San Juan blew up in popularity during covid. The Caribbean hidden gem has been popularized from instathots that had nowhere else to go besides Tulum, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. As the huge rush of American’s finest took over San Juan, it has caused some discomfort from the locals as drunk basics cause chaos in the street. Please don’t be those people when you visit.
San Jaun Neighborhoods
As a visitor, there are a few areas you’ll come across when wanting to stay. Each one has its own character and charm (or lack of) around San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Santruce – San Juan’s “Brooklyn” vibe. Where locals like to represent.
- Old San Juan – historic and touristy but the charm is damn romantic.
- Loiza – Where the white people and locals culture combine to create a hip and upcoming area full of art, bars, and restaurants that don’t want to attract the Condado tourists.
- Candado – SpRiNg BrEak fOreVer.
San Juan Beaches
- Playa Ocean Park – Inside a gated community but open to the public during the day. Here you’ll find kite surfers and a more laid back beach vibe.
- Hobie Beach – Where the locals hang out a little out of the busy San Juan Area.
- Condado Beach – Where the drunk gringos are causing havoc.
Some fun watering holes in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- El Tap – (Loiza) a beer lovers haven with lots of beers on tap.
- JungleBird – Caribbean tiki bar.
- Handlebar – a bit far form where most tourists are but a dope rock bar.
- El Batey Bar – lively dive bar with an old historic vibe.
- Tresbe – a very hip place with different scenario of seatings, serving a variety of drinks and foods.
Eating Through San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico is a culinary ride.
Breakfast && Brunch
- Pinky’s Calle Loiza – My absolute favorite place I ate at. More of a counter spot for takeout but so damn good. There is also one in Candado as well.
- Ana’s Cafe – Affordable cheap cafe style breakfast.
- Spiga – Cafe style coffee and sandwiches
- Bien Papayas – Lovely ladies whipping up breakfast noms.
- MUSA – Funky and warm brunch spot serving up a variety of international dishes.
- Deaverdura – No thrills but cozy puerto rican atmosphere that locals will take over for salsa nights and invite you to join them.
- Eter Rooftop & Lounge – Wine and dine over a view of the city.
- Graziani Restaurant – Hip place for tapas and cocktails.
Hole in the Wall && Takeout
- El Patio De Solé – such an absolute gem with a huge quirky outdoor garden area to eat.
- Bebo’s Café – a puerto rican favorite that pops off every night.
- Majados Food Truck – Hip food truck style puerto rican food.
- Tresbe – an eclectic, outside place to eat and drink.
Activities / Areas to Explore
- Electroshock – Vintage and funky second hand shop for some cool threads.
- Umbrella Street – A place for you to take some Instagram pictures and gain clout.
- La Placita de Santurce – a town square that becomes lively, especially on weekends, full of dancing.
- Calles Artísticas Santurce es Ley – Check out some local murals.
- Castillo San Felipe del Morro – The famous Spanish built fortress thats stunning, especially at night time.
**Caution** in La Perla
La Perla (ironically, the Pearl) is an old shanty town that was where slaves and lower-class people lived during the colonial period that is still low income. Today, it is not a place to venture into unless you know what you’re doing.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT TAKE YOUR PHONE OUT AND TAKE PICTURES. You will get extorted. This is an area of drugs and crime and it’s easy to stumble across when venturing around Old San Juan.