Things to do in Old San Juan Puerto Rico
Old San Juan has everything. The amount of stores, shops, and bars crammed into this smallest of islands is staggering. Boutiques and jewelry outlets, along with beautiful sights and tasty food make Old San Juan the ideal place to enjoy a few hours before your cruise ship departs.
Enjoy Old San Juan
Visit the Monuments
Take in the wonder of historic structures like El Morro, El Castillo de San Cristobal, and La Fortaleza. Built in the 16th century, El Morro is one of the must-see attractions in Old San Juan with its famous ‘garitas’ considered iconic symbols of Puerto Rican heritage. Entrance to these sites is available during normal business hours.
Shop Hundreds of Stores
Old San Juan hosts a large variety of stores for all your souvenir needs and wants. If you’re looking for quality clothing for men and women, you’ll find most high-end stores on the following streets: Fortaleza, San Francisco and Cristo. Old San Juan is also home to many jewelry stores, from upscale boutiques to discount outlets.
Tour the City
Old San Juan is a very accessible city for the walking tourist. One could take in the majority of sights in just a few hours. Trolley‘s are available as well if that’s your preference. Culinary Tours are also big in OSJ, taking you to a number of restaurants where you’ll savor the finest Caribbean cuisine while learning a bit of Puerto Rican history.
Make a Day Trip
Day trips to the Bacardi Distillery in Cataño are relatively simple to coordinate. The ferry across the bay will cost you merely cents and a shuttle to the distillery usually goes for $3 or less. If you’re looking for a rum experience without the hassle, The Don Q Shop right on the pier is always a good choice.
Let us plan your day in Old San Juan
Old San Juan in a day… Sounds ambitious but it’s completely doable. We’ll help you find the best restaurants, the best sights and the best stores. Old San Juan has so much variety; let us help you find everything. What follows is a list with the best places to visit in Old San Juan to ensure you make the most of your day.
How much time can you spend?
1-3 Hours Tour
Walk to El Castillo San Cristóbal and experience its magic. Once you’re done you can catch the ferry just outside and make it to El Morro. Both castles are must-see sights.
The Quick Spin: Find Plaza Colón then walk into San Francisco Street. Take in all the stores and restaurants along the way till you reach Plaza de Armas, where you can have some coffee, lunch, etc. After you’re done, make your way down Fortaleza Street, which will lead you back to Plaza Colón. Once you’re there, it’s only a 5-minute walk to the pier.
The Long Panoramic Walk: Head west from the pier until you find Paseo La Princesa, an extensive sidewalk that leads to La Puerta de San Juan, the gate to the city. Once there, you’re only steps away from La Fortaleza and only a few minutes from El Morro. Whichever alternative you choose, remember you can always trust Paseo La Princesa to lead you back to the pier.
4-6 Hours Tour
If it’s morning and you’re looking for a good breakfast, you can always visit the Waffle-Era Tea Room for the most amazing waffles in the Caribbean. If you’re really craving a good taste of Puerto Rico, stroll by Cuatro Sombras and delight your palate with a warm cup of coffee. Caficultura just by Plaza Colón is also a delightful spot that serves all manner of French toast and tasty breakfast dishes.
Savor the variety of SoFo (South of Fortaleza) with renowned restaurants such as Marmalade, The Parrot Club, Dragonfly and Aquaviva. If you’re on a budget you can always visit Siglo XX or Café Puerto Rico, known for their exquisite local cuisine.
Craving a fine cigar? Visit The Cigar House on Fortaleza Street and enjoy your choice of cigar with your favorite craft beer. If you’re looking to try local cigars, swing by Don Collins Cigars on Cristo Street, where the first cigar is always on the house.
For more information on what to do in Old San Juan, visit La Casita Tourism Information Center, conveniently located by the pier.