If you are planning a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico then your next question is, where to stay in San Juan! This guide will walk you through the best neighborhoods to stay in San Juan.
San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of our favorite cities in the world for many reasons. There are beaches, history, architecture and some of the best bars and restaurants we have ever experienced! San Juan is an underrated city to visit. The weather is flawless almost any time of the year and it is an accessible flight from anywhere in the US.
Some FAQs about visiting San Juan
How to get to San Juan
The closest airport to Old San Juan is Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. There are multiple direct flights to this airport all around the country. We found direct flights from Nashville for less than $300! The airport is also accessible to all of the neighborhoods listed in the post on where to stay in San Juan. You can uber for typically less than $20 to any of the neighborhoods listed below when you land from your flight.
Transportation between neighborhoods
San Juan used to be difficult to get around between the neighborhoods unless you rented a car. That is not the case anymore! We lived in Condado, San Juan for a month without a car and it was easy to see the entire city. Ubers are both affordable and accessible. Parking can be difficult in some neighborhoods so we always believe it is easiest to let someone else do the driving.
Safety in San Juan
Puerto Rico used to have a reputation of not being the safest place to visit but things have come a long way. Just like any major destination, there are of course areas that are more dangerous than others. Anywhere you travel, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings and avoid dark streets and alleys that seem unsafe. We never felt unsafe during our time living in San Juan.
Where to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico: The Best Neighborhoods and Areas
Old Town, San Juan
Old Town is probably the most popular area to stay in San Juan because of the colorful streets, history and charm. The streets are filled with different colored buildings and unique architecture. Staying in Old Town means you will be walkable to the most famous bars, restaurants and attractions.
Old San Juan is about a 10 minute drive to the best beaches in San Juan. If staying on the beach is important to you then we would suggest staying in one of the neighborhoods directly on the ocean!
- Boutique Hotel: Hotel El Convento
- Budget Hostel: Fortel Hostel
- Airbnb: Depending on your group size, booking an Airbnb or VRBO is often your best option for housing. Here is a great penthouse right in the Old Town!
Best bars and restaurants to try in Old San Juan
Be sure to also explore San Felipe del Morro Castle in Old San Juan to learn about the history and take in the epic views!
Condado, San Juan
Condado is our favorite area to stay in San Juan. We lived in Condado for a month and absolutely fell in love with the area and this location specifically. Condado is the best of both worlds of living on the beach but also experiencing living in a city. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy in Condado. It is also a short 10 minute drive to Old San Juan to explore that area of the city.
We lived in this Airbnb and it was perfect for an extended period for just the two of us. The Condado Del Mar building specifically was great because of the proximity to the beach. We started and ended each day with a walk on the beach. We were also only a short walk to the nearest grocery story, local bars, and the next suggested neighborhood, Loíza!
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- Boutique Hotel: Olive Boutique Hotel
- Budget Hostel: Casa Santurce
- Rental Option: Here is a great rental option in the same building that we lived in. The location really can’t be beat but the property comes with direct access to the beach, a pool, and tennis court.
Bars and restaurants to try in Condado
Calle Loiza, San Juan
Calle Loiza is the next neighborhood on the strip of beaches in San Juan. While it is slightly farther to Old San Juan, there are tons of bars and restaurants in this neighborhood. This 5 minutes farther drive should not deter you from staying in this area!
Ocean Park Beach is our favorite beach in San Juan. The beach in front of Numero Uno Beach Hotel & Restaurant is lively almost any day of the week. Somehow the beach is lively without feeling overcrowded. There are multiple other beaches to explore as well around here!
- Boutique Hotel: The Dreamcatcher
- Budget Hostel: Villa Eshta
- Rental Option: Check out this gorgeous Airbnb with an outdoor terrace and shower, walkable to the beach!
Bars and restaurants to try in Calle Loíza
Isla Verde, San Juan
Isle Verde is primarily a beachfront neighborhood in San Juan and located right next to the airport. This is a quieter part of San Juan because of the proximity to the beach front establishments. If you are looking to stay at a nice hotel or resort and enjoy those amenities, this is a great area for that purpose.
Isla Verde is about a 20 minute drive to Old San Juan, a little further from Old San Juan than the other neighborhoods but it is also located right next to the airport. There are no great budget options in this area, we suggest selecting one of the other neighborhoods listed above if that is what you need! Whether or not you decide to stay in this area, there is so much beach to explore in Isla Verde.
- Boutique hotel: Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
- Rental option: Here is a beautiful beach front condo with a view!
Bars and restaurants in Isla Verde
That completes our list of the best places to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan really is such a charming and beautiful city to visit whether you are traveling for leisure, business, or family fun! Hopefully this list helps you pick the best neighborhood for your visit.