San Juan | How to spend time in the Old City?
How to spend time in the Old City of San Juan? The Old City is a fantastic place for a walk without any plans and to admire the architecture. You will find some of the famous locations where taking a photo is a must do! A subjective guide to the Puerto Rico capital, which will help you to efficiently plan a city tour.
The Old City offers many attractions that are worth visiting. There are many restaurants, bars and cafes where you can stop and have a rest in the Puerto Rico capital. The surroundings are quite neat and representative. Still, in many places you will encounter homeless people and those who are clearly under the influence of drugs.
🏛️St Christopher’s Fortress San Juan
English and Dutch attacks at the turn of the XVIth and XVIIth century forced the Spanish to expand the defensive walls of San Juan. The fortress itself, named after the patron of travelers – St Christopher, is considered as one of the biggest defensive fortifications of both Americas.
🚗How to get to the Fortress?
St Christopher’s Fortress is located near Columbus Square. It is near the main road that leads to Viejo San Juan.
💸How much is the ticket?
The entry fee is 10$. You can also visit a nearby San Felipe del Morro Citadel using the same ticket. Unfortunately, I could not see it from the inside as it was already too late and the guard did not let anyone in anymore.
⛲The alleys and charming tenements
As I mentioned, the Old City is very well-kept. Most of the tenements are already renovated or are during the process, which makes it quite colorful. The streets are mostly covered in cobblestones, which add an additional beauty to the city.
Unfortunately the Old City is quite narrow, which makes the traffic jam big. Because of this reason I do not recommend driving a car there. A walk is definitely a better perspective. Besides, if you stroll around you always have a higher chance to see more!
The Capitol building was constructed in 1929. It is located alongside the road leading to the Old City. From the inside you can see a wonderful view at the coast on one side, and the city panorama on the other.
🚗How to get to the Capitol?
The facade of the Capitol is near the Avenida Luis Muñoz Rivera. It is the same road that is the best one to choose if you want to get to the Old City.
⛲The Walkway of the Presidents
Another city attraction, located at the back side of the Capitol, is the Walkway of the Presidents. The walkway was built to commemorate the USA presidents’ visits to Puerto Rico after 1898, that is after the end of the American-Spanish war.
⛲The Monument of the Holocaust Victims
In the same area of the Capitol and the Walkway of the Presidents you can also find a statue dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust victims. You will find the information about history of the Holocaust on the boards. You will find many Polish accents here.
🇵🇷 The Puerto Rico Flags
While wandering through the alleys of the Old City you will not miss many Puerto Rico flags. In many places they are considered as quite a huge tourist attraction and numerous tourists gather there just to take a picture!
⛲Calle de la Fortaleza
Calle de la Fortaleza is a famous street decorated with hanging ornaments. It is being changed from time to time, sometimes to umbrellas, kites, and during my visit to San Juan it was replaced with flowers. This place is always crowded. It is fairly hard to take a picture there without any people in the background.
⛲The City Parks
There are many parks in the city where you can spend your time and take a rest from the sun on the bench with a tree shielding you from the heat. Some of the parks are very well-kept, while others seem to be forgotten and unfortunately destroyed.
🚗How to move around San Juan?
I will not hide the fact that driving to the Old City can be quite troublesome. The roads in this region are narrow, many times one-way and with a small capacity, which all adds up to major traffic jams in the Old City region. Another issue is parking. There are many No Parking signs there, and a small amount of free parking spots are being immediately taken. Fortunately, alternative means of transport are coming to the rescue. I personally recommend Uber. If you want to learn more about means of transport in Puerto Rico be sure to check out this post about Transport in Puerto Rico.
In the Puerto Rico tab you can find more useful information and recommendations about this country.
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