4 Must-Do’s in San Jose
San José, the capital of Costa Rica is a very busy, somewhat crowded and colourful city. Locals don colourful clothing. The buildings are painted in shades of blues, yellows and reds. Street art covers the walls of many sidewalls. Despite being talked about as an unimpressive and ugly capital, San José has charm creeping up in almost every corner. You’ll just need to give it a chance.
Here are four things you must-do in San Jose to experience the city’s charm and flavour.
If you’ve never had churros, Central (or South) America would be the perfect place to try them. A popular dessert in South and Central America, churros are warm, crispy sticks of fried bread covered in cinnamon and sugar. You can also try churros with chocolate sauce or other flavoured dips, but I prefer original.
Visit a local bar
Costa Ricans love their beer and sports, and even if you aren’t much of a fan of either (like me!) I still suggest you visit a local bar (outside of downtown). I like Craic Irish Pub. They play oldies and like at most bars in Costa Rica, serve food and snacks. Instead of drinking, I treated myself to fried Oreos (not my usual healthy recommendation, but they are accidentally vegan!).
Explore the National Museum
If you are limited for time (or funds) and can only choose one museum to visit, I suggest the National Museum. Upon entering, the museum houses a beautiful, lush garden filled with butterflies. Then, you enter the open concept museum with about 7-8 separate sections including a pre-Colombian room, an early history room (see where Native Costa Ricans lived and what they ate) and a gold room. You also get great views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Even if your Spanish is limited or broken, speak with the locals in Spanish. Refuse to say hello, thank you, or please in English. These are three words you can easily speak in Spanish: “Hola” (or “Pura Vida”, or “Buenas”), “Gracias” and “Por Favor”. Just like you appreciate when tourists make an effort to speak in your language when you are home, it is very much appreciated when you make an effort to speak in the language of the country (or city) you are visiting. Wonderful conversations can start this way.
Now it’s your turn – have you been to Costa Rica or San Jose? What did you see and eat? What did you appreciate about the country (or the city)?