Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose

Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose (must see)

The Museo Nacional de Costa Rica is the national museum of Costa Rica, located at Calle 17, between Central and Second Avenue, Cuesta de Moras, in the Bellavista Fortress – a crenelated, ocher-colored building opposite the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. The fortress was built in 1917 and was originally a military barracks: the exterior walls still have many bullets lodged in them from the country's 1948 civil war. It became the site of the museum in 1950.

The entrance on the east side leads to a courtyard displaying pre-Columbian artifacts and cannons from the colonial period. The museum is organized thematically in a counterclockwise direction from the entrance with artifacts related to Costa Rica's geological, colonial, archaeological, religious and modern history. The museum had a notable collection of pre-Columbian stone tables (metates), ceramics and a gold room ("Sala de Oro") in the northeast tower. The colonial room has a notable collection of furniture and is designed to emulate that of actual quarters in the 18th century. The museum also has an exhibit of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Óscar Arias, and a bust of José Figueres and butterfly garden in the outside "Plaza de la Democracia".

Why You Should Visit:
Traces Costa Rica's development from its prehistoric roots the present day, and does so in an informative and visually appealing manner.
Good history of how the country lived through Central America's civil wars and quite an elaborate history of its most prominent Presidents, including the one female elected in 2010.
The entrance is unique, leading you to the main exhibits through a butterfly sanctuary and the museum setting itself is very pleasant with good views and nice gardens.

Tip:
If you haven't got time to check out the Jade and Gold museums, there are displays of each here. If you do have time to do all three, then buy the combined ticket, as you won't have to visit them all on the same day.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 8:30am-4:30pm; Sun: 9am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

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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Museo Nacional de Costa Rica on Map

Sight Name: Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
Sight Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Historic Architecture Tour in San Jose

Historic Architecture Tour in San Jose

From a small village of little significance during the Spanish invasion, San Jose grew to become a densely populated cosmopolitan city. The city of San Jose was mostly built from the profits of the coffee-export business, and that is why its architecture represents a mix of European and Latin American features. Take this tour to discover some of the best historical architecture in San Jose.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
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 or 3 Miles
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: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.5 Km or 5.3 Miles
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: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
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 or 0.6 Miles
Children's Entertainment Tour in San Jose

Children's Entertainment Tour in San Jose

As many other cities in the world, San Jose has a lot to offer to its young tourists to keep them occupied and happy. Museum of Children, for instance, is full of fun, with plenty of educational activities and adventures. Take this tour for an unforgettable experience for you and your family.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles

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...