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The Best Authentic Arts & Crafts Shops to Visit in Old San Juan

Serena Stauffer

Are you tired of purchasing the same cliche souvenirs from every vacation you go on? Are you looking for something authentic to remember your once in a lifetime trip by? 

Mark your calendars and book a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico for your next adventure and you'll have an endless array of shops to choose from for finding your next one-of-a-kind souvenir. 

Known for being a cultural gem in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico offers diversity and authenticity not only in its experiences and food, but also in its souvenirs. From paintings, sculptures, clothes and bags to spices, ceramics and art prints,

there's something that everyone will love.

Keep reading to explore and discover the best of Puerto Rican craftsmanship in these authentic shops.

Puerto Rican Arts & Crafts

204 Calle Fortaleza, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

http://www.puertoricanart-crafts.com/

This shop is located in the heart of Old San Juan and has both traditional and contemporary Puerto Rican souvenirs that would make the perfect gifts for yourself or someone back home.

The restored Spanish colonial building is spacious and has a variety of arts and crafts to peruse and fall in love with. The diverse pieces include: saint carvings, wood prints, clay and copper jewelry, oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, ceramics, pillows and vejigante masks. Local, farm fresh coffee, rum, sauces, spices, and sweets are also available for purchase.

The friendly and bilingual staff is yet another highlight of this shop. They make it their goal to find the perfect piece of art or native treat for you to remember your time on the island with.

The Poet’s Passage

203 Calle Cruz Old, San Juan, 00901​, Puerto Rico

https://poetspassage.com/index.php

This living museum of poetry and local art is the perfect place for any lover of words. Each poem is original content written by Lady Lee Andrews, and designed into the perfect art print by her husband Nicolas Thomassin.

Among the enchanting poetic prints, you’ll also find Lady’s poetry books, decorative tiles, local handmade arts and crafts, and paintings of Old San Juan.

Once you're finished shopping, be sure to check out the attached coffee shop next door, and if you're in town on a Tuesday stop by for an evening of live poetry performances.

Mi Pequeño San Juan

152 Calle Fortaleza Old San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

http://www.mipequenosanjuan.com/old-san-juan-store.html

This shop located in the heart of Old San Juan is truly an experience you won’t want to miss out on. Lady Lee Andrews and her husband Nicolas Thomassin carry on the tradition of the most unique craft in Old San Juan: hand painted replicas of historical buildings and doors of the city.

Each piece is an original design created in the store, molded with pottery plaster, painted and signed by the artists, and they can even personalize a door for no additional charge so you'll leave with your very own "casa de Puerto Rico."

Along with these world famous casitas (little houses), you can also find some of Lady’s poetry and Nicolas’ other artwork in the shop, making it the one-stop shop if you’re looking for a souvenir that truly captures the magic of Old San Juan.

El Galpon

154 Calle del Cristo, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

https://www.elgalpon.net/

Find souvenirs for the whole family at this versatile shop.

The panama hats, known for their beautiful hand-knotted bows, perfectly combine style and protection from the hot Puerto Rican sun while out exploring the island. The store also has sunglasses and jewelry to spruce up your island fashion.

Santos (saint) figurines, loiza and ponce vejigante masks, mosaic and byzantine art, greeting cards and cigars are also available for purchase. After stocking up on clothes and art in El Galpon, be sure to check out Spicy Caribbee right next door for some island treats.

Spicy Caribbee

154 Calle del Cristo, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

https://www.spicycaribbee.com/aboutus.html

If you’re looking for an authentic native treat to enjoy while on vacation or to take home, this is the shop for you.

You can buy by the crate or purchase single servings of seasonings, sauces, jams, honey and vanilla, as well as essential oils and soaps. If you’re looking for something sweeter, there are rum cakes, chocolates and candies also available for purchase.

And if you want to accessorize your kitchen back home with handmade Puerto Rican hot pads, aprons or tea towels, be sure to stop by this shop before heading to the airport.

Mariel Arts & Crafts

109 Calle Fortaleza, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

This shop may look like a typical souvenir store from the outside, but inside there’s a vibrant array of local arts and crafts to choose from.

Painted tiles and canvases, vejigante masks, saint statues, blown glass figurines, colorful magnets and jewelry are only a handful of the possible souvenirs to purchase from this store.

The owner, Mariel, greets each customer when they arrive, and ensures that when they walk out her door, it will be with their perfect souvenir.