The Top 10 Museums in and Around San Juan to Visit

The Pablo Casals Museum in San Juan | © vxla/Flickr
The Pablo Casals Museum in San Juan | © vxla/Flickr
Photo of Mariela Santos
3 June 2017

San Juan is a city of many attractions, with something for everyone. If you add the Puerto Rican capital’s many interesting locations into the mix, then the options are even greater. When it comes to museums, whether about history, art, or sports, enthusiasts should have no problem finding a spot to visit and explore. Take a look at our list of the top 10 institutions that simply can’t be missed when in, or around, San Juan.

Felisa Rincón de Gautier Museum

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As the first female mayor of San Juan, Felisa Rincón de Gautier was a trailblazer for women in Puerto Rican politics. She was known for her dedication to social causes such as women’s suffrage, as well as her flair for personal style, and for her Christmas initiatives, which included having planeloads of snow flown in for local children. Call ahead to stop by her museum-home, which can be found in Old San Juan close to the San Juan Gate, a San Juan landmark.

The Museum of History, Anthropology and Art

This museum is located within the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus, in the municipality of Río Piedras, San Juan. Visitors can take a look at Puerto Rican history, anthropology and art, while guided tours and conferences are among the activities available at the museum.

University Ave., San Juan, Puerto Rico, +1 787 763 3939

Sports Museum of Puerto Rico

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Images from the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame
Images from the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame | © rklopfer/ Flickr
Visitors can stop by the Sports Museum of Puerto Rico in Guaynabo – part of the San Juan metropolitan area and accessible by car – to learn about great Puerto Rican sportspeople. Noteworthy athletes from past and present that have ties to Puerto Rico include baseball players, boxers, and track and field athletes, many of whom are represented amid the museum‘s exhibits.

Casa Blanca Museum

Visiting Casa Blanca is like taking a peek at the past at this museum-home which was built to house Juan Ponce de León – the first Governor by appointment of the Spanish crown – and his family. It’s located in Old San Juan and some of Ponce de León’s descendants lived there until the mid-18th century. Now considered a historical building with a small garden, it makes for a quick visit in the historic district.

1 San Sebastian Street, San Juan, Puerto Rico, +1 787 725 1454

Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art

The two-floor Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art is located in Santurce, and is home to artwork created with different materials. Go to this museum if only to see one of the most notable features of the building, which is the glass roof that’s located over an open, indoor area – but don’t forget to look at the art.

Juan Ponce de León Ave., corner of Robert H. Todd Ave., San Juan, Puerto Rico, +1 787 977 4030

Museum of the Americas

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This museum is housed inside of the Cuartel de Ballajá which is one of Old San Juan’s architectural landmarks. The cuartel used to be infantry barracks, but is now home to the Museum of the Americas on its second floor, where visitors can find out more about Puerto Rican history. There are a handful of places to eat nearby for those who want to try some delicious local dishes.

Puerto Rican Museum of Art

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One of the top museums throughout Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Museum of Art houses artwork by legendary artists from the island. Among the pieces in this museum‘s collection are works by Antonio Martorell, Lorenzo Homar, and José Campeche, in addition to many others. Open since 2000, the museum is an important part of San Juan’s art scene and can be found in Santurce, not far from the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art.

Casa Bacardí

Puerto Rico is a country with a rich history of rum production, and one of the most recognizable brands that has a presence on the island is Bacardi. Located close to San Juan, in the town of Cataño, visitors can check out Casa Bacardí and take tours of the distillery, and maybe even sample some drinks. The brand dates back hundreds of years, and while this isn’t your run-of-the-mill museum, there is an historical tour available for visitors.

165 Road, Cataño, Puerto Rico, +1 787 788 8400

#BacardíMojito – Frescura para las noches de primavera. #WeAreTheNightPR

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Museum of Transportation

The Museum of Transportation is the only one of its kind in Puerto Rico. The three-floor building features photographs, antique cars, motorcycles and bicycles, among other attractions, while there is also a souvenir store and a lounge café.

Santa Rosa Ave., Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, +1 787 200 3900

Pablo Casals Museum

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The legendary composer and musician Pablo Casals had Puerto Rican heritage and is widely celebrated in Puerto Rico. Not only is there a music festival named in his honor – the Festival Casals of Puerto Rico – there is also a museum dedicated to him in Old San Juan for those who wish to find out more about his links to the island.

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