40 Best Things To Do In San Juan, Puerto Rico (2024)

If you travel to Puerto Rico, you can’t miss visiting San Juan.

San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico, and is home to iconic beaches and centuries-old architecture. 

As a local, I can tell you first hand that the oldest city in the United States has lots to offer.

In this article, I will cover the 40 best things to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico:


1. Explore Old San Juan

Old San Juan is a neighborhood of San Juan full of historic fortresses and culture.

Old San Juan should be on your “to do” list when visiting the city for vacation. 

image of El Morro
The view of the sea from a fortress in Old San Juan.

Explore El Morro Fort, La Perla, the San Juan Cathedral, and many more historic monuments.

Learn more in our article Old San Juan – All You Need To Know.


2. Explore Condado Beach

Condado is a beachfront community and one of the neighborhoods of San Juan. Condado Beach is the largest and most popular beach in the tourist area.

image of Condado Beach
Condado Beach has a year-round tropical climate and sandy beaches.

Condado is located between La Concha and The Marriott Resort.

Learn more in our article Condado – All You Need To Know.


3. Casinos

Try your luck in a casino.

There are many casinos to choose from in San Juan.

image of La Concha
La Concha is a popular casino located in Condado.

It doesn’t matter if you choose the Condado Plaza Casino or the Casino of Santurce (among others) either way you’ll have a blast.

For more ideas of what to do at night, read our article Nightlife In San Juan.


4. Shopping

There are plenty of malls in the San Juan area. 

Including Plaza Las Americas — the largest mall in the Caribbean and Mall of San Juan (for high-end shopping).

image of San Juan's shopping bags
San Juan has typical malls as well as local shops in almost every tourist area.

Besides the malls, there are plenty of areas full of stores in San Juan where you can go shopping.

Check out our article 21 Essential Things To Pack For Puerto Rico before your trip to make sure you are prepared.


5. Visit the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo

Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) to experience a new view of contemporary art.

image of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo is the perfect introduction to contemporary Puerto Rican culture.

You’ll enjoy exhibits of Puerto Rico’s community that includes social issues and cultural currents.

Learn more about museums around the island in our article 12 Best Museums In Puerto Rico.


6. Visit La Placita

The interesting thing about La Placita is that it’s a shapeshifter.

During the day, La Placita is a picturesque marketplace where you can find the best vegetables and fruits. 

image of La Placita de Santurce
La Placita is a farmers market during the day and a popular nightlife area after dark.

But at night it turns into a party place where you can drink and dance all night.


7. Bioluminescent Bay Tour

Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, one of which is the brightest in the world.

Although these bio bays are not in San Juan, Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay is the closest, located about an hour from San Juan.

image of 2 girls swimming in La Parguera Bioluminescence Bay
Two women swimming in a bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico.

Make sure to visit at least one bio bay during your trip to Puerto Rico. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Check out our article Bioluminescent Bays Puerto Rico – All You Need To Know to learn more.


8. Visit Ocean Park Beach

Ocean Park is one of the beaches of Condado.

This beautiful beach is most popular for water sports and travelers who like to stay active.

image of Ocean Park Beach
Ocean Park is perfect for people who want to stay active on their trip.

You can bodyboard and kite surf in the water and also do a little jogging in the surroundings.


9. Visit a Fine Arts Theater

Enjoy the latest releases of independent and foreign films in comfortable seating and a relaxed atmosphere.

image of fine arts cinema building
The Fine Arts Cinema Cafe is the perfect place to watch an independent film.

There are a few Fine Arts Theaters you can choose from in San Juan — including Fine Arts Café, Fine Arts Popular, and Fine Arts Miramar.


10. Bar hopping Calle Loiza

Visit Calle Loiza for a great night out.

Calle Loiza is located in the Condado neighborhood of San Juan.  

This street is lined with pubs, nightclubs, and bars. You will enjoy the party ambiance and its street art at the same time.

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11. Paddleboard in Condado Lagoon

The Condado Lagoon is perfect for paddle boarding.

If you are into water sports I recommend paddle boarding in the lagoon of Condado.

image of a girl paddle boarding at Condado Lagoon
The Condado Lagoon offers a rare opportunity to paddle board in the city center.

You don’t need to make a reservation to experience the amazing view while enjoying paddle boarding.


12. Visit T-Mobile District

This entertainment center is one of a kind!

image of Distrito T-Mobile
Distrito T-Mobile is where you can meet locals and families having a night out.

There is only one place in Puerto Rico where you can catch a movie, dine in a fine restaurant, and zipline all in the same place.


13. Check out the Convention Boulevard 

Visit this monumental structure.

Convention Boulevard is mostly used for big events like concerts, auto expos, big conferences, and so on. 

image of Convention Boulevard
If you love architecture, you must check out the Convention Boulevard.

But even when there are no scheduled activities on Convention Boulevard it’s still an amazing sight.


14. Bicycle riding in Condado

Enjoy the sights in an eco-friendly style.

Rent your bike and experience San Juan while riding a bicycle.  

Either because you want to better appreciate the views or because you want to help the planet, bicycle riding in San Juan is a must-do!

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15. Explore urban art in Santurce

Enjoy the street art of San Juan.

image of a mural in Calle Cerra
Calle Cerra in Santurce is filled with beautiful murals.

This amazing urban art can be found on Calle Cerra in the Santurce neighborhood where you’ll find the most popular murals.

You can walk around yourself or take a tour.


16. Try Puerto Rican ice cream

Try the ice cream and frozen yogurt from Puerto Rico.

You can choose from various ice cream shops like Cool Hope Creamery, Peccas, Señor Paletas, and many more.

image of different ice cream flavors
Enjoy tropical flavors like mango and passion fruit in Puerto Rico’s ice cream shops.

You can also enjoy either a delicious breakfast or brunch with coffee and/or tea.


17. Surfing

Surfing in San Juan is a great experience.

Visit “La 8” (The 8), the perfect beach area for experienced surfers because of its largest waves. 

image of a guy surfing in Condado
If you love surfing, La 8 is a must-visit.

Located at the entrance of Old San Juan — right beside Escambrón Beach.

image of Pine Grove Beach
Learn to surf at Pine Grove Beach in Isla Verde, a neighborhood right next to the airport.

Pine Grove Beach in Isla Verde is known as the best spot for beginner surfers.

For more info about surfing in Puerto Rico, make sure to read the article The Best Surf Spots in Puerto Rico.


18. Snorkeling

Snorkel with sea turtles!

image of a guy while snorkeling
Meet the variety of marine life that lives in San Juan under the surface of the water.

Experience the coral reefs, sea turtles, and many tropical fish of Puerto Rico. 

You can book the San Juan guided snorkel tour of Escambrón Beach, or enjoy it by yourself in Condado Beach and many others.

Be sure to read our article The 25 Best Snorkel Spots in Puerto Rico.


19. Kayaking  

There are many kayaking spots in San Juan.

Rent your kayak for the day and enjoy the tropical waters.

image of a night kayak in Condado Lagoon
Night kayaking in Condado Lagoon is very popular.

You can also go night kayaking and experience an amazing kayaking-led light tour.


20. Centro de Bellas Artes

Visit the Centro de Bellas Artes.

Enjoy Puerto Rican theater plays, classic music festivals, and theater events in this scenic musical center.

If you enjoy theater plays there are many other theaters in San Juan like Teatro Tapia and the Francisco Arriví.

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 Photo Credit: @kenijen


21. El 24 Market Place

Visit 24 Market Place for a fun night out.

The 24 (as locals call it) is a sports bar/meeting point. Enjoy many events in this social hang-out spot.

You will also love their bakery/Deli/Restaurant food.

image of 24 Market Place
24 is a must-visit to experience local nightlife culture.

You can’t miss visiting 24 Market Place on your next visit to Puerto Rico.


22. Scooter around Condado

Experience the views from a new perspective.

You only have to download the Bird app on your phone to unblock the scooter of your choice and off you go!

Rent one of the coolest electric scooters and ride the Condado streets for a unique experience.

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23. Chinchorreando, Roosevelt Avenue

Visit this restaurant/bar for a night full of music and delicious food.

Experience the Puerto Rican way to hang out! Enjoy a different event every night.

image of Chinchorreando En Hato Rey
Visit areas outside the tourist districts to live like a local.

Taste a delicious dinner while drinking and dancing.


24. Karaoke

Show off your singing skills or sing out of tune.

Visit one of the many karaoke bars in San Juan and have a blast with your friends and family.

image of a microphone
Karaoke bar hopping can be a fun way to explore the city.

You can choose between Daiquiri Lounge, El Quincé, or El Local en Santurce.


25. La Playita, Condado

Check out the smallest beach in Condado, La Playita (Little Beach).

Enjoy its waveless waters right next to the Condado Lagoon.

image of La Playita
La Playita offers the chance to have a waveless experience at the beach.

You can relax in the sand or swim the whole day.


26. Spa 

Take a relaxing massage or a facial in one of the spa centers of San Juan.

Visit one of the Spa Centers of San Juan like Euforia Spa Center and spoil yourself.

Experience aromatherapy, body wraps, or acupuncture.

Check out Euforia Spa Center in the following video:


27. Ashford Avenue

This avenue is full of Miami Vice vibes.

Experience this nonstop nightlife avenue lined with restaurants, nightclubs, and stores.

image of Ashford Avenue
Ashford Avenue in Condado has plenty to do at night or during the day.

You can also find most of the San Juan hotels on Ashford Avenue.


28. El Ultimo Trolley Beach

Another amazing beach in Condado.

Known as a good spot for surfers and an entry point to Ocean Park Beach.

The beach’s mid-size waves make a perfect place to surf for experts and beginner surfers alike.

Check out Playa Ultimo Trolley in the following video:


29. Parque del Indio

This park is perfect for the whole family.

Enjoy the awesome features of this relaxing park with a stunning ocean view.

image of Parque del Indio
Parque del Indio is great for families who want to spend a day relaxing by the ocean.

Bring your kids and spend the day in Parque del Indio.


30. Kasalta Bakery

You must try the Kasalta Bakery breakfast!

Even President Barack Obama had his breakfast here the last time he visited Puerto Rico.

Experience a mouthwatering blend of Spanish and Caribbean cuisine. 

Their menu offers hot soup, Spanish mallorcas, Cuban sandwiches, and more. 

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31. Miramar food truck park

An exciting spot to try out.

Visit this food truck park to try a diversity of food and cocktails.

From Mexican food to artisanal beers, anything you fancy you may find it here. 

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Photo Credit: @miramarfoodtruckpark


32. Club Brava 

The most exclusive nightclub in San Juan is located in the iconic Fairmont El San Juan Hotel and Casino.

The favorite of many celebrities, this ultra lounge nightclub offers a selective ambiance.

Spend the night like a celebrity in Club Brava. The place to see and be seen. 

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Photo Credit: @clubbrava

For table reservations text or WhatsApp at 787-674-8000.


33. Try the famous Piña Colada

Try the Piña Colada where it was invented!

image of Barrachina's piña colada
Barrachina in Old San Juan is the place where Piña Colada was invented.

This famous tropical drink was created right here in Puerto Rico in 1954 and it’s available almost everywhere on the island.

But if you want to go directly to the place of its creation, check out Barrachina.


34. Visit Chocobar Cortés

Chocolate Cortés is the largest chocolate manufacturer in the Caribbean.

When visiting Puerto Rico you should not only try the Cortés chocolate but you should also visit Chocobar Cortés in Old San Juan.

image of Cortés chocolates
Visit Chocobar Cortés, where everything on the menu has chocolate in it.

There, you will taste their delicious chocolate and a variety of food and cocktails.


35. Parque Luis Muñoz Marín

Visit Parque Luis Muñoz Marín.

Complete with playgrounds, biking lanes, water areas, and a dog park! This is the place to take your kids and family for a fun day.

image of kids playing at Luis Muñoz park
Visit Luis Muñoz park for a day of family fun.

You can also rent a gazebo for the day.


36. Bistro Cafe

The perfect breakfast and lunch place.

Visit Bistro Café with your friends and family to enjoy a delicious breakfast in a relaxing atmosphere. 

Try the Moca waffles and Nutella French toast!

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Photo credit: @bistrocaferest


37. Lote 23, Santurce

Experience this gastronomic park.

Lote 23 is known for highlighting Puerto Rico’s culture and cuisine. 

image showing how Lote 23 Gastronomic Park looks like
Lote 23 is the perfect place to satisfy everyone in the group.

Hop from kiosk to kiosk in this vibrant food hub while enjoying a diverse variety of food, coffee, and drinks.


38. Drum Circle Ocean Park

Experience the magic of a full moon.

image of a full moon
The Full Moon drum circles in Ocean Park have been going on for many years.

Every Full moon locals gather in Ocean Park Beach, Condado to share stories and celebrate the magic of the full moon.

A unique experience!


39. Sobao – Los Cidrines (sandwiches)

Sobao is where you will find the best bread in Puerto Rico!

image of Sobao's pepito sandwich
Sobao is the name of a semi-sweet Puerto Rican bread with a soft crust.

Visit this bakery/restaurant for the best sandwiches around.

Be sure to try the Pepito Sandwich!


40. Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera

Take a walk in this park to appreciate its impressive trees and sculptures.

Besides being the perfect place to relax, this park is excellent for photography and videomaking due to its stunning grounds.

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FAQ section

What are three things you could do in San Juan Puerto Rico?

The three most popular things to do in San Juan are to visit Old San Juan, enjoy its amazing beaches, and experience the nightlife of Ashford Avenue.

Is three days enough in San Juan Puerto Rico?

Three days is perfect for an introductory experience! If you want to fully appreciate all San Juan has to offer I would recommend at least 4 days.


Final thoughts

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and has many things to do.  

I recommend that you check out Old San Juan and Condado whilst you are in San Juan.

I also recommend that you visit a bio bay. There are three bio bays in Puerto Rico, with one being just an hour from San Juan. Check out our article to learn more about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.

For a broader experience in Puerto Rico be sure to read our article about 45 Best Things Do do in Puerto Rico.

40 Best Things To Do In San Juan, Puerto Rico (2024)
Article by

Dimary Hernández Soto

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I have lived in Puerto Rico my entire life. When I’m not writing, I work in the healthcare industry as a Quality Control Specialist. After Hurricane Maria, my teammates and I were responsible for ensuring that life support equipment reached patients in need around the island.

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