Castillo de San Cristóbal
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Castillo de San Cristóbal, the Spanish fortress that protected the city against attacks by land. It was completed in 1783 and still stands proudly today, although parts have been demolished and rebuilt.
The fortress sprawls out over 27 acres and was the main entry point into the city if you came by land and not by sea. During World War II, the five large cisterns inside the fortress were used as bomb shelters.
Today, you can sign up for a guided tour through Castillo de San Cristóbal or you can wander through on your own. Bring your camera for absolutely wonderful views of San Juan. Be sure to visit the gift shop before you leave.
Puerto Rico Museum of Art
Head over to the Santurce neighborhood or barrio and visit the Puerto Rico Museum of Art or the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico where you can meander through 18 exhibition halls filled with a variety of artwork from local artists dating back to the 17th century.
This museum is one of the best cultural experiences in Puerto Rico, allowing you to see works of art by Puerto Ricans throughout the ages. Check out the permanent exhibits and then wander through the temporary or seasonal exhibits.
Before leaving, step outside and take in the outdoor sculpture garden. If you have kids in tow, the craft workshop area is a fun place to visit. Grab lunch at the on-site restaurant and then pop into the gift shop.
Museo Casa Blanca
While you are in Old Town San Juan take a tour of the Museo Casa Blanca, an adorable museum filled to the brim with artifacts from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is located along the city wall at the corner of Calle de Casa Blanca.
The museum is in the house that was once the main residence of Juan Ponce de León, the first governor of Puerto Rico. The house was built in 1521 and is the oldest home in San Juan.
Sit in the elegantly manicured gardens and then gaze out the windows of the living room to see breathtaking views of the city and sea. The dining room is set much like it would have been when Ponce de León was in residence.