Old San Juan
Old San Juan
4.5
Historic SitesNeighborhoodsHistoric Walking Areas
About
This historic area in San Juan exudes old-world charm. Walk along the cobbled streets and past colorful buildings, historic fortresses, and old city walls, some of which date back to the 16th century. You might even chance upon local musicians playing some salsa or jazz tunes. There are also several museums where you can learn more about the history, art, and culture of the area, plus cool cocktail bars and restaurants for a quintessentially Puerto Rican meal. Don't miss all the best sights (and food!) on a walking tour of Old San Juan. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Katie NZ
    Auckland, New Zealand333 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Favourite city in the Caribbean
    We loved Old San Juan. There is a lot to see, do, and eat while there! The township is colourful and it has a good atmosphere, with lots of stalls and stores to visit. Restaurants and bars are also abundant. USD is the currency used. Prices are standard for an island and the locals are mostly welcoming. You can walk to a lot of places, including the two fortresses, cathedral and the city shops. Pro: the cobblestone streets and colourful buildings. Con: it was very hot in July! Be prepared for the heat if you visit during this time of year. You can skip off to the mountains to cool off if needed. Tip: remember your camera! You will regret not taking photos. Take away: I will definitely visit again.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 24, 2023
  • Rachel
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Did not disappoint!
    Great service despite only 1 young guy working the entire front of house (dining room, patio, and carry-out) *wish I could remember his name.* Server was informative and patient. Food was wonderful. One of my favorite restaurant experiences in Puerto Rico.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 1, 2023
  • Sylvia G
    Cedar Hill, Texas945 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent place to visit.
    Plenty of shops, food and alcohol. We walked the shops for a few hours one day and half of our day the next and we are still not done. Ferry is also here and fun to do. I’m amazed at how friendly everyone is. Some shops are closed but still plenty to do. I was told that weekends are busier and most places close on Mondays. I felt like I was in Mexico but way safer. You can walk around like nothing. Traffic is not crazy and everything hs been so peaceful. We will definitely plan another trip.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 22, 2023
  • aliciammyers29
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Fort is worth seeing
    The fort in Old San Juan is a great historicalsite. It does require walking so wear good walking shoes. After visiting the Fort grab a delicious Pina Colada, Virgin or Alcoholic, both are great and then head to the shopping area near the cruise ship entry area.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 24, 2023
  • Eve S
    Columbia, Maryland8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    History and Entertainment in one place
    Old San Juan is one of a kind, in a good way! There is a lot of history, colorful structures and cobblestone streets. Plenty of outdoor sites to visit. There are two large castles from the Spanish ear that are considered historic sites and recognized by UNESCO. Near Old San Juan are Santurce, Condado and Isla Verde with modern buildings and exquisite restaurants and nightlife
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 30, 2023
  • James A
    Windsor, Canada19,719 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is where the food and culture our found
    It’s all about culture and the old world in the old Puerto Rico. Parts of it are 500 years old. Most of it is at least a hundred. The shops and restaurants have the standard stuff but it’s great. Really hits the spot between travel culture and tourism. A fine but difficult balance to achieve.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 5, 2023
  • PelleasPhiladelphia
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania1,084 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day of walking & shopping
    Yes it is a must do in Puerto Rico. Great day of exploring, walking the hilly streets, doing some tourist shopping and maybe finding a good artisan. The forts are worth the trips as well. If you are off a cruise ship please dress decently and realize you are on someone else’s land.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 23, 2023
  • CaM
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go Early to Old San Juan to Enjoy it
    Tips to not ignore 1) Go early!! Forts open at 9am and you should be there by that time. 2) parking is VERY limited. We used the Dona Fela parking garage and it was easy to find at spot at 9am. When we left at 2pm, there were not many spots and a lot of cars trying to find one. Paying for the spot was $6 and easy. A family member used a hotel garage and had a long line and difficult time paying and getting out of that garage. 3) parking in the streets on Old San Juan is difficult. A different family member rented a golf cart thinking it would help them, but it made them get stuck driving circles around the area and not getting to stop at places because there was zero parking for the gold cart. 4). It is worth going to! Just go early so it’s an enjoyable experience.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 26, 2023
  • Allen B
    Muskegon, Michigan1,212 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice city and lovely people.
    We spent December 20, 2023 in San Juan as a cruise stop. For the most part people are very polite land friendly, except some fellow cruisers; locals are great. Unfortunately, some of the restaurants were closed the day we were in Port which created a longer than usual wait time for seating at other restaurants. Overall, it is a nice city with lots to do.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 1, 2024
  • carmenrX7733DM
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great time walking the streets of Old San Juan!
    My daughters and I love coming to Old San Juan. We always make sure to visit Old San Juan when we come to Puerto Rico to visit family. This year we went to Old San Juan on a Tuesday (January 2024) and it was packed! We saw at least three huge cruise ships that had docked and there were many tourists around the area. Nevertheless, we love walking the streets of Old San Juan. Many of the shops are geared towards tourist however, we have some favorites such the Puerto Rican Arts and Crafts store located at 204 Calle Fortaleza. We love everything about this store, particularly that their focus on local artisans; we especially loved the coconut earrings! We also love eating at Old San Juan. We of course make sure to have the local "helado de coco" and love getting "un cortado" (black coffee with milk) at El Meson, right next to La Plaza de Armas. We ate lunch at our favorite, Los Yeyos Restaurant located on Calle San Francisco. The service at this restaurant is hit or miss, this time our waiter provided so-so service, but the food is absolutely delicious! Someone please train your waitstaff! You don't want to loose customers and we would hate for this restaurant to close.!! So please do a better job with customer service! We always also make sure to make a trip to El Parque De Las Palomas...my girls love coming here. I have been bringing them to this park since they were very young; they are now 19yrs and 16 yrs old and they still love coming here to feed the pigeons. Now a few complaints: 1) There is too much traffic in Old San Juan and they should seriously consider limiting traffic, 2) too much trash! Trash cans should be easily available throughout Old San Juan, 3) Please provide MORE public bathrooms please!! I am getting older and find that I must use the bathroom more often; it was annoying having to wait over 20 minutes to use the bathroom at CVS. Old San Juan is a wonderful place visit. I have great childhood memories of this place and I am fortunate to be able to bring my daughters here and share with them this wonderful place. I would love for Puerto Rico to have the foresight to see that they need to make improvements to Old San Juan in a sustainable manner to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy this gem.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 7, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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MARK V
Bethel Park, PA52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
We needed a break from the holidays and work so we booked a trip to San Juan. One of our friends recommended that we stay in old San Juan and he was spot on. I can’t imagine going to PuertoRico without staying in old San Juan for a while. The forts were great to visit and the nightlife was very cool. Restaurants have authentic food and good prices. Would recommend staying in old San Juan if you are going. The Airbnb prices are reasonable and you get to stay in some great authentic older homes.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KCLizard
State College, PA590 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
There are plenty of sites to see here, including the castles, museums, the churches, and the governor's mansion, but it also has a great restaurant and bar scene. I would try to avoid it on the days when multiple cruise ships come to port, and it is easy to look up the schedule online. It feels far more genuine and chill when the cruise ships are not there. The trolley is certainly worth it.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ThaiBlu
Philadelphia, PA98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Old San Juan is a must see in Puerto Rico. We went there for the artist craft festival which was lively, filled with music, food and local artist. We also went several other days to shop , tour, fine dining and another day eat at food trucks. It is a beautiful old city. So many shops and beautiful buildings. The first night I wore kitten heels and was much more comfortable the other days with flats or walking shoes. The side walks are small with a good amount of people walking up and down the cobblestone streets.
On the port which is also a beautiful view. We had amazing weather and enjoyed different aspects each day.
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JLHGRW
Chicago, IL50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
The architecture and infrastructure in Old San Juan made it worth a visit. The area is quaint, but there weren't as many shops as we expected. With that said, we did find a great art gallery with original works at reasonable prices. We also ate an authentic Puerto Rican meal that really hit the spot after spending so much of the day walking up and down steep streets!
Written March 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dmbia
Iowa283 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Old San Juan reminded me a lot of the French Quarter in New Orleans. While it is quite touristy, there's a reason the tourists come there. It's historic and also quite beautiful. It's full of restaurants, bars, and gift shops, which gives the place a lively feeling. It's definitely a place every tourist should visit.

One issue with Old San Juan is that it's not easy to get there from elsewhere in the city. I primarily relied on public transit, and the buses in San Juan just aren't very reliable. It's a short ride from Condado to the old city, but the wait for the bus to arrive can be an hour or even more. Taxis were beyond my budget, and had I rented a car I think it would have been a chore to drive to and in the old city--not to mention the difficulty and expense of parking. I walked from Condado to Old San Juan once, but it is a rather long walk (three miles or so). I wish there were reliable public transportation connecting the old city with the rest of San Juan.
Written August 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura F
3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Lots of tourists shops; catering mainly to cruise ships that dock nearby. Some restaurants. We enjoyed rolled ice cream at Himalaya Ice Cream - very good! Don't try to drive in Old San Juan. Easy to walk around (sidewalks are narrow though); use a pickup/dropoff car service to get you to Old San Juan (Recommend dropping off at the Tourist Information Center, right on edge of Old San Juan and easy walking distance from there to everything in Old San Juan). Friendly merchants, etc in the area. The Museum of Latin American Art is worth a visit as well. The Cathedral was lovely - and nice little park across the street.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rammyun
90 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
I went a month ago and they are very empty. Most of people want to go to Hawaii but I would recommend come here to avoid the crowd. People are friendly, lots of great food option. Everyone follow COVID guideline. I highly hope you can come and see the beauty of it.
Written September 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dustythoughts
Manchester, CT2,143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I love wandering around Old San Juan (Viejo San Juan in Spanish). The multicolored buildings, the cobblestone streets, the history, the restaurants and cafés, and most of all the people - there's so much to see here that it's well worth dedicating a few days to this part of San Juan alone (although the rest of San Juan is absolutely worth seeing as well). You're better off walking around on foot so you don't miss anything and so you can wander into a café for strong coffee or to enjoy the sunshine in a plaza. Go to the fort, watch people flying kites, and simply soak in the history and the culture of the city.
Written November 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SanRcruz
65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
After we toured El Morro, we walked to old San Juan for lunch. There were people on the streets playing guitar, singing etc. and after lunch (a pork special)there was a man selling Piragua which we also got. We looked for the street with the umbrellas but the umbrellas were taken down and now there is a giant Puerto Rican flag. It all looks so beautiful.
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shannon H
Jacksonville, FL10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
We were blown away by the culture seen in Old San Juan. We walked the day entire sightseeing and eating. We enjoyed the friendly conversations the entire walk.

We visited the fort and we stopped at a restaurant call the parrot of old San Juan and the food was amazing. My party of five order different entrees and everyone was pleased with the flavor of the food.

Walking around Old Juan is a must do!
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Old San Juan - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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