Travel and Lifestyle

10 Budget-Friendly Things To Do In Old San Juan, PR

On my first solo travel trip, I visited Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was before the country was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Now voted the #1 place to visit in 2019 by The New York Times, I'm looking forward to revisiting one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean. With so many things to see and do, you should definitely add Old San Juan to your next vacation destination. 

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Old San Juan District

The oldest city in Puerto Rico, Old San Juan District offers an abundance of shops, historic places, museums, open air cafés, restaurants, gracious homes, tree-shaded plazas, and its old beauty and architectural charm. Old San Juan is the main spot for domestic and international tourism. Take a Self Guided Walking Tour, or hop on the free tourist trolley that serves the area.

La Casita and El Mercado De Artesanias 

The La Casita is a bar surrounded by the Artisan's Market in Plaza Darsena. A charming venue housing two bars, a restaurant, and shops located in the heart of Old San Juan. A true gateway to world class rum cocktails and island-flavored gourmet dining, inspired by the storied Puerto Rican rum distilleries.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro 

Commonly known as El Morro, is a 16th century citadel with six levels of tunnels and barracks.  While admission to the buildings and forts is $3 (15 years old and up), El Morro’s grounds are free for everyone to enjoy.

Condado Beach

Puerto Rico boasts about 270 coastline miles of public beaches. 
Located in downtown San Juan, Condado beach is the perfect way to get away and relax. About a 10min Uber drive from Old San Juan, Condado is a great place to go swimming or surfing as well as great places for food, drinks, and shopping.

Salsa Dancing
Dance Party Outside Noyorican

On my first visit to Puerto Rico, I remember salsa dancing the night away at Noyorican Cafe! Unfortunately, the cafe is no longer opened. But you can still get your dance on at the popular La Factoria, voted among the 50 best bars in the world!

La Factoria
148 Calle San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico 

Casa Bacardi Distillery Tour

Catch the Ferry from old San Juan to visit one of San Juan's top attractions!
-More information on the Cataño / Old San Juan ferry

Monday to Sunday
Doors open at 9 a.m.
Historical Tour
First tour starts at 9:15 a.m., last tour starts at 4:15 p.m.
Rum Tasting Tour
First tour starts at 10:00 a.m., last tour starts at 4:00 p.m.
Mixology Class
First tour starts at 10:30 a.m., last tour starts at 4:30 p.m.

La Fortaleza

A 40-room mansion completed in 1540 that was used to defend against foreign invaders. Located within San Juan National Historic Site, Visitors can take guided tours through this World Heritage Site.
9:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday.
San Juan National Historic Site (16+) $7.00 
Children 15 and under Free!

San Juan Botanical Gardens 

A  lush 300-acre “urban garden” of native and exotic  flora that serves as a laboratory for the study, conservation and enrichment of plants, trees, flowers, grasses and many other plants. Seventy-five acres are landscaped and open to the general public as well as researchers. More than 30,000 plants as well as lakes, waterfalls, trails, sculptures, native species and endangered species make up the Botanical Garden of the University of Puerto Rico. The park is open Mon-Friday from 6am-6pm and is about 20min drive from Old San Juan.

Old San Juan NightLife

When the sun goes down, the city lights up! Sign up for a Nighttime Walking tour of the city or visit many of the clubs provided here  Best Club and NightLIfe in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Bioluminescent Bay (Bio-Bay)

There are only five bioluminescent bays in the world and three of them are are in Puerto Rico.  Whether you go to Laguna Grande in Fajardo in a kayakLaguna Grande in an electric boatLaguna Grande on a walking tourMosquito Bay in Vieques, or La Parguera in Lajas, you’re sure to have an experience that you will never forget. You will have to embark on a day trip out the city but it's definitely worth it!


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