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  • Writer's pictureNatalija Ugrina

Discover the Best Things to See in San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose, the vibrant capital of Costa Rica, is a city rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or an art enthusiast, San Jose offers a plethora of attractions that cater to every interest. From stunning architecture to lush parks, here are the best things to see in San Jose, Costa Rica.



The National Theatre of Costa Rica
The National Theatre of Costa Rica


1. The National Theatre of Costa Rica - best things to see in San Jose Costa Rica

The National Theatre of Costa Rica is an architectural gem and a symbol of the country's rich cultural heritage. Built in 1897, this stunning building boasts an opulent interior with marble floors, gilded ceilings, and intricate frescoes. The theatre's design was heavily influenced by European styles, reflecting the country's aspirations and prosperity at the time of its construction.



The National Theatre of Costa Rica

Inside, there's also a charming café where you can enjoy a coffee while soaking in the historic ambiance. I had an excellent cappuccino there, adding to the delightful experience of visiting this grand landmark. Catching a performance here is a treat, with a diverse schedule that includes everything from plays to symphony orchestra concerts. However, even if you don't attend a show, a guided tour of the theatre is an enriching experience, offering insights into its history, architecture, and the cultural significance it holds for Costa Rica.


2. Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

Located beneath the Plaza de la Cultura, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum houses one of the largest collections of pre-Columbian gold artifacts in Latin America. The exhibits provide a fascinating glimpse into the life and culture of Costa Rica's ancient civilizations, showcasing intricately crafted jewelry, ceremonial items, and tools.


3. Jade Museum

The Jade Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Home to the world’s largest collection of American jade, this museum takes visitors on a journey through the pre-Columbian era, highlighting the significance of jade in ancient rituals and everyday life. The modern and interactive displays make it an engaging experience for all ages.


4. National Museum of Costa Rica

National Museum of Costa Rica
National Museum of Costa Rica


The National Museum of Costa Rica is located in the Bellavista Fortress, a historic building that once served as military barracks. The museum's exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from pre-Columbian history to modern-day Costa Rica. Don't miss the beautiful butterfly garden and the rooftop terrace, which offers panoramic views of San Jose.



5. Metropolitan Cathedral of San José

The Metropolitan Cathedral of San José, located in the heart of the city, is a stunning example of neoclassical architecture. Built in the early 19th century, this beautiful cathedral features grand columns, intricate stained glass windows, and a serene interior. It’s a peaceful place to reflect and admire the architectural beauty.

Metropolitan Cathedral of San José
Metropolitan Cathedral of San José

6. La Sabana Metropolitan Park

La Sabana Metropolitan Park, often referred to as the "lungs of San Jose," is the largest urban park in the city. It offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle with its expansive green spaces, walking trails, and a picturesque lake. The park also houses the Costa Rican Art Museum, making it a great spot for a leisurely afternoon.


7. Costa Rican Art Museum

Situated within La Sabana Metropolitan Park, the Costa Rican Art Museum is housed in a historic building that once served as the city's main airport terminal. The museum features a diverse collection of Costa Rican art, ranging from colonial-era paintings to contemporary works. The sculpture garden and rooftop terrace offer stunning views of the park and city.


8. Barrio Escalante

Barrio Escalante is San Jose's trendiest neighborhood, known for its vibrant food scene and hipster vibe. Stroll along the tree-lined streets and discover a variety of chic cafes, artisanal bakeries, and gourmet restaurants. It felt like a very safe area where you can walk around and enjoy a leisurely brunch or a delicious dinner, surrounded by the local artsy crowd.


Apotecario was one of my favorite spots in Barrio Escalante
Apotecario was one of my favorite spots in Barrio Escalante

9. Santa Ana Church

Santa Ana Church is an old stone church with thick wooden beams, colorful stained-glass windows, and a red clay tile roof. Located in the charming district of Santa Ana, this church offers a serene and spiritual experience. The surrounding area is also worth exploring, with its quaint streets and local shops.


Santa Ana Church
Santa Ana Church

10. Escazu

Escazu
Escazu

Escazu, known as the "City of Witches," is a vibrant suburb of San Jose that offers a mix of traditional charm and modern amenities. It's known for its upscale shopping centers, fine dining restaurants, and a bustling nightlife. The area also offers stunning views of the Central Valley and is home to several beautiful parks and historic sites.




Where to Stay in San Jose



Grand Hotel Costa Rica
Grand Hotel Costa Rica

Located in the heart of the city, the Grand Hotel Costa Rica is a historic landmark. Known for its luxurious accommodations and exceptional service, it is famously known as the place where John F. Kennedy stayed during his visit to Costa Rica. The hotel offers a blend of classic elegance and modern amenities, making it an ideal choice for both business and leisure travelers.


Check it out HERE

Grand Hotel Costa Rica kennedy suite
Grand Hotel Costa Rica - Kennedy Suite

Hotel Grano de Oro, a charming boutique hotel, is set in a restored Victorian mansion. It offers a unique blend of historical charm and modern comfort. The lush garden courtyard, rooftop jacuzzi terrace, and fine dining restaurant provide a luxurious retreat in the heart of the city.


Check it out HERE









Where to Eat in San Jose

Sikwa

Sikwa is a restaurant that celebrates Costa Rican indigenous cuisine. The menu features traditional dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, offering a unique and authentic dining experience. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a meal that highlights the rich culinary heritage of Costa Rica.


Silvestre

Silvestre offers a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that combines contemporary Costa Rican cuisine with traditional flavors. The restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored historic building, and each dish is presented with artistic flair. It's a must-visit for food enthusiasts looking to explore the culinary innovations of Costa Rica.

San Jose, Costa Rica, is a city full of surprises and delights. Whether you're exploring its rich history, enjoying its vibrant cultural scene, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, there's always something new to discover. Don't miss the chance to experience these top attractions and create unforgettable memories in this dynamic capital city.


Areas to Avoid in San Jose

While San Jose is generally safe for tourists, it's wise to avoid certain areas, especially at night. Barrio Mexico and Los Guido are neighborhoods that have higher crime rates and are best avoided, particularly after dark. Additionally, the Red Zone (Zona Roja) near the Coca-Cola bus terminal is known for its safety concerns and should be avoided. Stick to well-lit, populated areas and always be aware of your surroundings.


San Jose, Costa Rica, is a city full of surprises and delights. Whether you're exploring its rich history, enjoying its vibrant cultural scene, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, there's always something new to discover. Don't miss the chance to experience these top attractions and create unforgettable memories in this dynamic capital city.


Ready to Explore San Jose?

Start planning your trip to San Jose today and get ready for an adventure like no other! Don't forget to check out my travel blog at natalijaugrina.com for more tips and insights on exploring Costa Rica and other amazing destinations. Happy travels! #sanjose #costarica

5,988 views15 comments

15 comentários


Convidado:
04 de jul.

I love my all American girl

Curtir

Convidado:
01 de jul.

I always wanted to go to those nice places nice that way but be fun n I would have blast n probably fall in love some some lady I never been on a vacation or outta ak yet

Curtir

Convidado:
28 de jun.

Kisses

Curtir

Convidado:
27 de jun.

Excellent and very professional interesting informative and enticing read, I wish I could go to all of those wonderful places!

Thank you 🙏

……..and keep it clean, be respectful and show some class everyone.

No more immature disgusting behavior or putting pics up ffs

She used to come out here and interact with us before all you’s mama’s basement bozos showed up and started being pigs and putting up pictures.

Curtir

baron heeckeren
baron heeckeren
26 de jun.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Curtir
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