During the colonial era, Lima was one of the most important cities in South America. This hub of trade and Catholicism was the capital of the largest Spanish Viceroyalty in the region, and the main square—Plaza de Armas—was the epicenter of it all. To this day, the plaza houses the Government Palace (official workplace and residence of Peru's president), the cathedral (built during the 17th century, and home to a rich collection valuable artwork), and the Municipal Palace. The space is also ringed by a series of private colonial buildings with intricately carved wooden balconies. Behind the Municipal Palace, you'll find a small but charming pedestrian street filled with small cafes, perfect for a taking a break with some tapas and beer. Heading south from the main square, you'll reach Jirón de la Unión, a long and colorful pedestrian street filled with street performers, shops, and inspiring architecture.