Holidays in San Jose are not something most people who visit Costa Rica get to experience. In fact, for most holidaymakers, the Costa Rican capital and its airport only serve as a transit point to the coast and the country’s famed beaches. However, a visit to San Jose can be incredibly rewarding because it offers a glimpse into everyday life in Costa Rica in a way you won’t be able to experience at the seaside resorts.
- Teatro Nacional, or the National Theater, is an opulent building located at the central square called Plaza del Cultura. It hosts a variety of theater performances, concerts and other cultural events.
- Jade Museum, located in a modern, architecturally distinct building, holds an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artefacts made using this semi-precious stone.
- Situated in downtown San Jose, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum treasures over a thousand gold, ceramic and stone artefacts made by various groups who have inhabited present-day Costa Rica.
- La Sabana Metropolitan Park is a breathtaking urban green space that sprawls for 72 acres. It is the perfect place to unwind away from the capital’s hectic traffic.
- San Jose is also a great starting destination for day trips in the wider region. Coffee plantations, historical cities and volcanos can be visited within an hour's drive from the main city center.
- If you truly want to soak up the vibrant ambient of the Costa Rican capital, head over to the Barrio Amon, an area nestled north of Plaza Espana. In this historic neighborhood, you will have an opportunity to see picturesque mansions in various architectural styles, some of which in recent years have been converted into boutique shops, restaurants and hotels.
- Even though downtown San Jose is best explored on foot, the chaotic traffic makes it hard for tourists to get around. Pedestrians generally do not have the right of way, so you should be careful when crossing the street and always watch out for reckless cars and scooters.
- The Costa Rican capital enjoys warm temperatures year-round, however, if you want to experience the city without worrying about rain, plan your visit during the dry season, which lasts from mid-December to April.