Old San Juan offers wonders for any curious person who wants to enjoy and explore this small islet of 8 x 10 blocks. From walking through forts 500 years old, to admiring the beautiful views of the Atlantic, to tasting excellent local cuisine and to visit the second oldest church in America where the remains of the explorer Juan Ponce de León lie.
The best way to enjoy Old San Juan in 24 hours or less is on foot. Pack your sunscreen, grab a hat and experience this beautiful place.
9 a.m. Breakfast at Chocobar
Beat the crowds of visitors in the morning where everything is serene and the streets are almost desolate. Walk to Calle San Francisco and you can enjoy a delicious Puerto Rican coffee to your liking and a mallorca or croissant for $ 3.65. In addition to having a menu with ingredients supplied by local farmers you can enjoy the good atmosphere.
10:00 a.m. Enjoy art and history
In the same Street Christ is the Parish of San Francisco de Asís where you will be able to observe for a few minutes the catacombs located in the first level and admire the art of this structure. The church is open from 9 a.m. until 6 pm. Then you can walk through one of the different streets that take you to the Museum of Art and History of San Juan where admission is free and you can admire the art collections. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. at 6:00 p.m. You can then continue walking the beautiful streets of the north end until you reach the Castillo San Felipe del Morro where you can visit the interior of the castle for $ 5.00 if you are over 16 and free if you are underage. It is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also enjoy the wind and fly a “chiringa” (kite) on the hill, which is the enjoyment of many locals.
12:30 p.m. Lunch at Café El Punto
This local restaurant and artisan shop promotes Caribbean and local food in a creative way. Here you can enjoy an avocado filled with ceviche for $ 23.95 or a chicken filling for $ 13.95. You can accompany it with any of its rich frappes or natural juices from $ 4.50. If you also feel like local shopping this is your spot!
2:00 p.m. Time to burn calories
Halfway through the day there is still much to discover. Walk through the west corner where is the second oldest cathedral in America built in 1521, the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, which is the favorite by many for its beauty and history. Open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Note: Mass on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Nearby is the El Convento Hotel, which was the first convent of Puerto Rico in 1646 and nearby is also the first fort built, La Fortaleza, where the Governor of the Island now resides. If you keep walking you will find Christ Street where it will take you to the Chapel of the Holy Christ of Health. Inside you can admire the art of José Campeche, one of the first artists of greater recognition in Puerto Rico. Continue walking down Calle Tetuán where you will admire the narrowest yellow building on this street. This building was once highlighted in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the narrowest apartments in the world. If you want to refresh your day right on Calle Tetuán you will also find Señor Paleta, where you can enjoy one of the many palettes of different flavors for less than $ 4 and sit on one of the stools facing the Bay of San Juan.
Pick me up 4:00 p.m. Enjoy a local coffee at Cuatro Sombras
Give yourself a little push with a little sugar at this establishment where they offer local coffee brought from Hacienda Santa Clara in Yauco. Here you can buy coffee or grains and support the agriculture industry of Puerto Rico. Also, if you are interested in getting more knowledge about coffee, this establishment offers classes and coffee tasting. More information on our webpage.
5:00 p.m. Shop around Fortaleza and Christ street
Old San Juan has an unique array of local shops where you can pick amazing local items and bring back home. From coffee bags, creative paintings, handmade jewelry to ceramic and delicious candy. Anything your heart desires is here, but don’t shop till you drop since we have more…
7:00 p.m. Have dinner at Princesa Gastrobar
Start your dinner by delighting your palate with a Piña Colada, created in Puerto Rico in 1954. This restaurant has more than 20 trees inside and an architecture history of more than 100 years ago. Its menu is varied with a creative gastronomy of local food and international mergers. You can try the “sopita”(soup) of the day at $ 4.00 to the Mero Maunabeno (fish) for $ 23.95. If you want to start the party this restaurant has a bar endorsed by Rums of Puerto Rico where you’ll enjoy a variety of cocktails.
8:30 p.m. Walk Paseo La Princesa
There is nothing more beautiful than this walk when the sunset is over. This walk was inaugurated in 1854 and formed with a line of trees to give it a pedestrian look. Here you can see the Spanish influence on urban planning. During the weekends there are several local kiosks where you can buy food and local art. On the west side of the promenade is Fuente Raíces which gives a patriotic meaning to our island and is beautiful to appreciate.
9:00 p.m. The Mezzanine
Enjoy a range of tasty cocktails in this cozy and fun mezzanine. This bar takes you back to the days of yesteryear in Old San Juan. Here you can enjoy classic cocktails prepared by bartenders who use premium liquor and quality ingredients from $ 7.00. They also offer tapas from $ 9.00 and brunch with or without alcohol Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not open Monday.
11:00 p.m. Continue the party!
Go up Calle San José and discover two incredible bars: La Cubanita and La Factoría. Both bars have excellent bartenders who will make you tasty cocktails. The style of the bars is bohemian and clandestine. Venture to discover what they offer beyond the main bars and you will discover more options for your enjoyment. Here you can meet new people and enjoy the local nightlife offered by the north precinct. If what you want is to dance, then walk to the Nuyorican Café in an alley down San Francisco Street. This establishment has theater, music and a good atmosphere. The website tells you the salsa bands they will be playing, usually after 11 p.m.
In short, the list is long and can be extended. Old San Juan has a number of activities that exceed 24 hours. It is a place of day and night enjoyment.
If you want a fun and interesting guide who can help you discover the history and cuisine of Old San Juan, we recommend you contact us. Our company offers daily tours at reasonable prices and you will finish the tour with a happy heart and a full belly. Direct link: https://sanjuanfoodtours.com