Old San Juan sits on a small island guarding the entrance to the Bahía de San Juan, the “rich port” which gave Puerto Rico its name. Its strategic position was backed up by fortifications include the forbidding San Felipe del Morro fort at the tip of the island, as well as San Cristóbal fort and La Fortaleza, now the Governor’s residence.

Inland, the compact grid of hilly, narrow streets, with their colorful houses and elegant wrought-iron balconies, represents one of the oldest and best-preserved town centers in the Western Hemisphere. Two historic houses of worship bookend the center Plaza de Armas square: in the north, the simple white exterior of the San José Church and the comparative grandeur of the older Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, built in 1521, in the south. The latter contains the tomb of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León. The area is also home to Alcaldia (City Hall); El Arsenal, a former Spanish naval station; and La Rogativa, a bronze monument that tells the legendary story of the city's governor and his "rogativa," or plea to God, to save the city from British troops.

Practical Info

Old San Juan is connected to the rest of the city via a bridge. Buses stop just outside the historic center, which is best navigated on foot.

Tours & Tickets

See all

Old San Juan Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 271 Reviews

Discover the rich heritage of Puerto Rico and wander the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan — one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial cities in the world — ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $74.99

Casa Bacardi and Old San Juan Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 5 Reviews

A fan of Bacardi spirits? Then don’t pass up a chance to visit Casa Bacardi, known as the Cathedral of Rum. Kick back a cocktail before hopping aboard a ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $83.99

Best Old San Juan Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

Glide through Old San Juan’s 500 years of history on this 2-hour tour by Segway. Known as ‘The Walled City,’ Old San Juan was founded as a military stronghold ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $98.99

San Juan Food Tour Including Walking Tour of Old San Juan

Find out where the locals go to eat on this 3-hour food tour led by an epicurean guide. Try scrumptious food like crispy fritters with a local rum-based ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $138.99

San Juan Premium Rum Tasting Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 14 Reviews

If you’re interested in learning more about high-end rum than what you might discover on a typical rum tasting tour, don’t miss this intimate rum tasting at a ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $51.28

San Juan Small-Group Sailing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Sail on San Juan Bay and enjoy views of the colorful Caribbean as you recline on deck during a two-hour cruise! Sip complimentary drinks and taste fresh ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $121.99

Old San Juan Walking Tour

Discover the beauty of Old San Juan with writer David Rodríguez (The Rise and Fall of the Great Barbate). Tour Old San Juan's most important historic ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: Flexible

From USD $40.00

See all

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message