Best Areas to Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Americas, Puerto Rico, San Juan  /   /  By bestdistricts

Where to Stay in San Juan – A Guide to the Capital of Puerto Rico

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and is considered a cosmopolitan city.

San Juan de Puerto Rico is located on the north coast of the island, on the Atlantic Ocean.

The best time to visit San Juan is from the beginning of December to the middle of April, when sunny days allow you to explore its attractions and do outdoor activities.

The charm of the beautiful city of San Juan can be seen in its picturesque buildings and streets, as well as in beaches such as Luquillo and Boquerón, ideal for snorkeling or surfing.

Some icons of San Juan are the Museum of the Americas and the White House.

Likewise, the city is an important destination for business, shopping, and nightlife, with bars and clubs for all tastes, with Latin rhythms such as salsa, reggaeton, and merengue being the most popular music genres.

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is the main air terminal of the city and is located in the municipality of Carolina, 7 miles (12 kilometers) from the Old Town of San Juan. This airport connects with cities in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, France, Germany, and Spain, among others.

In addition, it is also possible to reach San Juan by cruise.

San Juan’s public transportation is divided into buses and a metro line that is not the most efficient.

As for the best areas to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Old San Juan stands out for being a historic district with emblematic buildings declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. (See accommodation in Old San Juan).

Here’s a guide with the best areas to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Best Areas to Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico

1. Our Favorite Area: Old San Juan

Old San Juan is the best area to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for being the heart of the city.

Old San Juan is located on an islet that connects to the main island of Puerto Rico by bridges.

It is a safe place and the epicenter of the cultural, historical and commercial activity of the city, making it a good area to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for business travelers.

The main advantage of staying here is that it has attractions such as the Old San Juan Pier, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, small shops, and many souvenir stalls.

It is in this area that emblematic places such as El Morro are found, with secret passageways, canyons, green areas and panoramic views of the city.

Other attractions in the area that are worth a visit are Plaza de Armas and Plaza Dársenas, Galería Botello, Castillo de Santa Catalina and Paseo la Princesa.

This area connects with the rest of the city by bus, taxi, and the Cataño ferry.

Old San Juan is one of the best areas to stay in San Juan in Puerto Rico for its variety of hotels for all tastes and budgets.

It is also a very pedestrian-friendly area, with entertainment for all kinds of visitors, historical attractions and very photogenic corners.

Recommended area to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Old San Juan

Recommended area to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico – Old San Juan

Where to stay in San Juan - Old San Juan

Where to stay in San Juan – Old San Juan

Accommodation in Old San Juan - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Old San Juan – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

  • Best area for sightseeing
  • Best area for business travelers
  • Best area for nightlife
  • Pedestrian-friendly
  • Best area to stay without a car
  • Old San Juan Pier

Accommodation in this area

Top Choice

Navona Studios

The rooms are air-conditioned and have a dining area with a fridge and coffee maker. They also have a private bathroom with a shower. Some rooms include a balcony.

from US$60
Budget

Denizens Hostel

Located in San Juan, 600 meters from La Puntilla and 2.3 km from Playa Ocho, Denizens Hostel offers accommodation with free WiFi throughout.

from US$30
Luxury

La Terraza de San Juan

This centrally located boutique hotel features a rooftop terrace overlooking San Juan Bay and historic Old San Juan. It is decorated in a 19th century colonial style.

from US$179
 

 

 

2. Isla Verde

Isla Verde (or “Green Island”) is located about 6,8 miles (11 kilometers) east of San Juan, in the municipality of Carolina, and stands out for its exclusive hotels, perfect beaches for surfing, nightlife and proximity to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

Staying here allows you to enjoy its popular beaches, including Isla Verde Beach, El Alambique Beach and Carolina Beach, all with free parking.

Furthermore, the end of Isla Verde that is closer to San Juan has many food stalls and souvenir sales of all kinds.

On Isla Verde, which is also very pedestrian-friendly, resort-type hotels, casinos, discos, and bars abound.

This is one of the best areas to stay in San Juan de Puerto Rico for a layover, as well as for business travelers.

In addition, Isla Verde connects with the rest of the city by bus, but it is more advisable to rent a car when staying in this district.

Best areas to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Isla Verde

Best areas to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico – Isla Verde

Accommodation in Isla Verde - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Isla Verde – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

  • Great beaches
  • Best area for surfers
  • Resort-type hotels

Accommodation in this area

  • Top Choice
    Verdanza Hotel

    This tropical hotel offers poolside spa services, just steps from Isla Verde Beach and 2 km from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

    from US$190
 

 

 

3. Palmas del Mar

Palmas del Mar is one of the most exclusive areas to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is located in the municipality of Humacao, on the southwestern corner of the island of Puerto Rico.

The Pterocarpus Forest and the Humacao Nature Reserve are attractions in this area that make it a good place to stay in San Juan de Puerto Rico for nature lovers and for those seeking tranquility during their stay.

Palmas del Mar offers travelers a variety of water activities: Deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, diving, chartering and surfing.

Here are also some of the best spas, restaurants, and shops in all of Puerto Rico, as well as luxury resort-type hotels for the most demanding travelers.

This area is one of the safest in San Juan, so it can be explored on foot easily. However, it does not have the best transport connections and it is necessary to use a taxi or car to move to the center of San Juan.

Where to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Palmas del Mar

Where to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico – Palmas del Mar

Accommodation in Palmas del Mar - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Palmas del Mar – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

  • Exclusive area
  • Golf and water activities
  • Pterocarpus Forest

Accommodation in this area

  • Top Choice
    The Plaza Suites

    The Plaza Suites is located in Humacao and offers free WiFi throughout, a sun terrace with a pool, restaurant and garden. This 4-star hotel has a 24-hour reception and a concierge service.

    from US$103
 

 

 

4. Ocean Park

Ocean Park is one of the quietest areas of San Juan, ideal for those who visit the city with family and children.

Ocean Park is located on the coast of San Juan, between, Condado and Isla Verde, and has numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants, among which some dedicated to seafood stand out.

The wooded streets and beaches of Ocean Park give it an atmosphere of serenity that makes it one of the best areas to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico, especially when compared to the hectic pace of the City Center.

The great attraction of Ocean Park is its huge beach, where sports lovers can practice surfing, kitesurfing or windsurfing since the conditions of the coast are excellent and the waves are perfect.

Ocean Park stands out for its hotels with sea views, adjustable to the budget of each traveler.

Recommended area to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Ocean Park

Recommended area to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico – Ocean Park

Accommodation in Ocean Park - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Ocean Park – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

  • Peaceful area
  • Beach access
  • All kinds of hotels

Accommodation in this area

  • Top Choice
    Tres Palmas Inn

    This hotel is located right in front of the sea. It also has a private patio with an outdoor pool and a roof terrace with a sun terrace. Free WiFi is available throughout the premises.

    from US$135
 

 

 

5. Condado

Condado is a residential area of the upper-middle class.

Condado stands out for its beautiful natural parks such as Antonio Quiñónez or Laguna del Condado, which allows you to practice some water sports.

Condado connects to Old San Juan through the Dos Hermanos Bridge, which can be crossed on foot or by bicycle.

Condado is a good option to stay in San Juan de Puerto Rico since it offers all kinds of hotels, from simple and cheap pensions to luxury hotels with sea views.

In addition to being a chic area with large luxury stores, it is an ideal setting to sample the island’s culinary creations, as it has numerous restaurants and fast food establishments to the delight of all travelers.

The best way to get around Condado is on foot, however, there are those who prefer to do it by private or rental car.

Buses connect Condado with the rest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Where to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Condado

Where to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico – Condado

Accommodation in Condado - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Condado – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

  • Pedestrian-friendly
  • Dos Hermanos Bridge
  • Good restaurants

Accommodation in this area

Top Choice

Canario Boutique Hotel

This boutique hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico, just 1 block from Condado Beach, offers air-conditioned rooms and free Wi-Fi in public areas.

from US$89
Budget

Conturce Hostel

Featuring a terrace and free WiFi, Conturce Hostel is located in San Juan, 300 meters from Ocean Park Beach and 700 meters from Condado Beach. The property is around 2.2 km from Punta Las Marías.

from US$51
Luxury

O:Live Boutique Hotel, A Small Luxury Hotel of the World

Located in the select Condado neighborhood, O: Live Boutique Hotel offers Mediterranean décor and elegant suites. The property provides free WiFi throughout.

from US$200
 

 

 
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