Must-see attractions in San Juan

  • Puerto Rico, Old San Juan, section of El Morro Fortress

    Castillo San Felipe del Morro

    San Juan

    A star of Old San Juan, brooding El Morro sits atop a headland, deterring would-be attackers. The 140ft walls (some up to 15ft thick) date to 1539 and it…

  • Castillo de San Cristobal, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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    Castillo San Cristóbal

    San Juan

    The city's second major fort is one of the largest Spanish-built military installations in the Americas. In its prime, it covered 27 acres with a maze of…

  • Plaza del Cuartel, in front of Museo de las Americas, near Galeria Nacional/National Gallery, and Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena

    Museo de las Américas

    San Juan

    This museum presents an impressive overview of cultural development in the Americas, including indigenous, African and European influences. Four permanent…

  • Balneario El Escambrón

    San Juan

    This sheltered arc's raked sand, decent surf breaks, local action and a 17th-century Spanish fort shimmering in the distance are the hallmarks of what's…

  • SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JUNE 04: The entrance of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rican Museum of Art) on June 4, 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Photo by Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitort

    Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

    San Juan

    San Juan boasts one of the largest and most celebrated art museums in the Caribbean. Housed in a splendid neoclassical building that was once the city’s…

  • Isla Verde Beach, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Playa Isla Verde

    San Juan

    With countless tanned bodies lounging or flexing their biceps around the volleyball net, this urban beach basks in its reputation as the Copacabana of…

  • Playa Ocean Park

    San Juan

    Protected by offshore reefs and caressed by cooling seasonal trade winds, this wide sweep of diamond-dust sand is a favorite of locals. But this…

  • Casa Bacardí Rum Factory

    San Juan

    The ‘Cathedral of Rum’ sits in vast grounds near the mouth of San Juan Bay. Three signature tours (45 minutes to 1½ hours) are offered throughout the week…

  • Espacio Emergente

    San Juan

    Close to the Museo de Arte Francisco Oller, this modern museum features thought-provoking work from emerging artists in Puerto Rico and beyond, including,…

  • Museo de las Americas and plaza, San Juan

    Cuartel de Ballajá

    San Juan

    Built in 1854 as a military barracks, the cuartel is an impressive three-story edifice with large gates on two ends, a series of arches and a large…

  • Parque de las Ciencias Luis A Ferré

    San Juan

    A veritable smorgasbord of family-friendly museums and exhibits plus a minizoo are housed in the expansive Parque de las Ciencias. Kids learn about…

  • Escambrón Marine Park

    San Juan

    Next to the gorgeous Balneario El Escambrón, this namesake marine park is a popular destination for snorkelers and divers. See schools of blue tangs,…

  • Balneario de Carolina

    San Juan

    Wedged in between the high-rise hotel strip of Isla Verde and the rustic delights of Piñones, Balneario de Carolina is a fine, clean beach that's…

  • MADMi

    San Juan

    This new addition to the city's thriving art scene is set in a restored Miramar landmark, a striking pink building dating to 1913. Engaging, interactive…

  • Front view of El Capitolio.

    El Capitolio

    San Juan

    The capitol of the Commonwealth is in an impressive columned and domed neoclassical building in a commanding location overlooking Puerta de Tierra's wave…

  • 1960s PALM TREE LINED...

    Playa Condado

    San Juan

    Hemmed in by hotel towers and punctuated by rocky outcrops, Condado’s narrow beaches are busier than Ocean Park’s and less exclusive than Isla Verde’s…

  • Iglesia de San José

    San Juan

    What it lacks in grandiosity it makes up for in age: the Iglesia de San José is the second-oldest church in the Americas, after the cathedral in Santo…

  • Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras

    San Juan

    If you enjoy the bustle of a traditional market where locals barter for everything from bananas to bacalao, this is for you. As much a scene as a place to…

  • Casa Ramón Power y Giralt

    San Juan

    Once the residence of a political reformer and Puerto Rico’s first representative to the Spanish court, this 18th-century house is now the headquarters of…

  • Museo de Arte Francisco Oller

    San Juan

    Located in the former city hall on the plaza of Bayamón’s historic district, this art museum pays tribute to native son Francisco Oller (1833–1917), one…

  • Museo de San Juan

    San Juan

    Set in a former marketplace, this small museum offers the definitive take on the city's 500-year history. A permanent exhibit showcases well-laid-out…

  • Balneario Condado

    San Juan

    Condado's official public beach is Balneario Condado, a small arc of sand, adjacent to the Dos Hermanos bridge, that faces west toward Fuerte San Gerónimo…

  • Instituto de Subcultura

    San Juan

    This modern gallery in a bohemian corner of Santurce often has thought-provoking work from emerging artists and musicians. Expect contemporary, conceptual…

  • Front view of Capilla del Cristo.

    Capilla del Cristo

    San Juan

    Since 1780, tens of thousands of penitents have come to pray for miracles at the Capilla del Cristo, the tiny sanctuary at the end of a pedestrian street…

  • Casa Blanca Museum and Garden (Juan Ponce de Leon's family residence).

    Casa Blanca

    San Juan

    First constructed in 1521 as a residence for Puerto Rico’s pioneering governor, Juan Ponce de León (who died before he could move in), Casa Blanca is the…

  • White-washed facade of Cathedral de San Juan.

    Catedral de San Juan Bautista

    San Juan

    While San Juan's cathedral is smaller and less flamboyant than many Spanish churches, it retains a simple elegance. The first church on this site was…

  • La Fortaleza

    San Juan

    Guarded iron gates mark the imposing La Fortaleza. Dating from 1533, it's the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the western hemisphere. The…

  • Side view of bronze statue by the water in Old San Juan.

    Plazuela de la Rogativa

    San Juan

    This diminutive gem of a square with lovely views over the bay is home to an interesting, stylized bronze sculpture of a former bishop of San Juan and…

  • View of the San Juan Bay from Paseo de la Princesa.

    Paseo de la Princesa

    San Juan

    Conjuring up a distinctly European feel, broad Paseo de la Princesa is a 19th-century esplanade just outside the city walls. Lined with antique…

  • Plaza de Colón

    San Juan

    Tracing its roots back more than a century to the 400-year anniversary of Columbus' first expedition, Plaza de Colón is dominated by its towering statue…

  • Fuente Raíces

    San Juan

    At the waterfront end of Paseo de la Princesa, this fountain was built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Spain's 'discovery' of the New World. The…

  • Vegetables at a market stall, San Juan Nuevo, Michoacan State, Mexico

    La Placita de Santurce

    San Juan

    Built in 1910, the Mercado de Santurce has been the center of activity for over a century, vendors doing a roaring trade in fruits and vegetables from…

  • Sideview of Plazuela Las Monjas.

    Plazuela Las Monjas

    San Juan

    This pretty little park faces the Catedral de San Juan Bautista. Its ironwork benches and shade trees make it a good place for people watching, especially…

  • Alcaldía

    San Juan

    Towering over the Plaza de Armas, the Alcaldía, which dates from 1789, has twin turrets resembling those of its counterpart in Madrid. This building…

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