Hop Aboard the Free Trolley in Old San Juan
Update- Nov.30,2017- Trolleys have not restarted yet. I will update this article when they have started running again.
Old San Juan has a free trolley service to help you get around the city. The trolley runs Monday through Friday from 7:00am until 7:00pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am until 7:00pm (except the Green route, which runs only 9am- until 6pm or so). Just stand at any of the marked trolley stop signs and wait for the next trolley to come along. You can get off at any marked trolley stop.
These trolleys are strictly free transportation. They are not "tour" or "sight-seeing" trolleys. There is no tour guide to explain what you’re seeing. But having said that, the trolleys are a nice way to see an overview of the city. They are not the fastest way to get around in the city – the best way to get around and see more is on foot. But they are convenient when you are hot and tired, or physically unable to walk the steep streets.
There are three routes, all of which start at trolley stop 1 , which is on the corner across the street from Cruise Ship Pier 4. This corner has a little restaurant, a convenience store, liquor store, a cigar shop, an internet cafe, and scooter shop. The route names are posted on the front of the trolley above the windshield.
City Hall Route
The trolley used for this route is enclosed and air-conditioned. It travels around the main shopping area of Old San Juan, including Calles Tanaca, San Francisco, Fortaleza, Recinto Sur, and then swings around by the Casita before heading back to trolley stop 1. It hits these stops in this order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 , 10, 11, 15, 16, 3, 12, 13, 14.
City Hall / El Morro Route
The trolley used for this route is also enclosed and air-conditioned. It travels around the main shopping area of Old San Juan, including Calles Tanca, San Francisco, Fortaleza, and then heads up past Fort San Cristobal, along the ocean on Calle Norzagaray, then on to El Morro. After turning around at El Morro, it retraces it’s path back to Calle San Francisco, back down Forteleza to Recinto Sur, and then swings around by the Casita before heading back to trolley stop 1. It’s a combination of the City Hall route and the El Morro route, and stops at all the same trolley stops, including numbers 6 and 7.
El Morro Route
The trolley used for this route is an open-air tram-like vehicle with two cars. It bypasses the main shopping area, and makes a bee-line for the forts, passing the Capitol Building along the way. This one stops at trolley stop 1, 2, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, and then goes right up to the entrance of El Morro. After turning around at El Morro, it stops at 25, 23, 21, 19, 12, 13, 14, and then returns to stop 1.
Here’s a list of the trolley stops and what’s near each one …
- 1 – Calle Corretjer – Pier 4, Internet Cafe
- 2 – Corner of Calle Corretjer and Recinto Sur – Covadonga parking, bus station
- 3 – Calle Recinto Sur – across from parking decks, restaurants
- 4 – Corner of Calles Tetun and Tanca
- 5/6 – Corner of Calles Tanca and Forteleza – a small park with benches, shopping
- 7 – Calle San Francisco – shopping
- 8 – Calle San Francisco – City Hall, Plaza de Armas
- 9 – Calle San Jose – Howard Johnson Hotel
- 10 – Calle Forteleza – Marshalls, shopping
- 11 – Calle Forteleza – La Casa de Casitas, shopping, restaurants
- 12 – Calle Tizol – beginning of the Paseo de la Princesa
- 13 – Plaza Darsena, Casita, San Juan Bay,
- 14 – Piers 1 and 2, Don Q, Ferry terminal
- 15 – Calle Forteleza – Hotel Milano, beginning of SoFo restaurants, Museum of the Family, Pharmacy Museum
- 16 – Calle Forteleza – Teatro Tapia, Plaza Colon, end of SoFo restaurants
- 17- Calle San Francisco – Plaza Colon, Cafe Berlin
- 18/19 Calle Norzagaray – Fort San Cristobal
- 20/21 – Calle Norzagary – entrance to La Perla
- 22/23 – Calle Norzagaray – Museum of San Juan
- 24/25 – Calle Norzagaray – Cuartel de Ballaja, National Gallery
- 26 – the lawn at El Morro – stay on the trolley – it takes you right to the entrance to El Morro, where it turns around
Here’s a of attractions (indicated by letters on the map) …
- A — El Morro
- B — Fort San Cristobal
- C — San Juan Cemetery
- D — Cuartel de Ballajá
- E — Casa Blanca
- F — Plaza del Quinto Centernario
- G — Convento de los Dominicos
- H — Plaza San José
- I — Pablo Casals Museum
- J — San Juan Art and History Museum
- K — San Juan City Hall
- L — Plaza de Armas
- M — San Juan Cathedral
- N — Children’s Museum
- O — Felisa Rincón Vda. de Gautier Museum
- P — La Rogativa
- Q — San Juan Gate
- R — Fortaleza (the governor’s mansion)
- S — Pigeon Park
- T — Cristo Chapel
- U — Paseo de la Princesa
- V — San Juan Tourism Office
- W — Museum of the Family
- X — Plaza Colón
- Y — Tapia Theater
- Z — Puerto Rico Capitol Building
Here is a hint: Loads of people wait to get on the trolley at stop 1. I would suggest you walk west down the waterfront to Trolley stop 14 (by Pier 2, in front of coffee shop) for a better chance of getting a seat.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.
- AquExpreso / ferry terminal / Pier 2: (18.462981, -66.113126)
- El Morro Fort: (18.468273, -66.121173)
- Fort San Cristobal: (18.467372, -66.111694)
- La Casita: (18.463348, -66.114467)
- National Gallery: (18.468131, -66.117868)
- Old San Juan Trolley Stop #1: (18.464230, -66.110972)
- Plaza Colon: (18.466090, -66.112075)
- San Juan Museum: (18.468243, -66.117461)
PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it!