Centro Nacional de la Cultura (CENAC), San Jose

Centro Nacional de la Cultura (CENAC), San Jose (must see)

This National Center for Arts and Culture is one of the most impressive venues in town. It takes up a whole city block and is crammed full of wonderful things to see. It is located in the building that used to house the National Liquor Factory of San Jose, Costa Rica. Now, as well as housing several performing arts centers and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, it also acts as the offices for the Cultural Ministry of the country.

This museum houses some of the finest contemporary art from the best of Costa Rican artists. Yet, some of the permanent collection includes the works of Jose Cuevas and Oswaldo Guayasamin from Equador, so you will not just find the art of the country here.

The Centro Nacional de Arte y Cultura is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Seniors and children under the age of 11 can get in for free. It will be a hard deal to beat, as you will be able to spend hours here learning about the art and culture of this exotic Central American country.

Tip:
Check what the museum is showing before you go, as expositions change frequently, but you will hardly regret it since this is by far one of the museums that you should know if you are in San José.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 9:30am-5pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of San Jose, Costa Rica within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Centro Nacional de la Cultura (CENAC) on Map

Sight Name: Centro Nacional de la Cultura (CENAC)
Sight Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk   Art Galleries Walk in San Jose   Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose  

Walking Tours in San Jose, Costa Rica

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Jose is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Paseo Colon Tour in San Jose

Paseo Colon Tour in San Jose

The Paseo Colon is a modern area in San Jose where you will find most of the business centers and foreign embassies, as well as other architectural highlights and tourist attractions. At the end of Paseo Colon is Sabana Park, which stands out among the local metropolitan communities because of its proximity to the business district and its large area dedicated to recreation. Take this tour to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

San Jose enjoys secluded location in the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its skyline dominated by the majestic Talamanca Mountains, hugging the city to the south, and a volcano ridge to the north. Local architecture reflects strong Spanish colonial influence manifested in places like Catedral Metropolitana in Calle Central, and the ornate, neoclassical National Theater presiding over...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Museum Walk in San Jose

Museum Walk in San Jose

Although San José is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America, its museums display a huge collection of traditional and pre-Columbian art. This walking tour should give you the perfect opportunity to explore the museums in the city and to familiarize yourself with its culture.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.7 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave San Jose without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Jose, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Places of Worship Tour in San Jose

Places of Worship Tour in San Jose

San Jose's churches are vivid examples of historical and architectural value. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in places of spirituality from either architectural or historical standpoints, this tour will take you to the most important religious sites of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose

Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose

The Bario Amon represents one the oldest neighborhoods in San Jose. Designed by a Frenchman, Amon Fasileau, it grew to be a beautiful area with a rich architectural history. Take this walking tour to appreciate the splendor of this neighborhood.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

Not to be confused with San Jose, the sunny California, San Jose, Costa Rica is the capital city of a wet (250 centimeters of rainfall per year) and colorful Latin American country renowned for its diverse craftsmanship (courtesy of the numerous indigenous tribes), splendid coffee and rich cultural...