The best districts to live in Lima for an exchange student
Lima is a modern and very large city with a lot of activities to offer. Depending on what kind of experience you are looking for and how close you would like to live from your future university, we recommend you to read our selection of the best districts to live for your exchange semester in Lima, Peru.
Miraflores is the most cosmopolitan district to live in Lima and the most popular among exchange students. There are many parks if you would like to exercise or organize a picnic with friends. You can also enjoy a beautiful view of the sea while walking or jogging nearby the boardwalk. There are also quite a good number of surfing beaches, and a lot of exchange students choose to live here only because they want to surf daily for the entire semester. Additionally, Miraflores has the best bike path in the city so you can ride your bike without any problem.
In general, this district is very safe with police or municipality guards always patrolling around. Moreover, Miraflores has a lot of nightlife and it is the place where most exchange students party. You will find the best bars and clubs, and always something fun to do.
Barranco is the most bohemian and artistic district of Lima and the place for exchange students looking for that unique vibe. It has several museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), the Mario Testino Museum (MATE), and the Pedro de Osma Museum. Many talented urban artists have place their art in many murals around this district.
Barranco still conserves the traditional colonial houses of Lima, and you will find really nice restaurants and coffee shops with nice views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Locals living in this district tend to be more laid-back.
Moreover if you like the nightlife, here you have the most hipster bars in the city.
San Isidro is the safest and one of the quietest (if you live in the residential area) districts in the city. It has a lot of business areas and modern buildings. The main companies of Peru are located here.
You also have a beautiful park called El Olivar where you can relax and take nice photos. A lot of houses around this park have English architecture influence.
San Isidro is neighbor with Miraflores and it is ideal for Universidad del Pacifico exchange students, and if you are a USIL or ULIMA student you can considered living in lower San Isidro (Corpac) so you can be in between your university and Miraflores.
A very traditional district with popular markets and local restaurants, Lince borders with San Isidro and that’s why it is ideal for Universidad del Pacífico and UPC Campus San Isidro exchange students. This district is also close to Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya and a good option for PUCP students that wants to live in between Miraflores and PUCP. Price of the bedrooms are cheaper than the neighbor districts.
Lince offers a mix of the popular Peruvian culture with the modern style of neighbor San Isidro. You will sometimes feel that you are taken back to the Lima of the eighties; plenty of fruit and food markets, and the famous bodega (popular small grocery stores) from the street corner where you end up becoming good friends with the owner.
La Molina is home for the universities of USIL and Agraria. It is also in close vicinity to USMP if you will study in Campus Santa Anita. If you like to be in an area further away from the city center, but at the same time quiet and with good weather, La Molina is your district. It has many green areas and you can buy natural and organic products in the Agraria University’s food fair.
Surco is one of the largest districts of Lima and home of several universities such as UPC, ESAN, and University of Lima. If you want to live close to your university and meet more local students, this will be the ideal place to live.
In Surco you will find many spots to spend time with your friends. Some of them are the shopping centers of Jockey Plaza or El Polo. Another one is the beautiful park “Parque de La Loma Amarilla”.
Magdalena is a coastal district and centrally located. It is mostly traditional and residential, and the price of bedrooms is fairly priced.
Magdalena is close to Universidad del Pacifico, UPC Campus San Isidro and Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya. It is also a good choice for PUCP exchange students; somehow close to your Uni, and on the way for an easy commute towards Miraflores where most of the social life happens.
Jesús María is a very central district and it is close to the historic center of Lima. It is along with Lince the cheapest district on the list, but still somehow close to Miraflores and San Isidro.
Jesus Maria is home of Universidad del Pacífico and in recent years a lot of residential buildings have been build so the outlook in some parts of Jesus Maria looks modern rather than traditional as it is known. Part of these new constructions is the shopping center Real Plaza Salaverry, where many students visit to get some coffee, eat at restaurants of hang out with friends.
*photos by @lacamaradescarlet