Landmarks in Old San Juan

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

If you enjoy learning about other people and places, you might want to visit a museum during your time in Old San Juan. To read full details concerning each museum, try clicking on the name.

An interesting landmark worth visiting is Children's Museum. It is found 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 popular destination is Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum. It is found within Old San Juan. The first woman to be elected mayor of San Juan was Dona Felisa Rincon. She served between the years of 1946 and 1968, and not only blazed trails for women to follow, but is an important icon to all Puerto Ricans.

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

The chart right below lists a few details concerning some museums to choose from in the area.

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) 724-7239 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

Enjoy learning about the history of foreign countries? If that's the case, you should consider visiting some of these historical attractions while on vacation in Old San Juan.

A landmark that often intrigues visitors is Plaza San Juan Bautista. It is found within eastern Old San Juan. Once used as a parade route for Spanish Troops, now Plaza San Juan Bautista is now a National Historic Landmark where visitors can view a number of historic buildings and sculptures.

Another interesting landmark worth visiting is Ateneo Puertorriqueño. It is found within Old San Juan. Founded in 1876, Ateneo Puertorriqueño is the oldest and one of Puerto Rico's most important cultural institutions. It began as the first center for higher learning on the island, where some of the brightest minds have free lectures on the arts, and evolved into the center is it today featuring a school, library, museum, and performance hall.

San Juan National Historic Site: Located on the grounds of the San Juan National Historic Site are two forts that once protected San Juan as well as powder houses, bastions, and walls. Guests are welcome to tour the property with the rangers who give hourly orientation presentations that last about 20 minutes, or take a self-guided tour.

Take a moment to look through the table below to see sites of historical interest in Old San Juan.

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
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

Guests will explore some other worthwhile places worth visiting in this area.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Raices Fountain. It is located within Old San Juan. One of the most romantic spots in Old San Juan, Raices Fountain is an important testimant to the cultures that built the island of Puerto Rico and made it the melting pot that it is today. Designed by architect Miguel Carlo and completed in May of 1992, this fountain honors the island's heritage.

If you are looking to do more sight-seeing, visit 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 chart lists more details regarding other kinds of sites of interest to travelers.

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 more attractions beyond this category, you should think about other locations. If you want to get more information about other attractions here.


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