mountains of the city. The Spanish built their church, Santo Domingo, directly in the well-preserved Inca Temple.
It is a really interesting place since the combination of the Spanish monastery and the ancient Inca Temple can be seen side by side. It is clear how the constructions of the Incas were incorporated into the structures of Spanish colonial buildings.
Third stop: Barrio San Blas
Probably the most beautiful place to stay and stay in Cusco is the San Blas artist district. There are many small places that invite you to relax. In the small and ornate streets, you can drift and take a walk. Although this neighbor is less touristy than the area around the main plaza, there are, of course, some cafes, restaurants, and hotels.
In addition, there are many handicrafts in small fashion stores and street vendors in the picturesque area. It is worth seeing the church, as well as some art galleries in the district just 10 minutes from downtown Cusco.
Restaurants in Cusco:
Green point restaurant
Calle Carmen Bajo 235, San Blas, Cusco 8001, Peru
The best vegan restaurant in Peru, and perhaps even beyond the country’s borders. This cozy restaurant with service and service offers pure vegan food.
At lunchtime, there is a menu for the unbeatable price of 10 soles. But the general menu also offers a wide selection of vegan dishes at fair prices. In the rustic atmosphere with murals and on the small rooftop terrace of the restaurant, you can convince yourself of food without any animal ingredients.
The Tuko restaurant
Tandapata Street 676, San Blas, Cusco, Peru
El Tuko is a very original rustic restaurant that serves Peruvian cuisine and pizza. At reasonable prices, you get here a delicious Peruvian menu with starters and desserts.
576 El Sol Avenue, Cusco, Perú
La Valeria is a cozy bakery cafeteria in a shabby chic style. Here you get delicious bread, croissants, muffins, cookies, as well as good coffee and delicious juices in a bright and pleasant atmosphere.