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Old San Juan which is called Viejo San Juan in Spanish is a neighborhood in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is listed as Old San Juan Historical District on the National Register of Historical Places. It is a neighborhood which is home to a lot of shops, historical places, museums, cafés, restaurants with old architecture and beauty.
Best Places to go to in Old San Juan
Paseo de la Princesa is a large promenade that is located on the south side of Old San Juan that stretches from near the cruise ships dock to the Raíces Fountain. You can find local street vendors selling foods, artisan stalls, and open air restaurants along the promenade. For special nights, you might hear live music here in Paseo de la Princesa. It is definitely a place for you to relax while also enjoying the scenery around the promenade, San Juan Bay to the left and the city walls to the right.
La Rogavita is a famous bronze statue located in the Plazuela de la Rogativa on Caleta de las Monjas near La Puerta de San Juan. It commemorates one of the legends of Puerto Rico and has a deep meaning. While being a historical place, it is also a nice spot where locals and tourists take photos that will remind them of San Juan.
This cathedral as other may call Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist in English is one of the oldest buildings in San Juan which is located in Old San Juan. This cathedral is also the oldest cathedral in the United States. It was last reshaped in 1917 hence explaining the old but magnificent interior.
How to Get Tickets?
No tickets are needed to go to Old San Juan. It is a neighborhood where locals and tourists usually hang out and spend time with families or friends.
How To Get Around?
It is best that you don't drive when visiting Old San Juan where the roads are narrow, the traffic is bad, and you may find it a little bit hard parking in the area of Old San Juan. It is best explored walking, or by a free trolley that is provided for people visiting to every major site in the Old San Juan if you get tired.
What Should I Wear?
No dress code is required here but as you will be walking around an old city in the tropics, it can get very hot and humid so you will want to use your sunscreen. The roads in Old San Juan are mostly uphill or downhill so heels aren't recommended. Wearing comfortable shoes will help you walk easier and prevent trampling over the uneven roads. Sunglasses and hat are a must to help you avoid the scorching sunlight and heat.
Best Time to Visit
Whether you visit Old San Juan in the morning, afternoon, evening, or at night, each has its own charms. In the morning, you can feel the breeze while walking leisurely around the neighborhood before it gets hot and humid. In the afternoon, you can have lunch in Old San Juan where a lot of good restaurants are opening. In the evening, it is best for seeing the sunset alongside the roads of Old San Juan. In the night, the vibe gets lively where you can hear live music while walking around.
United States Dollar
Will I Need a Guide?
People in Old San Juan usually speaks bilingual languages, such as Spanish and English. The directions are also well written and can be seen easily so it can help the tourists navigating their way through Old San Juan so you won't need a guide.
How To Get There?
Buses do not go into Old San Juan but there is a major bus station on the harbor side of the area near one of the cruise ship docks. Bus route 53 is the most convenient for tourists travelling between Old San Juan, Puerta de Tierra, Condado, Ocean Park, Isla Verde, and many more. You might have to wait from 5 to 30 minutes for the bus to arrive to your bus stop as the schedule may vary. If you don't want to wait too long for the bus. you can just order an Uber or find a taxi which is pricier than the bus.
If you're looking for a place to eat authentic Puerto Rican cuisine that is mixed with a modern twist to the flavours, you can go to the Parrot Club. It serves local and authentic food with unique flavours. The restaurant itself could be a photo spot for you too, with its high archways and tall ceilings where you can also feel the Caribbean vibe here.