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Discovering Cusco: 5 Exciting Things to Do in the Heart of Peru

There's no way around Cusco when visiting Peru. The city is located in the heart of Peru and amid all the essential sightseeing spots of the country, making it the ideal domicile for everyone. Besides being the perfect location, it's the perfect blend of being tourist-friendly but keeping its authenticity.

My humble self fell in love with Cusco, and I couldn't imagine a better place to stay in Peru to explore its surroundings. I spent two fulfilling weeks in Cusco and explored the city to its fullest.

This blog post includes five of my favorite things to do in Cusco.

Table Of Contents:

Things to Do in Cusco

Why Should You Stay in Cusco for a While?

Before I introduce you to my favorite things to do in Cusco, I want to explain why staying in Cusco for at least three days is highly recommended.

It's the altitude plus your body needs to acclimate.

Your body is not used to being above 3,000 meters above sea level, and you can get sick of it. Headache, shortness of breath, and nausea are the most common symptoms. Going on a trip as soon as you arrive is a bad idea. Please do your body and health a favor and give it time to adjust to the thin air.

The good news is that Cusco has to offer enough low-activity things to do while you need to acclimate.

Exploring Cusco's Historic Center is a Must Thing to Do

Although Cusco is a well-visited city and has adjusted to the tourist's needs it still keeps its Peruvian flair. Walking around the historic center in Cusco and exploring every corner of this charming corner was one of my favorite things to do.

Mark the sights on your map and start walking. It's a great way to explore the town and to get a feel for Peruvian daily life. A good orientation point is Plaza de Armas, the city's meeting point and main venue.

🤫 At the end of this blog post, I've embedded a map of all my favorite sights.

Is Cusco Safe for (Female) Travelers?

If you're female and were thinking about safety while reading about walking through Cusco's historic center, then here's the answer to the question: Yes! Walking around Cusco as a female traveler is very safe. I walked around the city what felt like a thousand times. Sometimes alone and at night in almost every corner of Cusco, and never had a negative experience.

San Pedro Market - A Local Experience in Cusco

I love markets of every size and visit them in almost every place I am. It's an authentic place where locals do their groceries and the perfect opportunity for tourists to buy fresh veggies and fruits for upcoming day trips or observe daily life.

San Pedro is located not too far from Plaza de Armas only 10 minutes on foot. Once you've arrived at the market, the juice ladies will call you over to have freshly made juice. Create your own mixture, sit, and enjoy the vitamin bomb.

The mixture of banana, mango, and passionfruit/maracuya is my personal favorite. 🫶🏽

Take your time and stroll through each compartment and maybe you'll find souvenirs for your friends and family. The market was also my go-to place for buying fruits and veggies as a snack for upcoming tours (unfortunately, it's very hard to find something fresh in the stores).

Stroll Through the Artistic Charm of San Blas

Another area I recommend visiting is a neighborhood within the city of Cusco. San Blas is known for its narrow streets, colonial architecture, and artistic community.

San Blas is considered being the "artisan quarter" because of the many small boutiques and galeries, where local artists and craftsmen create and sell their works.

The neighborhood is located not too far from Plaza de Armas but you need good lungs to walk up the neighborhood.

☕️ After exploring San Blas, I highly recommend adding a coffee stop at L'atelier Café Concept.

San Blas Cusco

Culinary Delights in Cusco: Indulge in Delicious Peruvian (and Vegetarian!) Cuisine

Besides offering one of the most beautiful sights in the world, Peru is also known for its outstanding and delicious cuisine. Good news that Cusco is home to many exquisite restaurants. The even better news is that many of them offer vegetarian options!

Read here more about my favorite vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Cusco to try. 😋

Peruvian Food

Cusco Culinary Adventure: Join a Peruvian Cooking Class

Are you a passionate cook? Would like to expand your cooking spectrum with Peruvian dishes? Then I recommend attending a Peruvian cooking class.

Mostly all tours start with buying your ingredients at the local market San Pedro. Afterward you'll prepare your dishes step-by-step with the help of the cook. A three course meal will await you (starter, main, and desert) which will take around three hours to prepare. Before the big meal starts there is an additional small cocktail course where you learn hot to mix the famous local cocktail: Pisco Sour.

In the end, enjoyment is the top priority. Together, with the other participants, you relish in your self-cooked meals and having a good time together.

Sounds fun? Here's a high-rated cooking class that offers vegetarian meals as well.


Yes, Cusco is a fun and diverse city with many things to do. I mean, I expected less in a place that's located 3,400 meters above sea level.

What I loved about Cusco was to experience how Peruvians live, what traditions they have, and how different the culture was in comparison to others. It was very authentic and interesting to see how the earlier indigenous tribes still have their influence on the culture of the colonized inhabitants of today.

You made it to the end, and as promised here a map of all sightseeing spots in Cusco that are worth to visit:

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