Whether you’re into art, history, architecture, or something a little more whimsical, you’ll find plenty of museums in Puerto Rico worth visiting.
I’m a Puerto Rico local and an avid culture enthusiast, so I love hunting down museums and learning more about what makes the island tick. In fact, Puerto Rico is a small island with a rich history that dates back to pre-Columbian times, so there are lots to learn!
In this article, I’ll list the top Puerto Rico museums you can’t miss, some of which even made it on my best activities to do in Puerto Rico list.
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11 Best Puerto Rico Museums
Museo Las Américas
A history museum with four exhibitions about the American continent
Museo Las Américas is located inside the Cuartel de Ballajá building, former Spanish solider barracks. The museum was founded in 1992 and aims to explore and tell the American continent’s rich history.
Museo de Las Americas sports four permanent exhibitions about the popular arts, the African heritage, and the colonization of America. Besides the permanent exhibitions, Museo de Las Américas also hosts creative workshops, conferences, and live presentations that are great for visitors who want to learn about Puerto Rico’s history without leaving San Juan.
📚 Related Reading: 33 PopularThings to Do in San Juan, PR
Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico
A museum with unconventional and contemporary art
If Victorian paintings and baroque art aren’t up your alley, then the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico is for you.
What was once a two-floor public school is now a museum that hosts a permanent art collection dating from the mid-20th century to the present. It features art from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Puerto Rico, and the exhibits include pieces from renowned artists like Carmelo Sobrino, Myrna Baez, and Olga Albizú.
Museo de Arte de Ponce
One of the most impressive private collections in the western hemisphere
The Ponce Art Museum is the largest in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean as a whole. It features a vast collection of European art from the 14th to the 20th centuries, including Italian Baroque, Spanish Golden Age, and British Pre-Raphaelite. There is also incredible contemporary Latin American art and Puerto Rican art dating back to the 18th century.
Museo de Arte de Ponce attracts hundreds of international visitors due to its important art collection. It’s a stop for art lovers who can’t miss the most popular piece in the museum, Flaming June, painted by Frederic Leighton.
👉 Pro Tip: As of Spring 2022, Ponce Art Museum is temporarily closed as it’s under renovation. Before visiting, make sure you check out their website or call ahead to see if they’re open again.
The oldest house in Old San Juan
📍 Google Maps | Cost: $5 | Hours: 8 am – 11:45 am – 1 – 4 pm, Wed-Sun, Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Built in 1521 and considered the oldest house in Old San Juan, Casa Blanca is nowadays a museum with an exhibition that transports you to the 16th and 17th centuries. Casa Blanca was meant to be the house of Juan Ponce de Leon, Puerto Rico’s first governor. The property boasts a beautiful garden you can tour, as well as amazing views of San Juan. This museum is one of San Juan’s historic sites you can enjoy without the crowd.
El Cemí Museum
Enter a giant-shaped Cemí to learn about the Taino
📍 Google Maps | Cost: $2 Adults, $1 Children | Hours: 8 am – 3:30 pm daily
Although it’s off the beaten path and hidden in the Puerto Rico mountains, El Cemi Museum is worth the visit if you want to learn about the Taino history in Puerto Rico.
El Cemi Museum is located in Jayuya, and attracts people because of its unique shape in the form of a Cemi, which is a sculpture that the Taino believed to hold a deity or spiritual being. The Museum displays multiple artifacts from the pre-Columbian era that allows you to understand the Taino lifestyle and beliefs.
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Explore a museum with four centuries of Puerto Rican art
San Juan’s Santurce neighborhood is home to multiple art museums including the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico which has over 20 galleries.
Its permanent collection, called Puerto Rico Plural, consists of more than 250 pieces, including paintings and sculptures from Puerto Rican artists from the 17th century to the present. Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico also boasts beautiful gardens and an interactive room that’s great for kids.
Museo de Arte de Bayamón
Tour a small museum with a great collection of Puerto Rican art
Hidden inside El Parque de las Ciencias, Bayamon’s Art Museum is one of the best attractions in Bayamon. Although small, this museum boasts multiple exhibition halls that follow the different trends of Puerto Rican art, as well as its beginnings. It’s perfect for those who want a quick and organized introduction to Puerto Rico’s art.
Museo de Arte de Bayamón hosts works from famous Puerto Rican artists such as José Campeche, Lorenzo Homar, and Antonio Martorell.
Fortín del Conde Mirasol
Both a fort and a museum with Vieques history
📍 Google Maps | Cost: free | Hours: 8 am – 4 pm, Wed-Sun, Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Fortín del Conde Mirasol is one of the popular places to visit in Vieques. Although it’s still in renovations after Hurricane María, this museum is a 19th-century fort that now hosts the Vieques Museum of Art and History.
The current exhibit includes photographs, newspapers, and posters of the protests against the occupation of the United States military in Vieques. It’s a must-see if you’re visiting the small island.
Museo Castillo Serrallés
Stroll through a historical mansion with a garden and butterfly nursery
The Castillo Serrallés Museum building was originally the house of the Serrallés family, creators of Rum Don Q. The house allows visitors to take a look into the Serralles family life, and learn about the Puerto Rican culture in the early 1900s. Artifacts like gold dining ware, original furniture, and a Spanish-revival mansion with more than four floors will enchant history lovers.
The museum also sports attractions like a butterfly nursery, a Japanese garden, and La Cruceta del Vigía, one of the best things to do in Ponce.
Parque de Bombas
Explore a quaint museum in Ponce’s town square
📍 Google Maps | Cost: Free | Hours: 8 am – 5 pm, Mon-Fri, 9 am – 5 pm, Sat-Sun
If you love unique-looking structures, then you can’t miss a visit to Parque de Bombas in Ponce. Although small, Parque de Bombas attracts international visitors to Ponce for its unique facade and history. This firehouse built in 1882 was the first firefighters’ station in Puerto Rico. Parque de Bombas was in service for 108 years until 1990 when it became a museum for the firefighting history of Ponce and Puerto Rico.
Visit one of the oldest churches on the American continent
📍 Google Maps | Cost: $5 Adults, $3 Children | Hours: 8:30 am – 4 pm, Wed-Sun, Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Porta Coeli is located in the city of San Germán and its the oldest church in Puerto Rico, the United States, and one of the oldest in América. Originally a convent built in 1609, the building is now a religious museum with artifacts from the 16th to the 19th centuries, including wood carvings and paintings.
The building itself is registered in the National Register of Historic Places and it features a Spanish Romanesque style that will delight any history enthusiast.
👉 Bookmark All My Puerto Rico Guides:
Visiting Puerto Rico’s best museums is something you can’t miss if you’re a culture lover. If you’re looking for more great things to add to your Puerto Rico itinerary, then check out these popular places to visit in Puerto Rico.
Have fun exploring museums in Puerto Rico!