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San Jose Travel Guide


The city of San Jose, capital of Costa Rica, is the main economic and commercial center of the country, and is home to almost one third of the Costa Rica’s population. The city offers many appealing attractions to captivate tourists. There is something to do or see for everyone: a variety of museums, the National Theater (an architectural gem of centuries) and other ancient buildings, parks, churches and a vibrant nightlife that includes elegant restaurants and entertainment areas such as sports bars, casinos and more. Also it is worth visiting shops and markets that where craftsman display their original works.

The cosmopolitan concept has turned San José into a mirror of the culture of Costa Rica, something clearly display by the excellent network of museums that surrounds the city. Several historic buildings and industrial complexes have been converted into art houses, science and social achievements. The Museo de Jade, possibly the most famous museum of Costa Rica, boasts the largest collection of American jade in the world, with hundreds of pieces on exhibition. The Costa Rican Art Museum (Local Name: Museo de Arte Costarricense), whose building was the terminal of the first international airport, displays a collection of paintings and sculptures by local artists ranging from the nineteenth century to the contemporary epoch, and is also the setting for occasional spectacles of local artists. The architectural masterpiece of San Jose, the National Theater, represents a source of pride for Costa Ricans. The café adjacent to the main lobby of the theater is a wonderful place to sit and relax in the heart of the city. The National Symphony Orchestra is exhibited in the concert season between March and November and in many other special activities that may include from the ballet of Moscow to Chinese acrobats, in dinners of state and Costa Rican theatrical presentations. Other tourist attractions in San Jose include El Pueblo which has more than 50 restaurants, bars, clubs, art galleries and shops within walking distance of several hotels and resorts, Calle de la Amargura in San Pedro near the University with a wide range of restaurants, discos and bars and Pueblo Antiguo which is a theme park with lots of entertainment and colors.

Due to the relatively small size of San José, good location of its museums and major attractions for the tourists it is possible to visit them on foot in one day, whether alone or with a guide who can provide historical information and interesting facts.

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