La Placita is one of San Juan's hidden secrets. No other travel site even mentions this gem. La Placita by day is a farmer's market with fresh produce and open air restaurants. By night, it is best described as mardi gras meets New Year's Eve somewhere in Rio de Janeiro.
Friday and Saturday nights are always the best, sometimes it is impossible to move around due to the throngs of party-goers. Expect live music under the gazebo on most weekend nights, a few salsa bands at various bars, and lots of street dancing and drinking. This is one area where drinks are consumed on the street and can be purchased a bars that serve cocktails and beer over the counter to pedestrians.
There is a range of bars and restaurants from which to choose. If you are in the mood for a $6 frozen daquiari, Fat Tuesday has large selection. If you prefer southern rock bands, Nana's is a definite must see. For salsa, reggatone, and bachata, the choices are wide ranging. Forget Gaga. The bars and bar patrons in La Placita prefer original live music, or at the very least music produced and recorded in Puerto Rico.
When things get frenzied, the police (and there will be half a dozen or so uniformed officers) require patrons to take their drinks indoors, generally on Saturday nights around midnight.
La Placita is a two to three square block aea located in Santurce. There is a hidden bridge which connects Condado with La Placita underneath the Expressway. Most tourists are oblivious to this hidden by very handy access to San Juan's party central. Simply follow Calle Primavera south and pass under Baldorioty Highway. It's walking distance from Condado under this secret bridge.
Entrace from Ponce de Leon is easy - hang a right at the large blue catholic church at Duffault Street and find a parking spot.