If you’re wondering where to stay in San Juan Puerto Rico, I hope this post helps you figure out the best neighborhoods, hotels, and Airbnb spots to enjoy on your trip to Puerto Rico’s capital city.
San Juan is really small, so there are no worries about staying too far from anywhere because, well, you’re never too far from anywhere to begin with.
Getting to and From the Airport
While Uber does exist in San Juan, you cannot use it to get from the airport to the city. You must line up at the taxi rank and take a taxi. Depending on how far you go the lowest rate is about $17 and the highest about $30. Luckily, the fee isn’t per person, but per taxi.
You CAN, however, take an Uber from San Juan back to the airport without a problem. This is much cheaper. I paid $6.50 to get from my Airbnb in Ocean Park to the airport and that was very early in the morning.
If you’ve never used Uber before, you can sign up with this code to receive a few dollars off your first three rides: laurab18897ue
Best Neighborhoods in San Juan Puerto Rico
Trying to figure out which neighborhood in San Juan to base yourself can be a little bit tricky if you’ve never been to the island before. Where you stay depends hugely one what your plans are, whether you’re renting a car, and where you’re going once you leave San Juan.
My favorite neighborhood for beach lovers is Ocean Park. This is a little beachfront gated community about halfway between Old San Juan and the airport, which was perfect for me. I spent two days in Ocean Park and loved being able to walk to the beach and then hop in an Uber for less than $8 and get into the downtown area for dinner and drinks.
If you want to be surrounded by restaurants, away from the big hotels, and are going to be spending the majority of your vacation in San Juan, then I highly recommend staying in Old San Juan. It’s the furthest point from the airport, but if you’ll be in town for more than a few days, it’s no big deal.
Old San Juan is where you’ll find all of the historical forts, the colorful buildings, the best nightlife, and tons of great restaurants. It’s also within walking distance to most of the beaches and other things to do in San Juan.
The third place that I would recommend staying is in Condado. This is where you’ll find the beachfront hotels and some of the nicest sandy beaches in the city. It’s located between Ocean Park and Old San Juan, so you are still close to other beach options as well as all of the nightlife of Old San Juan. There are tons of rental car agencies in this area as well as a few casinos.
An honorable mention should go to the Santurce neighborhood. This is the hipster area of the city where you’ll find tons of Airbnbs and plenty of cool coffee shops and food trucks. It’s not near a beach, which is why it’s not one of my top choices, but you’re a short Uber ride away from any of the beaches that you want to check out for the day.
Where to Stay in San Juan
The Best Hotels in San Juan Puerto Rico
There are so many hotels in San Juan Puerto Rico to choose from that it can be hard to narrow it down. I certainly haven’t stayed at every hotel in San Juan, but I have stayed in a few of them and I have physically checked out a few others, so here’s what I’ve come up with as the best hotels in San Juan.
La Concha Resort is my top pick for those that want a ton of amenities. There’s a casino on sight, a kids pool, an adults pool (with pool bar), beautiful rooms, a huge lobby with a cafe, and a gym as well. You also have access to the private beach where you can lounge on the lounge chairs and dip into the ocean as often as you’d like. There are several different room options at La Concha with the cheapest starting at about $150 per night. Book a stay at La Concha Resort here.
The Condado Vanderbilt is my choice for total luxury. It has five starts and rooms start at about $250-300 per night, but they are absolutely stunning. The building itself is old, Spanish-style and the beach is pristine. The downstairs bar will make you feel like you’re in an old-time prohibition spot. Head to the spa for a relaxing rub down or facial after a day at the beach. It’s truly an indulgent experience that is perfect for a romantic couples retreat. Book a stay at the Condado Vanderbilt here.
For family-friendly and wallet-friendly, check out the San Juan Water & Beach Club. They have suites and rooms that start as low as $89 a night depending on when you plan to travel. They have a beautiful pool area that takes in the views of the beach and there’s also private beach access if you want to enjoy the sand and sea without leaving the resort. Book a stay at the San Juan Water & Beach Club here.
Boutique hotel lovers (and Instagram fiends) will love Dreamcatcher. It’s located in my favorite neighborhood, Ocean Park, and while it doesn’t have direct beach access, it’s literally a block away from Ocean Park Beach. The rooms are gorgeous and the decor of the restaurant (and the food too) are constantly raved about by fellow travel bloggers. Rooms start at $120 per night. Book a stay at Dreamcatcher here.
Budget backpackers will love the rooms at the Santurcia Hostel & Bar. It’s located in the hipster Santurce neighborhood and has tons of different options including women’s only rooms, four-person dorms, and private doubles. It’s super clean and has a great rooftop bar that you might want to check out even if you’re not staying at the hostel. This is definitely the best option if you want to meet fellow travelers. Book a stay at Santurcia Hostel & Bar here.
The Best Airbnb in San Juan Puerto Rico
If you prefer Airbnbs because you want to self-cater, you want to save some money, or you simply prefer them to hotels (I know I usually do!), then definitely check out some of these great spots.
If you’ve never used Airbnb before, sign up with this link before you start browsing and get up to $30 off your first booking.
The first place that I want to recommend is located in Ocean Park and was the perfect place when I was there by myself. I also think it would be a great apartment for a couple. It’s a single bedroom apartment with a little living room area, a kitchen, and a bathroom. It’s two blocks away from the beach and it took me less than 5 minutes to walk from the front door of the apartment to the beach. It’s super reasonable at $56 per night. Check it out here.
This Airbnb Plus option in Old San Juan looks like utter perfection. It’s a loft-style apartment and is packed with natural light. You can literally walk out your door and just start exploring one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in San Juan, and the kitchen is big and well stocked so you can self cater. It costs $99 per night. Check it out here.
This luxury apartment in the Condado area is great for those that want to be near all of the resort action without paying the resort prices. It’s less than 10 minutes walk to the beach. It’s near all of the restaurants in this area, and it’s a quick Uber ride to the airport or Old San Juan. It’s only $76 per night and sleeps up to three (one bedroom and one pull out couch) so is a great option for families with one or two small children. Check it out here.
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