San Juan Landmarks

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.  


Instituto De Cultura Puertorriquena

Assuming you enjoy expanding your knowledge of unfamiliar places and cultures, you should consider visiting a museum during your vacation. To learn additional information concerning each museum, just click on the name.

An interesting landmark worth visiting is Museo de Arte Contemporaneo. It is Condado District, in northern San Juan. There are over 900 pieces of art work in the permanent collection at Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, but only a small fraction of that is put on display at any one time. This, coupled with a number of rotating exhibits keeps the museum fresh and worth visiting during each trip to Puerto Rico.

Attractions Map

If you are looking to do more sight-seeing, visit Felisa Rincon de Gautier Museum. It is Old San Juan, in western 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.

Museum Of Art Of Puerto Rico: The collection of artwork begins with works created in the 17th century and continue on through to the works of today. Mediums run the gamut, including print work, photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, and new media.

The chart right below provides you with some details regarding some museums to consider 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) 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 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

If you enjoy exploring the history of foreign countries, you should consider visiting a few of these historical attractions while vacationing in San Juan.

One popular destination is Plaza San Juan Bautista. It is Viejo San Juan, in northwestern 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 landmark that often intrigues visitors is Ateneo Puertorriqueño. It is Viejo San Juan, in northwestern 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.

Be sure to look through this table to see historic sites 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 interesting places worth visiting in San Juan.

A common landmark for vacationers 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.

Many travelers also choose to 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.

Other kinds of landmarks in San Juan are shown in the table below.

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

If you would prefer having a wider variety of points of interest beyond what's offered on this page, you can look farther afield. For a more detailed look at other attractions, see this page.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.