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 like to learn about other places and cultures, you might want to visit a museum during your time in Old San Juan. Just click on each place's name to get detailed information.

A common landmark for vacationers 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 common landmark for vacationers is Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum. It is located in 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 just below provides you with more information on some museums worth checking out 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) 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

In case you enjoy exploring the history of a foreign place, you might enjoy visiting some of these historical attractions during your stay.

A landmark that often intrigues visitors is Plaza San Juan Bautista. It is located 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 located in 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: San Juan National Historic Site is open to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You can look through the following table for a list of historic sites 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

Vacationers may discover some other worthwhile local landmarks in Old San Juan.

One popular destination is Raices Fountain. It is located within 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 interesting landmark worth visiting is Totem. It is located within Old San Juan. 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.

Caballito del Mar: Created by local artist Jose Ignacio Morales, this tall seahorse stands against the city for all walking along the Bahia Urbana to appreciate.

Other kinds of landmarks in this area. can be seen here:

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

Of course, Old San Juan is home to other attractions. To reach our full guide to other attractions, read this page.


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