Landmarks in San Juan

Photo credit: © J Ortiz Rosario
 

For a collection of what is considered to be the most important landmarks in Puerto Rico, it is the three square mile district of Old San Juan within the greater San Juan area that tourists turn to.  Here there are numerous museums, historic buildings, and more than one military fort to be explored.  

Museums

Instituto De Cultura Puertorriquena

If you enjoy expanding your knowledge of unfamiliar places and cultures, you should consider visiting a museum during your vacation. To obtain detailed information about each museum, you can click on the name.

One popular destination is Museo de Arte Contemporaneo. It is Condado District, in northern San Juan. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Attractions Map

Many travelers also choose to visit Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum. It is Old San Juan, in western San Juan. Visitors are invited to tour the property from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Museum Of Art Of Puerto Rico: On Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, the museum is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm. On Wednesday and Thursday, is is open from 10:00am until 8:00pm.

The chart just below enables you to learn a few details regarding some available museums in San Juan.

Museums In 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
Ecourbano (787) 792-2252 1.4 mi. Northeast of Central 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 Tower (787) 725-6363 1.4 mi. Northeast of Central San Juan
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (787) 977-4030 0.7 mi. North-Northwest of Central 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 arte de Puerto Rico (787) 977-6277 1.4 mi. Northeast of Central San Juan
Museo de las Américas (787) 724-5052 Old San Juan
Museo del Deporte Guaynabo (787) 731-4923 0.9 mi. North of Central Guaynabo
Museum Of Art Of Puerto Rico (787) 977-6277 0.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central San Juan
Museum Of Our African Heritage (787) 724-4294 Old San Juan
Museum of History, Anthropology and Art (787) 763-3939 Rio Piedras, Central San Juan
Pablo Casals Museum (787) 723-9185 Old San Juan

Historical Sites

Ateneo Puertorriqueño

In case you enjoy experiencing the historical roots of foreign countries, you might enjoy visiting some of these historical sites during your stay.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Plaza San Juan Bautista. It is Viejo San Juan, in northwestern 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 common landmark for vacationers is Ateneo Puertorriqueño. It is Viejo San Juan, in northwestern 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.

Check out the chart below for information concerning sites of historical interest in San Juan.

Historic Sites In 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 San Juan de la Cruz -- 1.3 mi. West of Old San Juan
Fort de San Filipe del Morro (787) 729-6777 0.6 mi. Northwest of Old San Juan
Fuerte San Geronimo -- 1.8 mi. Northwest of Central 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

Visitors will experience some other intriguing local landmarks in San Juan.

A landmark that often intrigues visitors is Raices Fountain. It is Old San Juan, in western 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 Viejo San Juan, in northwestern 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 other types of landmarks in this area. are shown in the following chart.

Miscellaneous Landmarks In 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, San Juan includes additional attraction types. To read our full guide to other attractions, visit this page.

 

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