Old San Juan
Old San Juan is a historic, colonial section in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Settled in 1521, Old San Juan is known for its blue cobblestone streets, flat roofed red brick and stone buildings which date back to the time period when Puerto Rico was part of the Spanish empire.
Today, there are about 400 historic structures and properties remaining in the city, which illustrate some of the best Spanish colonial architecture from the 16th and 17th century in the New World. Some of these beautiful buildings include the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, which was the first dioceses of the New World in 1511, and the La Fortaleza, which was built around 1540 and is the current governor’s mansion of Puerto Rico. This is the oldest executive mansion to be used continuously in the New World.
In addition, Old San Juan is filled with unique shops, museums, coffee shops, top-rated restaurants, tree-shaded plazas and more. There’s also a free trolley that tourists can hop on and off to visit and enjoy the best Old San Juan has to offer. The city also provides free on-street parking but it is usually difficult to find because of the very limited amount of parking spots available.
Located about on a small and narrow island, Old San Juan sits along the north coast and is joined to the mainland of Puerto Rico by several bridges. It is also bound by the Atalntic Ocean to the north and to the south by the San Juan Bay. On a bluff is the entrance to the harbor which is the Fort San Felipe del Morro and a historic lighthouse.