Old San Juan

Old San Juan Travel Guide

Picture the perfect island getaway—sparkling coastlines, azure waters, fresh seafood and fruit. Now imagine the ideal city vacation—the bustle of the metropolis, abundant shopping, historic museums. In San Juan, the capital and most populous city in Puerto Rico, you can get two dream vacations in one. This San Juan travel guide will help you make the most of your trip to “La Ciudad Amurallada.”

If you decide to travel to San Juan, you'll find hundreds of shops, rich historical heritage, and astonishing natural landscapes. Here are some things not to miss when you visit Old San Juan.

Things Not to Miss in Old San Juan

• Old San Juan is full of historical sites. Castillo de San Felipe del Morro is a 16th-century citadel, San Jose Church was also built in the 16th century, and the Ballaja Barracks were built in the 1800s for Spanish troops.
 • La Fortaleza is the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico, and Alcaldia is the City Hall. Both are historical sites.
 • Casa Blanca was built in 1521 as the first fortification for San Juan. It once housed Ponce de Leon; now it serves as a historical museum, managed by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.
 • San Juan Cathedral, San Juan Gate, and La Casa del Libro are also worth visiting.

When to Go to Old San Juan

When planning for weather, Old San Juan travel is easy: it is a tropical destination, so the temperatures consistently stay between 70 and 85 degrees year-round. There are some things to know: hurricane season runs from June to November, with August being the wettest month on average. And if you'd like to partake in the country's largest festival, visit in January, when the San Sebastián Street Festival takes place.

Articles about Old San Juan

The best meal I have in Puerto Rico is one I shouldn’t be eating. I’m sitting at the bar at Jose Enrique, a restaurant near San Juan’s lively market square, La Placita, ordering appetizer after appetizer, throwing caution—and my dinner plans—to...