Old San Juan has been around since the days of the Spanish conquistadors. The colonial-style buildings are representative of that time period when the Spanish used to race there horses through the cobblestone streets.
Today, Old San Juan has a little something for everyone to make spending a few hours here worthwhile. For the history buffs, there are 16th-century residences, forts, and other landmarks to visit within this walled section of the city. There is a visitor center at the waterfront that provides historical and modern information about Old San Juan. Our hotel also had good information. For example, one of the tourism magazines in our hotel room had a suggested walking tour itinerary for those who want to learn about the significance of the colorful landmarks in Old San Juan. Since the area only occupies seven square blocks, you'll certainly take in a little history just by wandering.
A history lesson was not on the agenda of our visit to Old San Juan. Instead, my wife was in the mood for shopping. There are plenty of stores to browse in this area. They range from small antique and specialty shops to name-brand retailers and department stores. My wife seemed to determined to visit all of them that day, so I ended up joining the other men on the husband benches as we moved from store to store.
All that shopping caused us to work up an appetite. We passed many restaurants as we walked through Old San Juan. There were some cafe-style restaurants that serve a plethora of seafood dishes. These restaurants were on the pricey side judging from their posted menus. We also passed several fast-food restaurants. Our dinner choice for the day was Pizza Hut. We rarely eat there at home but somehow seem to always have a craving for it any time we set foot outside the continental US.
Recharged after our Pizza Hut meal, we wandered the cobblestone streets once more. We paused on the steps of an old church to listen to an incredible classical organist. Our day of walking in Old San Juan ended by the waterfront, where there was a live merengue band performing onstage. I've been told there are often live concerts on the waterfront on the weekends. I joined the crowd enjoying the music, while my wife couldn't resist visiting the vendor booths selling clothing, jewelry, music, and artwork.
We had spent the afternoon on the streets of Old San Juan. It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours.