Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego
4.5
10:00 - 17:00
Monday
10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday
10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 17:00
Thursday
10:00 - 17:00
Friday
10:00 - 17:00
Saturday
10:00 - 17:00
Sunday
10:00 - 17:00
About
This old and historic town is not just the oldest neighborhood in San Diego but also the location of the first European settlement in California. Here, you can see over 200-year-old historic buildings, pan for gold at a museum, check out an art show, shop for handicrafts at the market, get spooked at the haunted Whaley House and take a hike through Presidio Park. You can explore all this and more on a living history tour, or even a food tour to learn about the town's Spanish roots through food. You can ride the San Diego Trolley to the Old Town from downtown and neighborhoods like Little Italy. – Tripadvisor
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Top ways to experience Old Town San Diego
The area
Neighbourhood: Old Town
How to get there
  • Old Town Transit Center • 3 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • 399benjaminm
    19 contributions
    Comfort and Value
    Great value. Clean comfortable rooms with very caring and professional staff. Location is truly industrial area but access to public transportation, airport, Old Town, beaches - both north and south is excellent. Perfect stay for us. We are familiar with San Diego and County and that helps. The Old Town Inn takes good Care of guests. Nice breakfast, free parking and pool. Older property, very well cared for and a blessing for those who are looking for good value in place to stay and headquarters to play all over San Diego County.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 18 December 2022
  • Kelly V
    Charlton, New York310 contributions
    Very Cute... Brings you Back in Time
    I'm very glad we, family of 4, visited this Old Town. Great for visitors, as you get to see what it was like way back when. Great shopping, and inside a quaint area there were great restaurants and shops, which is where we ate Mexican and drank some margaritas. We were able to sit and watch people , and enjoy each others company.
    Visited August 2022
    Written 17 January 2023
  • Darlene H
    Austin, Texas1,894 contributions
    OUR EVENING IN OLD TOWN
    This is just a laid back place to spend a few hours and enjoy some Mexican food! My husband and I went back to Old town on our last night in San Diego on this trip. We had always gone there in the day before, but this was our first time to experience it after dark. We enjoyed walking around browsing in the shops and having an appetizer. There are a lot of choices for dining and a lot of venues for shopping for typical Mexico souvenirs. Since we live in Texas we have been to Old Mexico more times than we can count, but I still love the vibe! Parking is free and it is accessible on the Trolly tour and public transportation.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 January 2023
  • Mestisa71
    San Francisco, California5 contributions
    AWESOME LITTLE FIND for day or and night life.
    Old town is great for walking around, looking at shops, seeing old town history and all of the botanicals of that’s your thing. They have inexpensive run of the mill souvenirs and products all the way to hand blown Mexican glass, pottery and beaut modern flatware. The higher end shops are located at the very end of old town. There’s a plaza with a huge Mexican Restaurant in the center. The good shops are there. Also, the best Mexican food of our lives is that restaurant. Trust me, we’ve been to Mexico, live in the Bay Area, have Mexican family and basically grew up in Mexican food. This was better than anything we have ever had. Even the corn tortillas were AMAZING.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 February 2023
  • JPVM13
    Alexandria, Virginia216 contributions
    Good half day visit
    Good place to walk around and see what it might have been like in the 1800s. Blacksmith shop is very interesting with good docents! The casa of a prominent family that is part of the site is also interesting. Lots of shops new and old to visit.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 February 2023
  • Paula M
    Sugarloaf, California152 contributions
    Old Town Coming Back
    Old Town is coming back to life now that the pandemic is behind us, but many shops and attractions are still closed. The Main Street is open to car traffic but the side streets are changed to pedestrian only. Best to visit on the weekend when most businesses and historic buildings are open. We were there on a Monday and there wasn’t much open. Good restaurants and plenty of public parking. Bring good walking shoes.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 February 2023
  • L_K1509
    London, United Kingdom1,312 contributions
    Old Town & park
    A nice area to visit for a couple of hours. There is a historic park with several old buildings to visit / look at including a few old shops and a hotel. Then there is a area adjacent to the park with a few more old buildings/ restaurants, bars and shops. The shops sell mainly the same touristy stuff. Mainly Mexican food but plenty of choice. Hop on hop off trolley goes from old town into downtown San Diego and Coronado.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 February 2023
  • busconi
    Wenatchee, Washington5,355 contributions
    Old Town
    I guess I expected more, thought I would find more buildings renovated to their historical origins. But instead we found a lot of touristy junk for sale in all the old houses. Very few just renovated to be like old. Some excellent Mexican restaurants in the area. I do have to say, it was fun just to walk about....felt like an oasis in the middle of the city.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 7 April 2023
  • 484MeganG
    Lake Geneva, Wisconsin103 contributions
    A fun afternoon with Mexican history
    Old Town was a great area. Lots of restaurants and stores. There are ghost tours and old shops with Mexican pottery. You will find women making tortillas and chips. There was a farmers market the day we went. It was a great area to spend the afternoon!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 May 2023
  • northernk
    Phoenix, Arizona12,659 contributions
    What a wonderful area with so much to do
    Had been here before some years ago, and so much enjoyed returning on this sunday morning. There is so much cool history here, how fun for families to have this place to come visit. Lots of things to do and see, lots of interesting stores and places to eat. Great area for a family or couples outing to wander around for a while with a lunch or dinner before or after. Very enjoyable.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 18 May 2023
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4.5
1,856 reviews
Excellent
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Very good
681
Average
206
Poor
29
Terrible
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WildernessJoe
Orlando, FL89 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Our friends took us to Old Town, which is under the National Parks jurisdiction. If you like unique shops, authentic food, live music you've come to a beautiful place to spend a day. There is a lot of history and historic buildings on the grounds. Its safe good fun for the entire family. Parking is tricky to find but if you come early you might find some free street parking
Written 2 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VegEcoFriendly
40 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
Old town with preserved houses showcasing life in old time San Diego. Good for a 2 hour visit with teens. Good for history buffs .Lots of restaurants, shopping and artists boutiques. Not much to do beyond 2 hours.
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

twysted2015
Kelowna, Canada2,358 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Picturesque location with lots to see. Some really excellent spots to eat as well and this is where we started our hop on hop off trolly experience.
Written 18 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gatoruk
Watford, UK114 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Definitely a must see if you’re visiting the city. The old town is set up as almost an open air museum showing the colonial past of the city. It is surrounded by some really terrific places to eat and some unique market Style shopping opportunities.
Written 6 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jezzmond
130 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
Took the tram from the gas lamp quarter which was really easy, only a few stops, was a well worth visit as it shows you how San Diego was back in the day, plenty of restaurants and bars with friendly people. Highly recommend.
Written 27 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane s
8 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
Very busy and commercialized. Everything is so expensive. Food was substandard. Gift shop across from Cafe Coyote (where we ate) was musty and expensive. I have to say the menudo was Great tho. Overrated.
Written 15 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex P
Phoenix, AZ8 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Trolley Tours provide a wonderful tour of the popular and historical areas of S.D. We rode the tour bus for entire 2 hours tour narrated by our drive and tour guide Scooter. He was entertaining and full of insightful details about each of the areas visited. As we toured we made mental notes of places we wanted to explore and after a brief break reboarded and went to the areas of interest. This way we would see the entire tour and have time to explore areas of our interest. Tour buses come by every 20 minutes and you can get off and RE board the entire day. We began our tour at Old Town where parking was free but you need to be parked by 8:30 a.m or lot gets full fast. Tours start prompt at 9:00 and every 20 minutes after that. Last pick up to return to your original start is between 3;30 to 5:00 p.m. depending on the published bus schedule given to you beginning of our tour. Nice way to spend the day or two. Enjoy
Written 10 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Waddler
York, UK10,072 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
I came for the reserve, but wasn't expecting the main street of the Old Town to be so nice - low rise attractive buildings, palm trees, nice church and shops and restaurants. Quite characterful even before being in the reserve itself.
Written 6 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lb33wonka
Redondo Beach, CA1,388 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
This is a bigger version and more authentic Olvera street that’s in LA. Lots of shops and food options. Street is long so be sure to go all the way down to see the older buildings
Written 2 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy P
77 contributions
Nov 2022 • Solo
A fun photography, shopping and ice cream stop during my hop-on-off trolley tour of the city. A variety of restaurants would also make this a great lunch spot for your sightseeing day in San Diego.
Written 31 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Old Town San Diego

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