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Top 11 Most Beautiful And Best Places To Visit In San Juan

Best Places to Visit in San Juan

San Juan is a beautiful capital city with soft sandy beaches, numerous cultural attractions, and an atmosphere that can easily make it an entire holiday destination. Beachfront luxury hotels and resorts are located in San Juan and adjacent areas. Historical fortresses, colonial buildings, food, museums, all these are the best places to visit in San Juan within walking distance.

San Juan is also a major cruise destination and is known as one of the largest family cruise ports in the world. Depending on the number of cruise ships in the port, the city can be very quiet or very lively. To make your next journey to San Juan delightful, below are our 10 most beautiful picks;

11 Best Places to Visit in San Juan

1. Old San Juan

With a history of nearly 500 years, the streets of Old San Juan (San Juan Viejo) are windows to the past, with historic fortresses and Spanish colonial buildings forming the scene. This World Heritage Site is the second oldest city in the Americas and the oldest city under the American flag.

The seven-square-meter area contains more than 400 carefully restored colonial buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries, many of which include shops, restaurants, museums, hotels, and other public buildings.The most eye-catching feature and a true display of Old San Juan is Fuerte San Felipe del Morro, commonly known as El Morro, located on a piece of land overlooking the sea in the San Juan National Historic Site.

2. San Juan Cemetery

The beautiful San Juan Cemetery is located on the coast, next to El Morro, above the ocean. The exquisite tombstones, statues and a circular red domed neoclassical chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene are part of the reason why this cemetery is unique.

From its hillside above the sea, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the sea and El Morro. The tombs are all on the ground, similar to those found in New Orleans. The chapel in the cemetery dates back to the 19th century, and many of Puerto Rico’s earliest colonists were buried here.

3. Fuerte San Felipe del Morro

This fortress is usually called El Morro and protects the entrance to San Juan Bay. It stands prominently above the sea and protrudes into the land in the ocean.

El Morro is a designated National Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1539. Construction continued for another 250 years, making it one of the largest Spanish forts in the Caribbean. Most of the additional construction occurred between the 1760s and 1780s, when many of the walls you see today were added.

Today’s fortress is a labyrinth of slopes, outposts, barracks, dungeons, and tunnels, dotted with small circular outposts called “garitas”. These garitas are unique to the Puerto Rican fort and have become a national symbol. The area close to the fort is an open lawn, with magnificent views from all directions, whether it’s back to San Juan, including the San Juan Cemetery, or the sea.

4. La Fortaleza

La Fortaleza was built in 1540 to defend against Caribbean Indians and other foreign invaders. It was occupied by invaders twice; first by the Earl of Cumberland in 1598, and then by the Dutch general Bowdoin Hendrick in 1625 when the building was damaged by a fire.

Fortaleza eventually lost its military value and became the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico, and it still maintains this role today. La Fortaleza is the oldest governor’s residence still in use in the Western Hemisphere. More than 150 governors have lived or stayed here. The building itself has undergone many changes in its long history.

5. Castillo de San Cristóbal

Castillo de San Cristóbal is fascinating and well worth a visit. San Cristobal is bigger than El Morro and is the largest fortress built by the Spaniards in the New World.

It occupies an area of ​​27 acres and has five independent units connected by a moat and tunnel. Each unit is designed to be self-sufficient when the other units collapse. This fortress was built between 1634 and 1790 to guard the east gate leading to today’s old San Juan. It is designed to withstand land attacks, making it very different from El Morro, which is designed to withstand naval attacks.

6. Puerto Rico Museum of Art

The Puerto Rico Museum of Art is one of the highlights of San Juan and a prominent figure in Caribbean culture. The building opened in 2000 and was built around the 1920 hospital building. The old part of the building displays the permanent collection of the museum and is the first thing you see when you enter.

The newer part (the east wing) is a five-story structure containing a multi-level atrium, a theater with a capacity of 400 people, a sculpture garden, and a popular restaurant. There are other rooms available for seminars and exhibitions. The museum contains a total of more than 130,000 feet of space for displaying excellent permanent collections and holding temporary exhibitions.

7. San Juan Cathedral

San Juan Cathedral was built in 1540 and is known as one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas and one of the oldest buildings in San Juan. Inside, the black and white checkered tile floor and yellow decoration are surprisingly gorgeous and pleasant.

Since 1913, the body of the great Spanish explorer Ponce de León has been buried in a marble tomb. Since 1862, the Roman Catholic martyr San Pío has also been buried here. The cathedral still provides regular services and provides tourist services.

8. Condado and Ocean Park Beach

The Condado area is located on a piece of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Laguna Condado. The area was originally developed in the 1950s as San Juan’s first tourist area, and a mini Miami beach was created at the entrance of the city.

The main axis of the town is Avenida Ashford, along with many luxury hotels and resorts. Condado offers accommodation and facilities at various price points. The eastern part of the area is the Ocean Park, which is a one-mile wide beach that includes residences and beach resorts.

The white sand beach is very clean and very popular with locals. There are no facilities or changing rooms. Condado is also home to a large convention center with shopping venues, theaters, restaurants, and venues for festivals and exhibitions.

9. Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art

Founded in 1984, this museum is a place to see the works of the best modern artists in Puerto Rico. The ever-changing exhibits showcase modern island prints, paintings, posters and sculptures from the museum’s collection.

The museum is located in the Sacred Heart University in the Bharat Building and is difficult to find. As exhibits change frequently, please be sure to contact the museum or visit its excellent website to learn about the latest exhibits.

10. Plaza las Americas

When San Juan’s culture, beaches, and heat have caused damage and it’s time to escape a bit, Plaza las Americas may be the answer. This modern indoor shopping plaza is a great place for you to shop, or to pick up things left at home or lost at the airport.

This is not a place to find traditional Puerto Rican souvenirs and trinkets; this is a large shopping mall with American chain stores, the latest fashion, American restaurants, movie theaters and some unique shops. It is considered by Puerto Ricans to be the best shopping mall in Puerto Rico. Although it may not be at the top of the must-do list, it is a good choice for rainy days.

11. San Jose Church

The Dominican friars built the San Jose Church in 1532, making it one of the earliest Spanish Gothic buildings in the Americas. Unlike San Juan Cathedral, this church is small and simple in appearance, but the vaulted interior gives it an airy feel.

The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon was buried here for nearly 300 years, until his body was transferred to the San Juan Cathedral in 1913. The 18th century Puerto Rican artist Jose Campeche is also buried here.

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