Things to do in San Juan: A Complete City Guide

things to do in San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico is truly one of the most underrated places to visit in the world. We lived here for a month in January 2022 and now plan to go back every year during this time! We are truly obsessed with this city and have curated this list of all of the best things to do in San Juan from our time here.

San Juan truly has the best of both worlds. There are beautiful beaches to relax on and it is also home to the unique colorful streets of Old San Juan with tons of bars, restaurants and amazing views.

Best time to visit San Juan

The best time to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico is from December – March. This is typically after hurricane season and peak beach weather.

How to get to San Juan

To get to San Juan, you should fly to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and there are direct flights here from all over the world. The airport is a short 10 – 20 minute drive depending on where you are staying in San Juan and Ubers or taxis are available at all times from the airport.

Currency and Tipping in San Juan

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and uses USD.

Do you need to tip in Puerto Rico?

Yes, you should tip in Puerto Rico as tipping rules are the same as the United States. It is expected to tip around 20% for every meal.

Where to stay in San Juan

sites to see in San Juan

There are a variety of housing types and location options when deciding where to stay in San Juan. You can either stay directly in Old San Juan to be walkable to historic sites, bars and restaurants or you can opt to stay closer to the beach. Either way, all major beaches and sites are within a 10 – 20 minute drive of each other in San Juan.

There are also tons of Airbnbs available all around San Juan. Depending on your budget and group size, this may be a better option over a hotel!

For more details, read our post on where to stay in San Juan.

Browse the best places to stay in San Juan

Hotel El Convento

This is a stunning hotel right in the center of Old San Juan. This is a great option if you want to stay in the city!

Olive Boutique Hotel

This is a gorgeous hotel in Condado, our preferred neighborhood to stay in. You’ll be right near the beach and just a short drive to Old San Juan.

The Dreamcatcher

This is a great boutique hotel near Ocean Park which is one of the best beaches in San Juan.

Fairmont El San Juan

This hotel is located in Isla Verde where it is common to stay if traveling as a family or romantic getaway since it is home to the most beach resorts. The beach here is absolutely stunning and the water is typically calmer compared to Condado and Ocean Park.

Famous foods to try in San Juan

where to eat in San Juan


Empanadas are a half-moon shaped savory dish and they are typically filled with traditional Puerto Rican spices and meats. Almost every restaurant makes their own version of empanadas in San Juan and they are all delicious. Try a few different ones to decide which flavor is your favorite!


Plantains are a staple in Puerto Rico and there are multiple varieties of recipes that incorporate plantains. Try them as a sweet or savory snack!


Tripleta is a famous Puerto Rican combination of meats. If you love sandwiches, give this one a try!

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Where to eat in San Juan

San Juan is filled with famous restaurants to try. Here are a few of the best restaurants in San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Deshistoria: Birra Y Empanadas

We love this little dive bar in Old San Juan. They make the best empanadas in San Juan!


The sandwiches here are out of this world. Grab a sandwich and head to Ocean Park for a beach day!

La Casita de Rones

We love this vibey pink restaurant on the water in Old San Juan.

1950 Condado

This is a delicious spot in Condado is perfect for dinner and drinks.

Alambique Beach Lounge

This is one of the best brunch spots in San Juan located right on the beach in Isla Verde.

Pio Pio Champagne Bar

This bar and restaurant located in Old San Juan serves delicious small plates.


This is a traditional Puerto Rican dining option in Old San Juan.

Cocina al Fondo

This stunning restaurant has indoor and outdoor dining options and takes a unique twist on traditional Puerto Rican dishes.

Use code JLJ10 for 10% off all eSIM purchases.

Famous drinks to try in San Juan

where to drink in San Juan


The mojitos in San Juan are out of this world. There is truly nothing like them anywhere else!


Medalla is the local beer to try in San Juan. It is typically the most affordable option at every bar and is also a great tasting light beer!

Pina Colada

Did you know the Pina Colada was invented in San Juan, Puerto Rico? Try this delicious frozen drink on the beach for a full experience.

Where to drink in San Juan

San Juan has one of the best bar scenes in the world. We enjoy bar hopping in every area of San Juan and there is something for every group to enjoy.

Pro-tip: Always check for local happy hours because San Juan is filled with deals! This is a great way to try out a new bar while traveling on a budget.

For more on the best bars in San Juan, read our complete list here!

La Factoria

This historic bar is voted one of the best in the world. There are multiple rooms to explore throughout the bar.

El Cafetin

This is a great place to meet fellow travelers on a night out in Old San Juan.

The Place

This is a local sports bar with fun vibes in Condado.

Mojito Beach Bar

Mojitos is a kiosk on Isla Verde beach. It serves tons of different flavored mojitos and is perfect to grab a cocktail while enjoying a beach day!

El Bar Berro

This is a unique bar that used to be a barber shop. They are known for their delicious craft cocktails and speakeasy vibes.

Numero Uno Beach Hotel & Restaurant

This is a lively beach bar located right on Ocean Park Beach. This is a great place to go with a group of friends for happy hour!

La Penultima

We were served some of the best cocktails we have ever tasted here! It is definitely more of a local spot in La Placita.

Vivo Beach Club

Vivo is a lively day club and is the place to book if you want to have a boujee pool day with your group.

Ocean Lab Brewing Co.

Located next to Vivo Beach Club, this is a local brewery with delicious craft beers.

Things to do in San Juan

transportation in San Juan

Browse all things to do in San Juan here!

Visit San Felipe del Morro Castle

This is a historic fort in Old San Juan. You can walk around the grounds for free but it does cost a small fee to enter the fort.

Walk through the colorful streets of Old San Juan

Old San Juan is one of the most beautiful cities in the world to visit. Take some time to stroll through the streets to see the unique colorful architecture.

Book a walking tour here.

Go to the beach

San Juan beaches are beyond stunning and there are multiple to choose from.

Read the best beaches to visit in San Juan here!

Take a trip to the rainforest

Many people visit San Juan as a way to explore the rainforest. You can either rent a car yourself and explore the island on your own time or simply book a tour with a guide to explore the beauty of the rainforest!

Book a tour to the rainforest.

Take a boat tour to Culebra Island

Culebra Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the world and it is best to visit it from San Juan.

Book a tour to the island here.

Take a sunset boat ride in Old San Juan

Watch the sunset from the water over the beautiful city. This is the perfect activity to do before dinner and drinks in Old San Juan!

Book your sunset tour here.

Kayak with bioluminescent lights

Take a nighttime kayak tour to see stunning bioluminescent lights.

Book your tour here.

Condado where to stay in San Juan

Transportation in San Juan

Uber is the best way to get around San Juan and they are very reasonably priced. Many travelers will recommend renting a car for your visit but truthfully, it is not necessary. You can always rent a car for just one day to venture around the island on your own time. A rental car is not necessary to explore San Juan during your entire stay.

Safety in San Juan

We always feel very safe walking around San Juan. Just like any major city, be aware of your surroundings and keep valuables safely zipped on your body.

We hope this complete San Juan city guide helps plan your trip to this amazing destination! Let us know in the comments what is your favorite thing to do in San Juan.

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  1. 3.21.23

    Thanks for finally writing about > Things to do in San Juan: A Complete City Guide < Liked it!