Visit San Jose Costa Rica. What to do at the Nation’s Capital?

National Theater By: Anton Kukushin

Visit San Jose Costa Rica and find out what to do at the Nation’s Capital. There is so much to do at this great city; you can visit the National Theather, explore one of the many Museums, hang out at La Sabana Metropolitan Park, or take a guided tour. So, no matter which activity you decide to do, I am sure you will have a great time doing it.

About San Jose Costa Rica

San Jose is the Capital of one of the most popular touristic destinations in Central America and the world. Because of everything that Costa Rica has to offer in the way of tourism all over the country, a lot of travelers skip San Jose entirely and move on to more touristic destinations.However, this cosmopolitan city has a lot to offer.

Here are some of the best things to do in San Jose.

Visit the National Theather

The National Theatre is a great cultural asset; and also, the finest and most treasured historical buildings in Costa Rica. The exquisite building interiors, lavish furnishings, and beautiful murals are just simply amazing.

The Costa Rican National Theater is located in the heart of San Jose, and it is used for high-quality performances such as concerts, operas, plays, and symphonies.



Take a guided tour and get to know everything about this fantastic theater. Additionally, if you have the time, visit the National Theater at night; the theater with its impressive illumination becomes an even bigger cultural attraction.

The interior of the theatre is just as impressive as the exterior. The Neo-Renaissance style building has impressing chandeliers and columns made of marble with surrounded belts made out of bronze.

If you are in San Jose, take the time to visit this architectural beauty; visit either with a guided tour during the day or by yourself at night. Either way, you will get to see an amazing historic building.

Visit the Museums in San Jose Costa Rica

San Jose is home to many amazing museums worth visiting and exploring. Some of these museums illustrate the life in Costa Rica in ancient times while others spotlight the culture in Costa Rican.

Some of the best museums in San Jose are the National Museum, the Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, the Museum of Costa Rican Art, and the Children’s Museum.

The National Museum

The National Museum of Costa Rica is located in the old Bellavista fort directly across from the country’s Legislative Assembly. The Bellavista Fortress was built in 1917, and it was used as military barracks during the 1948 Costa Rica civil war.



Among the many attractions of this Museum are the bullet holes dating back to the revolution of 1948; and the observation deck located within the compound where you can enjoy great views of San Jose.

At the Museum, visitors can find a wide variety of displays on the country’s history and culture, from the pre-Columbian times all the way to the present.

The Gold Museum in San Jose Costa Rica

One of the best Museums to visit in this city is The Gold Museum: it has an extensive collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts in Central America.

Some of the best attractions of the Museum are as follow; Firstly, the Museum shows the process of how to transform gold into objects of beauty. Secondly, It has a display of scarce currency in the way of coins and bills, some of which date back hundreds of years. Lastly, it has on display many Pre-Columbian artifacts.

Visit The gold Museum, you will not regret it. The artifacts at this Museum are simply astonishing.

The Jade Museum

The Jade Museum in Costa Rica holds the world’s largest collection of Pre-Colombian Jade. The exhibit has over 7,000 pieces of Jade on display.



The Museum shows the process involved in creating jade pieces and also has a display explaining the importance of Jade in ancient Costa Rican life.

Jade is a semi-precious stone found throughout the Mesoamerican territory; furthermore, the stone is valued for its beautiful colors and translucent qualities which can be found in shades ranging from white to emerald green.

Most of these artifacts currently being displayed are from the period when the jade trade was at its best; between 500 BC and 300 BC.

The Museum of Costa Rican Art

The Museum of Costa Rican Art is located in La Sabana Park; this Museum features art from famous Costa Rican and international artists. The Museum holds over 3,000 items displayed permanently, and as well as other special exhibits and events that fill its galleries.

The building which houses the Museum of Costa Rican Art is unique architecturally as it was the former home of Costa Rica’s international airport.

To sum up, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of Costa Rican art in the world. Visitants can view pieces as far back as the early 19th century. Additionally, more than 560 articles of contemporary Art From Around the World is also on display.

The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum is definitely rich in history. Before becoming what it is today, the building was a Penitentiary until it closed in1979. The building remained empty for years; until first lady Gloria Bejarano de Calderon decided to open a museum that focused on science and entertainment. The Museum opened its doors in 1994 and since then; it has been a popular destination for tourists and locals.

The Museum has over 35 different interactive rooms, and each room offers a different adventure. At the Museum, you can learn about the universe, archaeology, Egyptian culture, and much more.

To summarize, San Jose is home to great Museums that can be enjoyed by locals and tourist alike. Five of the best Museums were mentioned in this article; however, San Jose is home to other Museums such as The Peace Museum, The Contemporary Art and Design Museum, The Stam Museum, and others. When in San Jose Costa Rica, take the time and visit one of these museums.

Take a Guided Tour in San Jose Costa Rica

San Jose Costa Rica is a cosmopolitan city surrounded by theaters, museums, parks, great culture, and amazing gastronomy. There is just so much to do and see at this city; one of two weeks might not be enough time to see it and experience it all.

A great option to experience and see as much as possible of San Jose is to take guided tours, they will take care of the details. All you need to do is to enjoy, see, and experience everything.
Some of the most popular guided tours are:

  • The Barrio Sights tours: This tour will take you out of the touristic locations and into the local neighborhoods or barrios. Experience local cuisine and explore the vibrant neighborhoods of San Jose.
  • The Craft Beer Tour: San Jose is home to many small breweries, take a guided tour that will take you to a few of these locations. Get to know how the process works and sample some of the beers in the process.
  • The San Jose City Tour: This tour will help visitors immerse themselves into the rich Costa Rican culture and history. Experience the fascinating museums and historical sites of San José.

There are other tours available besides the three mentioned above. Contact a local tour company and see what the best tour for you is.

Spend time at La Sabana Metropolitan Park – San Jose Costa Rica

La Sabana Metropolitan Park is located in downtown San José. This park is the lungs of the city and the country’s largest and most significant urban park.

Two of the most prominent buildings located at this park is the country’s national stadium and the Costa Rican Art Museum. The stadium is above the old stadium. And the art museum is in the former main building of the old Airport.

Other fixtures located within the Metropolitan Park area are, a large artificial lake, several sports fields, running and skating tracks, and a shooting range are.

In any case, take the time and visit the La Sabana Metropolitan Park; without a doubt, you will enjoy this natural space in the center of the city.

In summary, San Jose has a fantastic culture and history; and it also has exquisite architecture, bustling nightlife, and friendly locals.

By being both a traditional Central American city and a cosmopolitan urban center; San Jose provides a beautiful collection of activities and attractions to visitors and locals.

This capital city is the cultural center of the country, there are plenty of museums to visit, art galleries to enjoy, and dining options to explore. Visit San Jose in Costa Rica, one of the best cities in Central America.

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