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What to do in San Juan

What to do in San juan

San Juan has an abundance of tasty food options, a lively nightlife scene and oh so many things to do! Where do you start? Consider this post a bit of a neighbourhood guide. This article may give you an idea of where to stay but also it should lead you in the direction of what to do day and night.

We cover where to eat, where to drink, and what to explore.

Our previous guide on Puerto Rico will give you the low-down on how to spend your time in the entire island.

The guide below is broken down and organised through the neighbourhood areas.

If you are a travel lovely lady, you can join She Roams Solo – the social networking platform for women who travel and ask locals and travellers who have visited what their recommendations are. It’s free to join.

Old San Juan

Cobbled of adoquin, carefully restored 16th-17th century Spanish colonial buildings mixed with local tourism and tourist attractions, mixed with gambling casinos, fine beaches and the tropical Caribbean climate made from dreams.  Old world, mixed with new in these narrow, steep street and colourful building town. Explore the plazas and be mistaken for being in Europe.

What to eat in San Juan Old Town

The first thing I can recommend is to take a food tour. This will give you local knowledge into the types of food you should try during your Puerto Rican adventure.  It will also let you sample away! Check out the sanjuanfoodtours.com after this, here are a few other golden food opportunities. Please let me know in the comments if there is something I have missed and should include. Oh don’t forget to try the food trucks in Old San Juan – tasty pinchos, tripletas, frituras!!! The SoFo District is known for its fine restaurants and is a foodie paradise!

Cafe Del Angel – Ask for Mofongo with shrimps with salsa criolla or with pork.

Raices – Famous amongst tourists and locals alike for one reason – It is good! Boasting the best in Mofongo in San Juan.

raices san juan

Chocobar – For the chocolate lovers

Verde Mesa Old San Juan

Mermelade Old San Juan

El Hamburguer is a local burger joint in Old San Juan!

La Bombonera and/or The Mallorca for breakfast in Old San Juan. Try the Mallorca bread.

Señor Paleta in Old San Juan

Nightlife in San Juan Old Town

Calle San Sebastian has a decent amount of bars, there are also bars spread out throughout the old city. Here are a few great pilaces to check out

La Factoria Bar in Old San Juan

Barrachina (Old San Juan): they boast being the birthplace of piña coladas

El Batey – A quintessential Old San Juan style bar, El Batey is a nice hole in the wall for locals and tourist alike.

Things to do in San Juan Old Town

The old town is the tourist hub. You will find many things to do. Start with a free walking tour of Old San Juan.

Don’t miss the “El Morro” –  Castillo San Felipe del Morro. You can also Fly kites here.

The old town is filled with great Plazas, check out Plaza San JosÃ, check out the San Josà church not far. The Plaza de Armas, close by is the Casa del Libro, showcasing rare and precious books. For the history buffs, the Plaza Colon honours Mr Christopher Columbus himself!

If museums are more your thing, there is Casa Blanca a museum of mid-century life. The Museum of African roots, highlighting Puerto Ricos African heritage. Museum of the Americas, the national gallery, Pablo Casals Museum and of course the San Juan Museum. The Casa Don Q is a small museum for rum lovers.

If shopping is your thing check out Cristo street known for its designer outlets.

Attractions like the San Juan Cathedral and the city hall, as well as the San Juan gate are just some of the many stunning architectural buildings in the Old town.

Old San Juan

Condado (Santurce)

Oceanfront, tree-lined luxurious area of San Juan. Expect elegant hotels, restaurants, shopping and more! Stunning beaches and beachside dinning. Dance the night away in close by Santurce. This neighbourhood will make you never want to leave Puerto Rico.

What to eat in the Condado / Santurce area

Cocina Abierta for amazing local foods

La Casita Blanca Restaurant in Santurce

Jose Enrique Restaurant in Santurce by la Placita

Chicharron in la placita...if you like pork chops…order la chuleta kan kan

Eat at Lote 23  for well priced and tasty food Trucks

If you prefer the Michelin star dining try 1919 or Mario Pagán restaurant

Nightlife in Condado

Check out La Placita, packed with nightlife, street partying and food!

El Barrill for Local bands and DJs

Red Coral Lounge at San Juan Marriott – Casino with a lounge and dance floor for salsa

The Lobby at La Concha to party with the famous and rich!

Club Kronos – laser light party nightclub

La Respuesta’Ashford Avenue is upscale shoping by day and trendy, exclusive clubs at night. Check out the rooftop bars at AC rooftop or Eter Rooftop Lounge

Things to do in Condado

Shop in luxury and style in Ashford Avenue with high-class brands. Perhaps enjoy the outdoors and fine beaches San Juan has to offer at Condado beach, one of the most popular. Join a sailing charter or VIP boating. Try your hand at parasailing, snorkelling or diving and of course, surfing is on offer in Puerto Rico!

Credit James Willamor

Isla Verde

Another luxury and beautiful beach front location. Trendy and hip resorts and the most exclusive hotels!

What to eat in Isla Verde

Sweet Ann Cakes in Isla Verde area…yummy Sweets!!!

Platos, which serves local dishes with innovative flair.

Ceviche House – A refreshing, seafood-heavy trip to Peru

Lupi’s on Isla Verde Avenue – Cheap Mexican food, gigantic margaritas, a young Spring-Breakish crowd. What’s not to love?

Nightlife in Isla Verde

lobby of the El San Juan Hotel in the evening. Great people-watching spot and a classic hotel.

Cluba Brava – beautiful people and high energy

Mist – rooftop bar overlooks the ocean

El Alambique – happy hour, good food and waterfront views

Things to do in Isla Verde

Isla verde has some of the best beaches in San Juan. Check out Piñones beach, Balneario de Carolina, Playa Alambique, Pinegroove Beach and more

 

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