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Things to do in San José

151 contributors

The top 63 attractions in San José

Historical Monuments in San Jose
National Theatre of San Jose
Without a doubt, the National Theatre of Costa Rica, located in the capital of San Jose is one of the most important buildings in the capital. Situated in the very heart of the city, the nearby streets enjoy a hectic urban lifestyle not seen in the rest of Costa Rica.
Cities in San Jose
San José
So magnificent !! love every experiencia in there, friendly people everywere, beyond delicious food and the views are outrageous
Squares in San Jose
Plaza de La Cultura
The Plaza de La Cultura is almost as full of pigeons as the Piazza San Marco in Venice. The Central Market isn't too far from this spot, so you can go and buy a bag of corn and have some fun feeding the birds, which is what a lot of the locals do at the weekend. The square isn't exactly spectacular: it's really just a concrete slab so the best thing to do is feed the pigeons and the continue on your way through the pedestrian streets of San Jose, or head to the Museo de Oro which is located just beside the square. Don't forget to go to the market for your bag of corn before making your way to this square!
Markets in San Jose
Central Market (Mercado Central)
A visit to San Jose wouldn't be complete without visiting the labyrinthine central market for a spot of shopping. This market is popular with locals, and apart from the odd t-shirt stall, there are hardly any souvenirs on offer. You're bound to get completely lost here, but don't worry - it just means that you'll find some surprises! It's also one of the cheapest places to eat in the city, with bars and taverns scattered around the area.
Museums in San Jose
National Museum of Costa Rica
Siatued at Fort Good View and next to the Plaza de la Democracia. Formerly a military headquarters, so in a wing of the fortress they preserve the stances of the fort and explain with pictures how it used to be, and you can visit the dungeons, the booths and toilets. The museum traces the history of Costa Rica and its people. I recommend it. The price in 2007 was 4 dollars. Inside is a part of natural history and you can see a butterfly garden next to the craft market.
Flea Markets in San Jose
Mercado Nacional de Artesanías
A prefect place to shop for handicrafts in Costa Rica. It's the cheapest place we saw the entire trip as the last days were spent in San Jose, we stocked up at this market. It is in the Plaza of democracy, outdoors, next to the National Museum. I've attached a link for the National Museum http://www.Minube.Com/rincon/museo-nacional-de-costa-rica-a118831
Gardens in San Jose
Parque Morazán
Downtown San Jose is dotted with gardens and little parks, but this one really has something special. It's a popular meeting place for young people, so it's very lively, and you'll often find people playing guitar, dancing, or just sitting on a bench with their partner. A nice place to go people-watching.
Museums in San Jose
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
This museum houses a collection of gold objects representing the pre-Columbian society in Costa Rican villages. Besides exhibiting them, it also explains the use and function of each of the parts, and their relation to the village's daily life. It houses about 1600 pieces of pre-Columbian gold, ranging from 300 to 1500 AD.
Churches in San Jose
Iglesia de Coronado
The design of the church is based on the French and German Gothic style, as it has elements of both. The galleries are a small-scale copy of the galleries that are in the Church of Notre Dame, and the columns were based on the columns of the transept of the Cologne Cathedral, in Germany. Another feature of the German Gothic found in the Church of Coronado, is the use of a single needle, slender tower, situated in the front, serving this axis and an element that emphasizes verticality. Unlike the French Gothic, where it was typical to have two needles, one on each side of the outside part. SOmething interesting I found were the angels on both sides of the doors.
Nature Reserves in San Jose
National Park
This park is right in the heart of the city. It was completely overhauled and renovated in the year 2000, and today is a nice place to go for a walk and enjoy a breath of fresh air. In addition, the park has a beautiful view of the Plaza de la Libertad.
Nature Reserves in San Jose
La Sabana Metropolitan Park
This photo, taken in the Parque de la Sabana, San Jose, Costa Rica, during the 2008 arts festival, when I studied graphic design at the University of Costa Rica. At that time, I was taking my first year of black and white photography. This photograph was taken with black and white film with the mechanical CANON EOS 1000F. I worked on the photograph in the darkroom and did two masks for the best results. The photo shows the harmonious relationship between the animal and the fake, where organic forms combine to give a whole.
Historical Monuments in San Jose
Metropolitan Cathedral of San José
The cathedral, in the heart of the city, has some great views of different places around the capital of Costa Rica. It's one of the city's major historical monuments, and is one of the most remarkable things to see. It is relatively recent, dating back to the twentieth century, but is built on the foundations of an ancient shrine. I love the unique architecture, especially the columns that are part of the facade - which are not purely aesthetic, but also serve to protect the cathedral in case of an earthquake.
Cities in San Jose
Central Park (Parque Central)
This large park, in the heart of the city, is the Central Park of Costa Rica. This is a nice place to go for a stroll by day or night. Great views of the Cathedral can be seen from here.
Streets in San Jose
Calle Central
Manuel Antonio Quepos Costa Rica
Squares in San Jose
Plaza de La Democracia
This is one of the most famous sights to see in the Costa Rican capital. It directly overlooks the National Museum of Costa Rica, and is known as the site where the official decision to abolish the national army was made in 1948. It offers a beautiful view of the market.
Markets in San Jose
Avenida 7 Market
This market should not be missed during your visit to the Costa Rican capital. In fact, it is one of the few markets in the city that offers crafts aimed at tourists. The prices are reasonable, so there's no need to haggle, which can really save some valuable time!
Historical Monuments in San Jose
Edificio Correos
Along with the National Theatre, the Costa Rican post office is one of the city's main historical moments, and is worth a look. It has beautiful architecture dating back to 1917, and offers some lovely views.
Historical Monuments in San Jose
Templo de la Musica
About two blocks away from the Plaza de la Cultura, and in the Morazon Park, this is a particularly beautiful and impressive place to visit. The rounded dome, dating back to the year 1920, is particularly charming. Don't miss it.
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