How to Spend 24 Hours in San Juan

Aerial view of Condado in San Juan | © Prayitno/Flickr
Aerial view of Condado in San Juan | © Prayitno/Flickr
Photo of Mariela Santos
22 June 2017

Puerto Rico‘s capital San Juan is a city of many attractions – the more time spent here, the better. However, if you find yourself with only 24 hours to spare, there are certain unmissable things to check off on your list. Take a look at our guide to the best of San Juan – odds are, you’ll be glad you did.


Spend the morning enjoying Old San Juan, the historic district of the capital city. It’s a must-visit, walkable area that dates back centuries and features must-see attractions such as El Morro Castle, Fort San Cristobal, and the San Juan Cathedral. Take a walking tour of architectural treasures, stop by some of the best coffee shops and restaurants, or take a look at some of the beautiful doors in the area. If you want to shop for souvenirs, this neighborhood has some great spots to pick up gifts including artwork, decorative plates, and t-shirts.

Street view in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico | © cogito ergo imago/ Flickr


Head on over to the Condado area of San Juan, home to several menswear and womenswear boutiques, and add a stylish Puerto Rican piece to your wardrobe. There are also a variety of restaurants and bars in this area for when it’s time to eat and drink. For relaxation at the end of the day, lay back on the beach and watch the sun set – the Condado coastline is beautiful and home to Ocean Park Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in San Juan.

Shops in Condado, San Juan | © Paul Sableman/ Flickr
Sunset on a San Juan beach | © Han Kim/ Flickr


Have fun and dance the night away with a visit to a night club such as Latin Roots or Club Brava, or for something different, take a ride on La Rumba Party Boat. Visitors not interested in dancing may want to opt for one of the jazz clubs in San Juan instead. Whatever your night time entertainment of choice, be sure to refuel in one of the city’s many food venues, including its noteworthy vegetarian restaurants.

Nightclub | © openDemocracy/Flickr
Nighttime scene near the San Juan Harbor in Old San Juan | © Mary Madigan/ Flickr


The second and last morning of a 24-hour trip in San Juan is a good time to relax and reflect on the busy day before. If you’re watching the pennies after a spendthrift night out, try one of the many budget-friendly restaurants in San Juan. Further cheap eats with breakfast options include Pinky’s in Condado and Café Manolin in Old San Juan.

Latte art | © Jorge Gonzalez/Flickr

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