10 Best Things To Do In San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose is the most prominent capital of Costa Rica, famous for its thick jungles and magnificent beaches. Also, it is filled with attractive architecture, friendly locals, and an exciting display of events. In addition, there are many top galleries and museums to tour.

Its contemporary exploration and hip urban atmosphere make it a perfect place to explore the fantastic attractions in San Jose. 

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If you have no idea what to do in San Jose, Costa Rica, this article should guide you on where to go and how best to enjoy your stay in the place.

1. La Paz Waterfall Garden

La Paz Waterfall Garden with a wooden bridge in front and plenty of green vegetations around it
Source / https://www.costaricavibes.com/la-paz-waterfall-gardens/

The La Paz Waterfall Garden combines many attractions like the bird sanctuary, butterfly garden, hummingbird garden, and natural lakes. It is a privately owned property, the biggest animal shelter in Costa Rica. However, you can explore the La Paz Waterfall Garden on your own. 

2. Museo de Jade

Museo de Jade
Source / https://www.periodicomensaje.com/cultura/9119-museo-del-jade-del-ins-realizara-talleres-para-las-vacaciones

Museo de Jade is an archaeological museum in San Jose established by Fidel Tristan Castro in 1977. The museum has extensive and multiple arrays of pre-Columbian antiquity, like ceramics, stone tables, ceremonial heads, and other decorative artworks, dating from 500 BC to 800 AD.

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Currently, the museum occupies only one floor of its building and has five rooms, each covering a different archaeological topic. 

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3. Museum of Contemporary Art and Design

A large portrait on a white wall and with a iluminated board showing "la colecion MADC" at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design
Source / https://travel.sygic.com/en/poi/museum-of-contemporary-art-and-design-poi:27603

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design is a museum in Costa Rica that deals in modern art and design by Central American and international artworks.

The museum’s primary aim is to encourage the recent swing in Central American contemporary art and design and to display the relationship between art and designs in Latin America and overseas.

The museum’s collection has more than 500 permanent works from famous national and international artists.

4. The Pre-Colombian Gold Museum

A golden frog displayed at the pre-Colombian gold museum
Source / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rana_Museo_del_Oro_Precolombino_CRI_07_2019_9261.jpg

The Pre-Colombian Gold Museum is home to Latin America’s most extensive collection of pre-Colombian gold. At the museum, you can find many gold artifacts dating back thousands of years. In addition, it is home to more than 1,600 personal pieces.

It’s an exciting display with some incredible gold artifacts. This museum is the perfect place to be if you love art and history.

5. Children’s Museum

A purple coloured children's museum
Source / https://cupertinotoday.com/2021/03/03/childrens-discovery-museum-of-san-jose-reopens-to-the-public-march-5/

The Museo de Los Ninos is famous for families complete with ancient Egypt, Costa Rican history, science displays and dinosaurs. However, what makes it exemplary is the interactive showcase. The children’s museum is perfect for visiting San Jose with kids.

6. California Boulevard

California Boulevard with a beautiful scene
Source / https://theplanetd.com/best-things-do-to-in-san-jose-costa-rica/

California Boulevard is a unique path designed to imitate the streets of Los Angeles. It’s a captivating street path in San Jose in front of the National Museum. This walking street is more peaceful than Avenida Central and has a cobblestone path coated with colonial buildings and palm trees. 

7. National Park Of San Jose

National Park Of San Jose with an old sculpture at the entrance
Source / https://www.tourismincostarica.org/parque-nacional-park-san-jose

It is a small historic park with a peaceful environment and also a perfect spot to view the railway. It was easier to get into Costa Rica by train until much interest was placed in manufacturing automobiles by government officials.

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Currently, Costa Rica is putting effort into reconstructing the rail lines, and soon, visitors will be able to get around Costa Rica on a train comfortably.

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8. Graffiti Wall

A Graffiti Wall showing a happy man jumping and text inscription behind him that says "Welcome to SAN JOSE"
Source / https://www.localguidesconnect.com/t5/General-Discussion/Street-art-heaven-in-San-Jose-CA/td-p/2261695

Like other cities worldwide, street labeling was becoming a significant issue in San Jose, so they allowed artists to own a bit of the wall to celebrate their art declaration. Along California Boulevard is where you’ll also find gorgeous street art.

Each artist was given part of the wall for five years after they were made to audition for their position.

9. Sa Casa Del Cacao – Chocolate Factory

Different chocolate and cake designs in the Sa Casa Del Cacao – Chocolate Factory
Source / https://qcostarica.com/la-casa-del-cacao-de-costa-rica-costa-rica-house-of-chocolate/

In Costa Rica, chocolate was used in local ceremonies and was so vital it was used as currency. Chocolate was once the top export of Costa Rica; it used to be the primary export product of the country.

The Casa del Cacao is the perfect place to feel the chocolate culture as chocolate production is coming back in Costa Rica. It is situated in midtown San Jose; you can try on two of Costa Rica’s prize exports, coffee and chocolate.

10. Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall with green flowers around
Source / https://ticotimes.net/2015/11/09/berlin-wall-fell-26-years-ago-part-stands-costa-rica-today

Berlin Wall is a lovely yellow building that is easily noticeable and is located behind the Foreign Ministry. The Berlin Wall is one of the biggest tourist attractions in San Jose, Costa Rica.

It is an attraction you should always notice; You need to seek it out as it isn’t precisely on the showcase, and many people walk right past it. The wall was a gift to Costa Rica after its Foreign Minister asked for it to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its foreign ministry.

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