Press ESC to close

Cusco's 14 Best Tourist Spots

Discover Cusco: A Guide to the Top Attractions

Cusco, once the heart of the Inca Empire, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its blend of Inca foundations and Spanish colonial architecture has withstood numerous earthquakes, preserving its rich history. While many visitors pass through Cusco on their way to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, the city itself offers a wealth of attractions worth exploring, particularly around the Plaza de Armas.

For a quieter experience, the San Blas district's cobbled streets offer local shops and restaurants with stunning city views. To ensure you see the best of Cusco, consider this curated list of top attractions.

1. Santo Domingo and Coricancha

The courtyard and tower of Santo Domingo in Cusco

The Santo Domingo church, built atop the Inca's Coricancha or Temple of the Sun, showcases the enduring Inca stonework that has survived several earthquakes. The site, once adorned with gold, now features a museum with artifacts from the region's history.

2. Sacsayhuaman


This impressive ruin, believed to have military and religious significance, is known for its colossal stones and intricate construction. Only a fraction of the original structure remains, yet it continues to amaze visitors and experts alike.

3. Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

The central square of Cusco, surrounded by historical buildings and colonial arcades, is a hub of activity and a perfect spot to soak in the city's atmosphere, especially at night when it's beautifully illuminated.

4. Inca Walls

12-sided Inca Stone in Cusco

The ancient Inca Walls, particularly along Loreto and Hatunrumiyoc streets, are a testament to the Inca's architectural prowess, with the famous 12-sided stone being a highlight.

5. Cathedral


The Renaissance-style cathedral, built on an Inca palace site, houses a significant collection of the Cusco School's paintings, including a unique rendition of The Last Supper featuring a guinea pig.

6. Museo Inka

Museo Inka

Housed in a 16th-century Spanish Admiral's House, Museo Inka displays a vast collection of Inca artifacts, including ceramics, textiles, and mummies, offering insights into the Inca civilization.

7. Museo Casa Concha

Pre-Columbian pottery

Home to artifacts returned from Yale University, Museo Casa Concha presents an extensive collection from Machu Picchu, complemented by interactive displays and historical insights.

8. La Compania

La Compania

La Compania, a Jesuit church with a lavish Baroque façade, stands on the foundations of an Inca palace and is known for its ornate gold altarpiece.

9. Museo de Arte Precolombino

Museo de Arte Precolombino

This museum showcases a selection of pre-Columbian art from various ancient cultures, housed in the mansion of a Spanish conqueror.

10. La Merced

La Merced

La Merced, a Baroque church and convent, is known for its gold monstrance with precious stones and a giant pearl, as well as its beautiful two-story cloister.

11. San Blas

San Blas

The artisan neighborhood of San Blas offers a charming market, art galleries, and an adobe church with a remarkable pulpit carved from a single tree.

12. Qenqo

Ruins at Qenqo

Qenqo, a mysterious site carved from a single rock, features underground chambers and channels whose purpose remains a topic of speculation.

13. San Francisco Church and Monastery

San Francisco Church and Monastery

The San Francisco Church and Monastery, known for its cedar choir and colonial art, also has crypts with human bones arranged in patterns.

14. San Pedro Market

Souvenirs at San Pedro Market

San Pedro Market is a vibrant spot to experience local life, offering a variety of foods, crafts, and souvenirs.

Where to Stay in Cusco for Sightseeing

For a comfortable stay in Cusco, consider these highly recommended accommodations:

  • Belmond Palacio Nazarenas: A 5-star luxury hotel with oxygen-enriched suites and deluxe amenities.
  • Antigua Casona San Blas: A mid-range boutique hotel with colonial-style decor near Plaza de Armas.
  • Torre Dorada Cusco: An affordable option with a quiet location and shuttle service to the city center.
  • Tierra Viva Cusco Saphi: Budget-friendly with modern rooms and a tranquil setting.