San Juan‘s Most Popular Neighborhood, known as Old San Juan, is a must-see destination for any tourist visiting the island of Puerto Rico, with its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring.

A Brief History of Old San Juan

Old San Juan is the oldest settlement within Puerto Rico and the historic colonial section of the city of San Juan. The area was founded by Spanish conquistador, Juan Ponce de León, in 1508 and served as the capital of the Spanish colony. The city walls, which were built in the 16th and 17th centuries, still stand today and are a popular tourist attraction.

Exploring the Streets of Old San Juan

As you walk the streets of Old San Juan, you will be transported back in time as you take in the beautiful colonial-style architecture. The colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and picturesque plazas make for the perfect backdrop for a day of exploring. One popular spot to visit is the Paseo de la Princesa, a promenade that runs along the city walls and offers stunning views of the bay.

Shopping and Dining in Old San Juan

Old San Juan offers a wide variety of shopping and dining options for visitors. The Calle del Cristo is a popular shopping street, with a mix of local boutiques and souvenir shops. For those looking for traditional Puerto Rican crafts, the Mercado de Artesanías is a must-visit, where you can find handmade items such as ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.

When it comes to dining, Old San Juan has something for everyone. From traditional Puerto Rican cuisine to international options, you are sure to find something delicious to eat. Some popular local dishes to try include mofongo (a plantain-based dish), lechon (roast pork), and asopao (a thick stew).

Visiting the Fortresses of Old San Juan

Old San Juan is home to two of the most important fortresses in the Caribbean, Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal. Both fortresses were built by the Spanish to protect the city from attacks and offer a glimpse into the military history of the island. Visitors can take guided tours of the fortresses, which include access to the ramparts, dungeons, and museums.

The Nightlife in Old San Juan

Old San Juan is also known for its lively nightlife scene. The Calle San Sebastián is a popular spot for bars and clubs, and is a great place to spend an evening out. Visitors can also find live music and salsa dancing at various venues throughout the neighborhood.


Old San Juan is a must-see destination for any tourist visiting Puerto Rico. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, it offers something for everyone. From exploring the streets and visiting the fortresses to shopping and dining, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this popular neighborhood. A day spent in Old San Juan is sure to be a highlight of any trip to the island.