Things to Do in San Jose Costa Rica

For the incoming traveler, there’s a plethora of excellent things to do in San Jose Costa Rica. This is an urban hub that most travel through on their way to more remote spots in Costa Rica, such as the Manuel Antonio National Park. Consequently, aside from San Jose Costa Rica attractions such as visiting museums and checking out the nightlife, one of the main things to do in San Jose Costa Rica is to arrange the next leg of your vacation; the headquarters of numerous tour operators can be found in the city.

Other San Jose Costa Rica activities center on the volcanic field that surrounds the city. This is a scenic place full of opportunities for travelers, and the best things to do in San Jose Costa Rica prove more than satisfactory whether you have two days or two weeks for vacation. When it comes to planning your itinerary, it helps to consider the range of San Jose Costa Rica attractions that are available.

The Museo de Oro Precolombino

This great museum literally glitters with golden splendor. Around 1,500 historic gold pieces from pre-Columbian days are housed in the museum's various exhibitions, demonstrating the importance of gold to the area.

The Mercado Central

The Mercado Central (Central Market) manages to be both one of the most memorable and the most practical of the San Jose Costa Rica activities. Not only is the market a sensory assault of produce that makes for great photo opportunities, it’s also the perfect place to buy some food and thereby ensure a cheap and tasty lunch.

Teatro Nacional

Located in the middle of San Jose, this eye-catching neoclassical edifice is the home to numerous high-culture productions throughout the year. Even if opera or symphonic orchestras aren’t your thing, the Teatro Nacional remains one of the worthwhile San Jose Costa Rica attractions for its ornate foyer and ceiling mural by Aleardo Villa.

Valle Central

One of the most popular things to do in San Jose Costa Rica is to set out for a day or two in the surrounding Valle Central (Central Valley) volcanic region. Here dramatic scenery captivates the imagination, making for great hiking and biking opportunities. Geologists are also certain to be taken by the area’s various rock formations and the like.


Many of the hotels in San Jose provide casinos. As such, a popular attraction in the city is dressing to the nines and trying your luck at a gambling table. Winning isn’t guaranteed, but that’s part of the fun, right?

San Pedro

San Pedro is part of the university district. Here you’ll find plenty of nightlife options, with the strong student population ensuring a rowdy and enjoyable atmosphere. One of the top San Jose Costa Rica activities is going for a night out in the city, starting with cheap food in a soda (a no-thrills local eatery) and then heading on to a succession of bars with an inevitably ever-increasing group of friends in tow.

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