Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Calle de la Fortaleza (Fortaleza Street), San Juan

Calle de la Fortaleza (Fortaleza Street), San Juan (must see)

Proudly presiding over the bay of San Juan is the imposing La Fortaleza (Fortress) building, formally known as the Palace of Santa Catalina, the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fortress is a must-see when in the capital. The narrow road leading to it, called Calle de la Fortaleza (Fortaleza Street), is the main artery of San Juan's historic quarter, cutting through most of it, and is also the oldest street in the area. It starts from Plaza Colón and for the whole duration is lined with government buildings, hotels, perfumeries, craft shops, jewelry stores and restaurants, gradually transforming into Avenue Juan Ponce de León in the east.

Following 14-day protests in the summer of 2019 that toppled the corrupt government of Puerto Rico’s governor, the Mayor of San Juan decreed changing the street's name to Calle de la Resistencia. In time of public holidays and cultural events, the street becomes pedestrianized for all or nearly all its extension.

Just like many other colorful cobblestone streets in Old San Juan, each one more photogenic than the other, this thoroughfare is an important tourist attraction, in large part due to its historical and cultural significance. As of lately, visiting Fortaleza Street has become an integral part of every Old San Juan itinerary.

While the walled-in Old City has no shortage of vibrant photo spots, Fortaleza Street really stands out above the rest due to the display of umbrellas creating an overhead canopy that makes it particularly recognizable. The entire length of the street is not covered by umbrellas, but only a certain portion, closed to traffic, known as the Umbrella Street. These umbrellas tend to change colors during the year, from rainbow to all pink. Before the umbrellas, La Fortaleza Street had colorful kites.

Beside the umbrellas, Fortaleza Street has plenty of restaurants and shops well worth checking out, too, and is also one of the city's most high trafficked avenues.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Calle de la Fortaleza (Fortaleza Street) on Map

Sight Name: Calle de la Fortaleza (Fortaleza Street)
Sight Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Create Your Own Walk in San Juan

Create Your Own Walk in San Juan

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Juan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old San Juan Squares

Old San Juan Squares

A distinctive feature of Old San Juan is the number of quaint historic squares. Many of them are adorned with beautiful fountains, prominent monuments and intricate sculptures recounting rich history of this amazing city. Check out San Juan’s most popular squares on this self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
San Juan Art Museums And Galleries Tour

San Juan Art Museums And Galleries Tour

San Juan is a great place to learn more about Caribbean, Latin American and Puerto Rican art. It has many interesting museums and excellent galleries, featuring fine works by talented international and local artists. Check out San Juan’s most popular art museums and galleries on this self walking tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Old San Juan East Side Walking Tour

Old San Juan East Side Walking Tour

The east side of Old San Juan is home to several interesting historical sites, including Castillo de San Cristóbal, El Capitolio, Casa De España and Monumento de la Recordación. Take the following tour to discover the fascinating attractions located in Old San Juan’s east side!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Old San Juan Walking Tour

Old San Juan Walking Tour

The old town of San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, is a lovely historic area with a wealth of colorful Spanish colonial architecture. The most notable landmarks include 16th-century El Morro and La Fortaleza fortresses, towering over the Atlantic, and the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade, to mention but a few. To explore Old San Juan's most prominent sights, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave San Juan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Juan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan proudly features the country’s oldest quarters and historic buildings. In addition to having the oldest occupied residence in the Western Hemisphere, visitors can also admire the old City Hall, the Cristo Chapel, the historic El Arsenal and many other fascinating attractions. Take this self guided tour to see the most popular and famous historic buildings in San Juan!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

The uniqueness of Puerto Rico is partially associated with its political status - part of the United States yet with a Latin twist. Other than their widely-acknowledged musical talents, e.g. Carlos Santana and Ricky Martin, Puerto Rico is just as rich in many other good things. When you're in...