Old San Juan
A visit to Old San Juan is an essential part of any trip to Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is a feast of feeling. It is a place that makes the heart and the mind frolic. Old San Juan will astonish you with its extraordinary sights and its vast store of New World history. It will also make you smile and at times laugh out loud. It will touch your heart deeply, if you let it.
Old San Juan, originally envisioned as a military stronghold, lays claim to a past that is still visible in the architecture and layout of the city. By the end of the 19th century, the old town was evolving as a delightful residential district and the center of economic, social and cultural activity in the island. Today, Old San Juan is a much-visited tourist attraction and a congenial place to live.
The seven-square-blocks of "el antiguo San Juan," Old San Juan, are home to numerous churches, military monuments, Spanish colonial fortresses, plazas, and charming buildings that house restaurants, shops, art galleries and museums.
These are the Balconies of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan - Gallery nights
On the first Tuesday of the month, from February through May and September through December, art aficionados and wannabe’s, professionals, students, visitors and locals alike flock to the streets of Old San Juan for Noches de Galerias, or Gallery Nights. Nearly two dozen art galleries stay open late and host special openings or exhibitions. After strolling between galleries, visitors fill the Old City’s restaurants and nightspots and practice the art of staying out late.
Old San Juan - night life
Barú, (150 Calle San Sebastián, Old San Juan; 787-977-5442) is restaurant as theater and romance. Don't even think of getting a table after 9 p.m. on weekends; entrees from $16.
Aguaviva (364 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan, 787-722-0665) has Latino seafood cuisine that makes even humdrum fish seem lush. No reservations; entrees from $20.
Dragonfly (365 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan, 787-977-3886) hotbed of chic and Asian/Latino food. No reservations; count on a wait. Entrees start at $15.
For drinking, and dancing among the best places to hang out in San Juan are
Oleo (305 Calle Recinto Sur, Old San Juan, 787-977-1083), with house music in an exquisitely appointed artsy space;
Wet and Liquid, at the Water Club, Isla Verde, close to the airport (787-728-3666), fashionable bar with attitude and weak drinks;
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