Visiting Old San Juan was one of the highlights of April’s trip to Puerto Rico, and even though my time was limited, Diana and I were still able to do a lot of exploring. There’s lots to do and see, and even though we didn’t get to do it all, we made sure to do as much as we could in our short amount of time.
While it may seem impossible, it’s pretty easy to spend just one day in Old San Juan, even though after that one day, you’re never going to want to leave. It’s impossible not to fall in love with its charm, especially when there’s so much to see, do, drink, and eat.
Start your day at Casa Cortés ChocoBar where you can get delicious coffees with cheddar bites and meals made entirely of chocolate. Everything on the menu is delicious, and you won’t be disappointed. Plus, you’ll be caffeinated and ready for your big day of exploring.
Walk off the calories from breakfast by roaming around the streets and admiring the architecture. Everywhere is so beautiful and the colors are so bright, that it’s hard to pick a favorite building or area. You can also wander in and out of the great selection of shops.
Take a food tour with Spoon Food Tours to find out the best spots to eat in around three hours. They offer driving and walking tours, and you’re sure to learn a lot, while also making sure you try the best of the best in the city.
Tour around the two forts that are located in Old San Juan. You can visit both, but since our time was limited, we only saw Castillo San Felipe del Morro, which was the suggestion of a few different people. It’s a further walk from the city center, but the views were worth it.
Go to happy hour at The Mezzanine at St. Germain. The decor is adorable and there are balconies that allow you to see the city from another perspective. Plus, the drinks are tasty and come at a good price during happy hour.
Grab dinner at Verde Mesa. This spot was much different than other places Diana and I had dined at, and we were pleasantly surprised. The food was light, and geared mainly toward vegetarians, which was perfect after our food tour. The decor was one of my favorite parts, with tin ceilings and mason jar light fixtures.
After dinner, stroll up to La Factoria. It’s a great bar with a cool vibe and drinks that are hard to compete with. It’s something that you’d expect to find in New York City and a welcome change to the traditional Caribbean cocktails. There’s also a “secret” wine bar in the back for anyone interested, although Diana and I were too tired to venture inside. It’s just something we will have to leave until next time.
One day is not enough for Old San Juan, but if it’s all you have, than this is the best way to get a taste for it. Rich in culture, history, and culinary delights, you are sure not to be disappointed by Puerto Rico’s gem.