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.
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.
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.
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!
Señor Paleta in Old San Juan
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.
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 JosÃ 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.
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.
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
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
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!
Another luxury and beautiful beach front location. Trendy and hip resorts and the most exclusive hotels!
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?
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
Isla verde has some of the best beaches in San Juan. Check out Piñones beach, Balneario de Carolina, Playa Alambique, Pinegroove Beach and more