Located on the Atlantic coast Puerto RicoSan Juan is usually the first port to arrive when you arrive on the island. Being the largest city, it has a century-old history, vibrant neighborhoods and a bunch of the best things San San Juan can do all over town.
All of this makes it a favorite company to visit when in Puerto Rico. All this makes it a great place to start an adventure on the island or for a city vacation.
Honestly, the whole island of Puerto Rico is amazing, especially with everything wonderful places to see. You won’t miss it! That being said, if it’s the city vibe that interests you, then San Juan will be the place to be.
So, yes hit the ground, I wanted to share some epic places I should visit in San Juan while you explore the city.
Check out the best things you can do in San Juan below. I wish you an amazing trip!
1.) Old San Juan
For me, Old San Juan is the first place you must visit after arriving in town!
You see, here you can take a walk through Old San Juan and inquire about culture and history (which is amazing) one of the most prominent neighborhoods in Puerto Rico.
With centuries of history and colonial buildings dating back centuries, this place is perfect for history buffs or if you just love a chilled walk.
As you toss, you’ll be able to enter the Garrito del Diablo, the 16th-century city gate of Puerta de San Juan, and combine them with a visit to Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Enter the totally cool little bar Batey Bar. It is nothing special, but one of the oldest watering places in the city. Such a great experience.
If you get hungry, come in Manolin coffee for their Mofongo stuffed with shrimp.
Again, this is not the place to go for a fancy meal, but it has all the atmosphere and charm for a truly authentic lunch in the Old Town.
2.) Castillo San Felipe del Morro Castillo San Cristobal
Speaking of old San Juan, don’t forget to visit some of the oldest forts in America while you’re in town. Often called El Morro, Castillo San Felipe del Morro was supposed to be finished by Spanish decades ago.
Full of history and providing fantastic views, El Morro still remains one of the best things you can do in San Juan if you are for its history.
Yes, it’s probably one of the more popular (and sometimes busier) places in San Juan – but rightly so! The history is amazing to see.
Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Castillo San Cristobal. Yet to this day it is one of the largest fortifications Spain has ever built in the New World!
You may also notice some of the residential iguanas.
Located in the heart of San Juan, Santurce is a neighborhood you won’t want to miss while visiting the city.
It is an advanced art scene, surrounded by colorful frescoes, gourmet trucks, modern cafes and live music videos to launch!
Once in the area, explore the Museum of Art (MAPR) for their eighteen halls filled with thousands of works of art. If that’s not your thing, head to the streets around Calle Cerra where you’ll see piles of street art and frescoes.
Plus, you’ll have to call MUSA for a delicious lunch (and cocktails) – their blackened tuna is everything!
La Perla is a community today, but that was not always the case. For centuries, this was an area where slaves were forced to live (because they were not allowed to enter the city).
Today, the community is a vibrant mix of buildings and places to visit especially for the lookouts from the coast.
If you get hungry, be sure to come in Garita which has a delicious mofongo and an amazing view of the coast. Just keep in mind, you can wait a bit for the food to arrive!
As in all cities, use reasonable precautions when exploring the area. Although it is safe during the day, I would not recommend walking around this area alone at night.
Just a few steps from El Morro, you can find La Fortaleza – a place you can’t miss.
You see, this is a complex that houses the home and office of the Governor of Puerto Rico and which is wonderful to see. Painted in a beautiful blue color, the colonial building is under UNESCO protection and has been built over the last few centuries.
With heaps of history, this is the place for which you will need to book a guided tour. You see, you can’t just wander La Fortaleza, but you can jump into a guided work week that lasts about 30 minutes or so.
Just bring your ID with you, otherwise you won’t get in!
Located close to San Juan’s Old Town, Condado is a neighborhood that is perfect if you want some time on the beach.
Now Condado beach could be a little busy on the weekends, but it’s still a great place to relax and have a little swim! Just come earlier in the morning if you want to avoid most of the crowds. In addition, you can rent chairs and parasols directly on the beach.
And not only that, there are a lot of hotels, and small gourmets notice both the bays and the coast. It’s one of the best things to do in San Juan if you want a few days of relaxation in the city.
Oh, and don’t forget lunch at Orozco’s Restaurant – a completely informal place for one of the most delicious local dishes in Condad.
Probably one of the largest buildings in all of Puerto Rico, El Capitolio is astonishing to visit.
Once here, hop on one of the guided tours to see the amazing architecture inside. Although it is often a hit or a miss if you can really get to one. Still, it’s worth taking a look around and asking when you get to the area.
If you only see it from the outside, visit the Plaza de San Juan Bautista to find the best views of El Capitolio.
In addition, there is a nice area for a walk around the Playa del Capitolio.
Then head towards Waffle age for a delicious brunch. Their ‘Bridget Special’ waffle with cream cheese is so good.