City Guide: Old San Juan, PR

Old San Juan is the historic neighborhood on the western edge of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It's located on the edge of San Juan Bay and it's entrance to the Atlantic Ocean.  The neighborhood is narrow blue cobble stone streets, colorful buildings and historic forts that used to guard the Port of San Juan.  If you're staying in San Juan it's worth a day trip to check out.  

One, or really two of the biggest attractions are Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobal.  The two are connected by a long city wall on the northern edge of the island.  The fortifcations were built by the Spanish and date back to the 1600's and are now part of the National Park Service.  The entry fee is $3 for adults for one fort or $5 for both forts.  Children are free.  It's a good walk between the two, but if you're not up for the walk there is a tram.

Pay the entry fee and explore these historic sites.  I found the park rangers to be especially helpful.  The views from Fort San Felipe del Morro are stunning.  The main structure sits on a cliff above the ocean.  The waves crash up on its stone fecade.  It's one of the best views on the island and you can see all the way back to the hotels and resorts that line the north end of San Juan.  

After a walking tour of the forts check out some of the restaurants located in the center of Old San Juan.  Watch for the locals and eat where they eat.  It's a good way to avoid the tourist traps.  There are plenty of tourist shops since Old San Juan is nearby to San Juan's cruise ship port.  I found Yelp incredibly helpful when it came to finding a good place to grab lunch.

Take some time to walk the streets and venture through the neighborhoods.  You'll be walking on real history.  When walking around Old San Juan I recommend carrying a bottle of water.  It gets hot and you'll definitely want to stay hydrated.  

This is just a quick review.  We'll have more on San Juan and Puerto Rico coming up in future posts.  Also check out our reviews of the Caribe Hilton and El Conquistador.