In the centre of Costa Rica, at an altitude of 4,000 ft, San José is both the country's largest city and its capital since 1823, almost a century after it was tardily founded. Long boulevards or, on the contrary, narrow gaudy lanes, many grey, modern buildings, a few skyscrapers, shantytowns, these are the first images that this lively and cosmopolitan city has to offer in the heart of the Central Valley. You will need to look well to discover some of the charms of San José. The national theatre and its Renaissance-style façade is the pride of all Costa Ricans and the city's major meeting point. On the other side of plaza de la Cultura, a visit should certainly be paid to the Gold Museum, one of the four museums in the world where visitors can admire the beauty and sophistication of the pre-Columbian culture. Nearby, you should make your way through the crowd of Avenidad Central, a large pedestrian street lined with numerous boutiques, to finally get to the maze of Mercado Central (the central market). The Jade Museum, the richest museum in all of the Americas, is one of the city's gems, thanks to its beauty, quality and great number of exhibited pieces. As for The National Museum, it presents Costa Rican culture and history. The districts of Otoya and Amon give you the opportunity to take very pleasant strolls and explore the Spanish, Caribbean, Art-Deco, Neo-Classical and Moresque-style residences.
Discover San José