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Old San Juan

A Day Trip To Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan (Viejo San Juan) Why You Must Visit It:

Over the past month, we have had many visitors from the States. It sure is nice to see family and to see them enjoy our new beautiful island. Of course, the first thing everyone asks when they visit is: What’s the “must-see” in Puerto Rico?

I always have the same answer: there are two things you can’t miss: Old San Juan and the Bioluminescent Bay. So, guess how many times we’ve been to Old San Juan? – MANY!

Today, I’ll tell you why I think Old San Juan is not to be missed when visiting Puerto Rico and I’ll share some pictures with you to prove it. When you’re on the island, I highly recommend you visit the old town.

Old San Juan - El Morro

Why Old San Juan is a constant, popular attraction:

  • Beautiful historic sites – Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal forts
  • Beautiful historic town – cobble stone streets
  • Great restaurants – cuisine from around the world!
  • Great shopping – fantastic souvenir shopping
  • Great nightlife – lots of bars and dance spots to enjoy

Here are some pictures from our last couple of trips to Old San Juan along with a few tips to help you enjoy your trip..

Old San Juan

Tip: Be sure to take the free trolley and take it all the way around at least once – it is the best way to see much of the old town and you don’t have to fight the traffic.


Tip: Take lots of breaks, stop in the many restaurants and coffee shops and enjoy people watching, don’t rush it and overexert yourself.


Tip: Bring comfortable walking shoes, water, and lots of sun block. There will be hours of walking and it gets hot!

Old San Juan

Tip: When visiting the forts, make sure you get there early (between 9-10am), that way you will avoid the afternoon heat.

Old San Juan Fort

Tip: Remember there are lots of stairs, steep walks, and climbing in the forts.


Tip: Don’t miss out on the history videos in each of the forts and the guided tours (if they are available on the day you visit), they are very interesting. See the National Park Service Site for a schedule.


Tip: If you’re worrying about the heat and sun, choose a cloudy day for your trip to Old San Juan.


Tip: Your pass for to the forts is $5 and is good for both sites for up to 7 days, so save your receipt!

El Morro OSJ

Tip: The lawn outside of El Morro is amazing. Bring a picnic and a kite to fly and enjoy it like a local.

OSJ ship

Tip: If you’re not into big crowds, pick a day where there are no (or few) cruise ships in port for your trip to Old San Juan.


About Joanna

is a Polish American living in Arizona with her husband Tim. She is a founding partner of JTR Tech and she is proud to be a professional geek. She had dreamt of living abroad for many years. So, she and Tim created AbroadDreams.com to document the process of making their dream of moving abroad come true. They spent 2 years in Puerto Rico and several months in Spain and Poland. Now they are exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. Great write-up! I really enjoy strolling around OSJ. Did you try the Helados from the local vendors? They are really refreshing when the sun gets strong. My favorite flavors are coco and parcha. Yum!

    • Hi Dan,
      Thanks! I’m lactose intolerant, so have to watch the helados but they do have some without milk and I love them!
      I also enjoy getting iced coffees or smoothies and sipping on them during the hot afternoons.

  2. I so have to go there! Planning for next spring.