Eternal Arrival
Old San Juan views
Puerto Rico

Old San Juan: 20 Photos That Will Make You Pack Your Bags

The United States is a young country – and as a result, its architecture skews towards the modern and functional rather than the historic and elegant.

The U.S.’s best architectural eye candy actually lies about 1,000 miles offshore of Florida: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico at the edge of the Caribbean sea.

With its odd legal status somewhere between colonial territory and statehood, Puerto Rico is easy for Americans to travel to – no passport needed.

With beautiful colonial architecture painted in vibrant colors, some of the most Instagrammable places in Puerto Rico, and gorgeous beaches within the city limits…. what are you waiting for?

Photos of Old San Juan

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basketball in Old San Juan

Walking along Calle Norzagaray, watching kids play basketball overlooking a turquoise sea

near San Cristobal in old san juan

Further down Calle Norzagaray, some buildings seem abandoned, from another time; others are proudly kept up

San Cristobal, old san juan

At the end of the street: San Cristobal, a beautiful historic site on the cusp of the sea

houses in Old San Juan

Across the street – colorful studies in contrast

houses in Old San Juan

There is charm even in disarray

runners in Old San Juan

As I took this, I thought to myself: maybe I’d actually run if this was my backdrop. But who am I kidding?

Old San Juan

Contrast is king in Old San Juan

Old San Juan

It’s hard to stop yourself from documenting every street, every corner

Old San Juan

Beautiful colors juxtapose everywhere, bringing centuries-old colonial architecture to life

Old San Juan

A modest old building tucked away from the street, echoing another time

street art in Old San Juan

Street art on Calle San Jose, steps from the wild nightlife scene on Calle San Sebastian

street cats Old San Juan

A cat keeping to the shade on a sunny day. Later, my sunburnt knees wished I was as smart as him.

calle norzagaray old san juan

Endless colors

esquina Old San Juan

Every corner has its own charm

El Morro Old San Juan

Watching ships pass in the sun at Castillo El Morro

the ocean at el morro in old san juan

Marveling at the ocean’s many colors

Old San Juan views

The best thing is you’ve never far from a turquoise sea view, even in the Old Town.

El morro old san juan

Women taking Saturday stroll at the El Morro grounds in Old San Juan.

waterfront of old san juan

The old waterfront of Old San Juan is eerily abandoned, visible from the periphery of Calle Norzagaray

cemetary old san juan

Walking through the cemetery, I couldn’t help but think: I guess being dead wouldn’t be so bad if it meant being buried here.

20  Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is a beautiful colonial city in the heart of the Caribbean. Get inspired to visit by these photos!

Recommended Accommodations: Olive Boutique Hotel in nearby Condado
Further Reading: Lonely Planet Puerto Rico
Useful Tips: Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and uses the US dollar. You do not need a passport if you are American. The best time to visit is between December and May to avoid hurricane season. JetBlue often has great sales to Puerto Rico!

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