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.  

Museums

Instituto De Cultura Puertorriquena

Assuming you like to explore other people and places, you might enjoy visiting a museum during your vacation. Try clicking on the name of each museum to see full details.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Children's Museum. It is located 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 landmark that often intrigues visitors is Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum. It is located in Old San Juan. Felisa Rincón de Gautier Museum is filled with the original furnishings of the property's former resident, as well as a wealth of memorabilia. This includes photographs with important figures, 212 plaques, 11 honorary doctorates, 113 symbolic keys to cities around the United States, and more.

Museo Felisa Rincaan de Gautier: Museo Felisa Rincaan de Gautier celebrates the life of none other than Felisa Rincaan de Gautier, a public figure in San Juan who, among other things, serves as mayor of the town. She worked throughout her whole life to improve Puerto Rico, and now she is honored with a museum that discusses her life and all that she worked to achieve.

The table right below shows some details regarding some museums you might enjoy 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

In case you enjoy experiencing the history of a foreign country, you should consider visiting some of these historical sites during your vacation.

A landmark that often intrigues visitors is Plaza San Juan Bautista. It is found in 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 landmark worth visiting is Ateneo Puertorriqueño. It is situated in 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: 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 minute to read the chart below to learn 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

Guests may discover some other intriguing sites in Old San Juan.

An interesting landmark worth visiting is Raices Fountain. It is located 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 interesting landmark worth visiting is Bahia Urbana. It is located within 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.

Other types of landmarks in this area. are listed in the following table.

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

Keep in mind, Old San Juan is home to additional attractions. Click here to read our page dedicated to other interesting attractions for Old San Juan.

 

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