Puerto Rico's capital city has it all: a storied history, world class restaurants, a thriving nightlife and pristine beaches. San Juan is an exciting city that will appeal to every breed of traveler, from those looking to spend their days lazing on a white sand beach to those wanting to dance the night away in a stylish salsa bar.

Make the most of your stay in San Juan with a schedule that includes the best attractions and a few hidden gems as well.

Day One
After arriving at either Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport or San Juan’s cruise ship terminal, collect your luggage and make your way into Old San Juan. This historic pocket of the capital city dates to the 16th century and offers a living gallery of colonial architecture and quaint cobblestoned streets. As such, this is the perfect area to base yourself for the duration of your stay.

Casa Sol stands as one of Old San Juan’s loveliest accommodations, with five unique rooms decorated in a Spanish style and a complimentary daily breakfast made with fresh, local ingredients. On the west side of town you’ll find Villa Herencia, a luxurious eight-bedroom boutique hotel set with stunning furnishings from the early 1900s. You’re in luck with whichever you choose, as Old San Juan boasts numerous boutique hotels and luxurious bed-and-breakfasts to suit any taste or budget.

Once you’ve checked in and dropped your luggage, lace up your walking shoes and hit the streets. Two huge Spanish-built forts, Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal, stand about a mile from each other, with the former originally built to protect the city from seaborne enemies and the latter to protect against land-based attacks. At the entrance of both, you'll find National Park Service Rangers available to guide you through underground tunnels and hundreds of years of history.

You've likely done a lot of walking by now, but a quick recharge at any of the excellent nearby restaurants should keep you going. Pizza lovers will swoon for Pirilo Pizza Rústica's homemade pies with gourmet topping options, while travelers looking for traditional Puerto Rican fare will find mofongo and more comida criolla at El Jibarito, a district staple since 1977.
Continue down the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan towards El Convento hotel, the best kept oldest building within the so-called “walled city” and enjoy a delicious passion fruit mojito while gazing into the sunset over the San Juan Bay and Cathedral.

After dark, Old San Juan transforms into a hub of cocktail bars and clubs. Watch it all unfold from the Punta de Vista Rooftop Restaurant, where the view stretches for miles and iconic Puerto Rican dishes are served in authentic form. Then, grab a post-meal cocktail at La Factoría, the award-winning bar celebrated as one of world's best. If you’re feet aren’t too tired, be sure to give salsa dancing a try in the back room, El Final, where live bands play beloved classics to a packed dance floor.
Day Two
After enjoying breakfast at any of Old San Juan’s unique eateries — diner-style spot La Mallorca is famous for their sweet-bread sandwich — head for Playa El Escambrón. A short taxi or Uber ride from Old San Juan, this stunning beach is protected by a natural coral reef, which has created a safe and tranquil oasis close to the city. Don’t forget to pack snorkeling equipment if you've got it — there's a trove of tropical fish to see here, especially near the reef.
When it’s time for lunch, head to nearby Santurce, where you’ll find a wide variety of flavors at Lote 23. This food truck lot opened in late 2016 to rave reviews — the creative gastronomy is served by established chefs trying out new concepts, as well as exciting newcomers, which made it an instant hit with both locals and travelers.
When the sun sets, get up to the luxurious Eter Rooftop and Lounge. Enjoy an elegant dinner and sip cocktails while taking in panoramic views of the city, then ready yourself for a little dancing. Calle Loíza is a quick trip away, and there you'll find cocktail bars, lounges and dance floors thumping to music from local DJs.
Day Three
Begin your final day in San Juan with a strong Puerto Rican brew at Caficultura, a widely lauded coffeeshop known for its top-notch latte art. The breakfast and brunch selection are superb, so grab a bite to fuel up for the day ahead. Next, jump in a taxi to the nearby Condado Lagoon, where you can rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak for a sun-drenched workout — or just lay back on the sand between relaxing dips in the cool water. You’ve been so busy the last few days, you deserve a lazy final day on your trip.
If you still have an appetite for history in the afternoon, Old San Juan has plenty more to offer. Visit La Fortaleza (The Fortress), which was built between 1533 and 1540 and is currently home to the Governor of Puerto Rico. Then, stop by La Catedral de San Juan Bautista, a striking, well-maintained cathedral, or Plaza de Armas, an expansive, open-air space embellished with sculptures and fountains.

To finish off your trip, stop in at La Taberna Lúpulo, the island's premier craft beer bar. Here, you can sample more than 50 taps and 150 bottled brews, including loads of local brands. On your way back to your hotel to start packing, be sure to grab yourself (or a friend) a locally-made souvenir at any of the city’s unique shops.

There's so much to do in San Juan that 72 hours may not be long enough to see it all. Extraordinary experiences are everywhere, and these are just a few of the remarkable options that will make for an unforgettable visit.
Are you excited to experience San Juan for yourself? Start planning your adventure today.