What to Do in San Jose

July 6, 2015,

After visiting San Jose, Costa Rica for the second time I discovered the city a little more and it quickly became a favourite. I decided to write a sort-of part 2 post to my initial 4 Things to Do in San Jose post. On my second visit, I spent the day outdoors walking the downtown area, taking my time and letting my feet decide when to go and when to stop.

Visit the Central Market
When in San Jose, I recommend visiting the Central Market. The market is located on Av. Central (easy enough to remember!) and the main entrance is on the corner of Calle 8. Established in 1880, the market houses a multitude of tiny shops and authentic Costa Rican restaurants. You can eat local cuisine for cheap and in an authentic setting – San Jose still has a great balance between locals and tourists and the central market was no different. The shops vary drastically from stalls filled with spices, fruit, plants (fresh aloe anyone?!) to souvenir and clothing stores. I even found a couple of restaurants offering fresh juices and shops selling local coffee beans and chocolate by weight.

San Jose Central MarketCentral Market in San Jose

Check out Chinatown 
Also while downtown, you can visit Chinatown (Barrio Chino in Spanish) which takes up a small section of the city, just off of one of the main streets, Av. 2 (between Calle 7 and 11).

Chinatown in San Jose
Visit One of the Many Museums
I also suggest visiting a museum. I visited the National Museum my first day and loved it – it was a unique experience and I learned a great deal about the history of Costa Rica. The next time I visit, I’d like to check out the Jade Museum and the Gold Museum.

People Watch at Plaza de La Cultura
While you’re downtown, you can people watch at Plaza de La Cultura and play the “local or tourist” game, a favourite of mine.

San JosePlaza de la Democracia 
End the evening watching the sunset at Plaza de La Democracia. Or people watch here too.

Over to you! Have you visited San Jose? What else would you like to know about Costa Rica?What to do in San Jose, Costa Rica

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  • Reply Ilena Ciricillo July 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I found your photo of the light of the setting sun reflecting on the museum enchanting!

    Thanks again for all the great tips and advice and Pura Vida!(I wonder how that expression came to be?)

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring July 16, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      I love the photo too… the lighting was magical! I wonder too!?

  • Reply Celia July 23, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Seeing your photos for sure makes me want to visit it some day:)

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring July 23, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      I am sure you will! It is so lovely.. but in the meantime… Uruguay!

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