Old San Juan Landmarks

Photo credit: © Stoyan Shopov

The oldest city on the island of Puerto Rico, Old San Juan has been carefully preserved in such a way that it has been awarded as spot on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  If exploring historic and cultural landmarks are an important part of a vacation to you, there is perhaps no greater destination in the whole of the Caribbean.  From military forts to historic homes; not to mention the dozen or so museums all located within just three square miles.  


Instituto De Cultura Puertorriquena

In case you like to become more aware of other cultures and places, you should consider visiting a museum during your time in Old San Juan. You can click on the museum names to get complete information.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Children's Museum. It is situated in Old San Juan. The Children's Museum in San Juan is a great place to take the island's youngest set to learn about a wide variety of subjects, from arts and science to history. There are plenty of fun hands on activities and exhibits that will get every child interested in learning.

Attractions Map

Another common landmark for vacationers is Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum. It is situated in Old San Juan. Visitors are invited to tour the property from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Museo Felisa Rincaan de Gautier: The museum is open everyday from 9:30am until 3:30pm.

The chart just below offers some details regarding museums you might enjoy in Old San Juan.

Museums In Old San Juan
Name Phone Location
Children's Museum (787) 722-3791 Old San Juan
Convent of the Dominican Order (787) 721-6866 Old San Juan
El Arsenal De La Marina: Gallery (787) 723-3068 Old San Juan
Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum (787) 723-1897 Old San Juan
Galeria Nacional Museum (787) 725-2670 Old San Juan
Instituto De Cultura Puertorriquena -- Old San Juan
La Casa Blanca (787) 725-3436 Old San Juan
Museo Felisa Rincaan de Gautier (787) 723-1897 Old San Juan
Museo de Arte e Historia de San Juan (787) 724-1875 Old San Juan
Museo de Artes Populares -- Old San Juan
Museo de Nuestra Raiz Africana (787) 724-4294 Old San Juan
Museo de las Américas (787) 724-5052 Old San Juan
Museum Of Our African Heritage (787) 724-4294 Old San Juan
Pablo Casals Museum (787) 723-9185 Old San Juan

Historical Sites

Ateneo Puertorriqueño

Do you like learning some of the historical roots of countries you visit? If yes, you might enjoy visiting one or two of these historical sites during your stay.

A common landmark for vacationers is Plaza San Juan Bautista. It is located in eastern Old San Juan. Located within Plaza San Juan Bautista is the Plaza Hotel, Jose Castro House, and the San Juan Bautista Church. Tourists who visit this site will be able to see a great example of how villages were laid out during the 19th century Spanish colonial area.

Another common landmark for vacationers is Ateneo Puertorriqueño. It is located within Old San Juan. Tourists are welcome to tour the on-site museum, which features historical documents and island memorabilia, as well as attend cultural productions such as plays and concerts put on by the center. The main goal of Ateneo Puertorriqueño is to promote the arts amongst Puerto Ricans, so much of the facilities offerings are geared towards locals.

San Juan National Historic Site: The San Juan National Historic Site is the overarching Historic Zone that includes much of Old San Juan. Within the zone are the two main forts, Castillo San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro, as well as several other historic sites.

Review the following table to read more about historic sites in the area.

Historic Sites In Old San Juan
Name Phone Location
Archbishop's Palace -- Old San Juan
Ateneo Puertorriqueño (809) 722-4839 0.5 mi. East of Old San Juan
Ballaja Barracks -- Old San Juan
Casa De Los Dos Zaguanes (787) 724-5477 Old San Juan
Casa Ramon Power y Giralt (787) 722-5834 Old San Juan
Casa Rosa -- Old San Juan
Casa de los Contrafuertes (787) 724-5477 Old San Juan
Cathedral of San Juan Bautista (787) 725-5550 Old San Juan
Fort San Cristóbal (787) 729-6777 0.5 mi. East-Northeast of Old San Juan
Fort de San Filipe del Morro (787) 729-6777 0.6 mi. Northwest of Old San Juan
La Fortaleza (787) 721-7000 Old San Juan
La Princesa Promenade -- Old San Juan
Olympic House -- 0.5 mi. East of Old San Juan
Paseo De Morro -- Old San Juan
Plaza San Juan Bautista (831) 623-4526 0.7 mi. East of Old San Juan
Red Palace -- Old San Juan
San Juan Gate -- Old San Juan
San Juan National Historic Site (787) 729-6960 Old San Juan
Spanish House -- 0.6 mi. East of Old San Juan

Miscellaneous Landmarks

Raices Fountain

Vacationers can explore some other intriguing landmarks in this area.

A common landmark for vacationers is Raices Fountain. It is found in Old San Juan. Most people stop at the Raices Fountain as the tour Old San Juan. The bronze sculpture represented the combination of Amerindian, African, and Spanish culture.

Another landmark that often intrigues visitors is Bahia Urbana. It is located in Old San Juan. Walk along the Southern Side of Old San Juan on this scenic trail that stands as a testament to the economic and cultural power of Puerto Rico. Here you will find sculptures, monuments, and other art, as well as restaurants, stores, water activities, and ever changing live entertainment.

Totem: Hard to miss, this giant native-style totem pole juts out of the ground and goes forty feet into the air. It was built in 1992 to commemorate the native culture, and has since then become a popular spot for photograph taking tourists and relaxing locals.

The following table enables you to get some details regarding other kinds of places of interest to vacationers.

Miscellaneous Landmarks In Old San Juan
Name Type Location
Bahia Urbana Scenic Trail 0.7 mi. East of Old San Juan
Caballito del Mar Monument 0.6 mi. East of Old San Juan
Raices Fountain Monument Old San Juan
Totem Monument Old San Juan

If you are seeking a wider range of attractions beyond this category, you should look farther afield. Anyone who needs to find out more concerning other attractions by going to this page.


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