Perhaps the most popular and recognizable San Juan neighborhood is Viejo San Juan or Old San Juan. Peppered with shops, museums, open-air cafés, and it’s colorful buildings, Old San Juan is a must visit place to anyone traveling to Puerto Rico.
– Explore: Walk the Colorful Streets of Viejo San Juan –
Narrow streets and the relatively small size of the neighborhood makes it perfect for walking. Ditch the car and get lost in colorful cobblestone streets for an afternoon or a whole day. Grab lunch in one of the many cafes and bars that welcome tourists and offer frozen margaritas and local “Medalla” beer deals all day long. Stop by Fortaleza Street and snap a photo of the colorful flags or umbrellas that adorn it. Paseo de Princesa is another popular plaza to check out on your walk.
– What to WEAR –
Colorful lightweight skirts and dresses are your friends in this tropical climate. Look for anything with island prints – fruits, trees, tropical birds, pineapples and bold colors to match your surroundings. Loose-fitting palazzo pants are another good option. Just anything made with loose and lightweight fabrics should be your go-to. Finally, don’t forget to pack a linen blazer, an overshirt or a light cardigan to combat the island breeze at night.
– See: Castillo San Felipe del Morro –
Head all the way East to visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro and see the sunset from the old fortress walls. But really there is no wrong way to explore Old San Juan as everywhere you look, you will be greeted by amazing Spanish architecture, colorful walls in all shades of blue, yellow, red and green and tropical palm trees overgrowing on the streets. Every place is a perfect place to stop by and snap a quick photo.
– Eat: Try Mofongo and Paellas –
End the night by grabbing Mofongo, a local Puerto Rican dish made out of fried plantains in one of the main restaurants. “Raíces” and “Marmalade” were popular recommendations when we were in San Juan. We ended up eating at “St. Germain“, a vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant with a clean and cozy decor. I had the Roasted bell pepper stuffed with lentil stew over a cranberry and pine nut rice pilaf and Maxim had their Burger. They were both delicious!