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National Museum (Museo Nacional)

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
08:30 - 04:30
Open now
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Sun 09:00 - 04:30
Tue - Sat 08:30 - 04:30

This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa...

This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa Rica's history and culture.

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Book In Advance
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and up
Discover Costa Rica's Capital City and Museums
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Private San Jose City Tour with Lunch
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San Jose Walking Tour including Central Market and Lunch

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 927 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 193
  • 225
    Very good
  • 79
  • 23
  • 5
Has a little of everything

You start off walking through a butterfly sanctuary, which was very neat. Then you walk up top and see some of the different parts of the history of Costa Rica.

Reviewed 16 February 2016
Dawson City, Yukon
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927 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 525: English reviews
Dawson City, Yukon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2016

You start off walking through a butterfly sanctuary, which was very neat. Then you walk up top and see some of the different parts of the history of Costa Rica.

Thank efoubister
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
86 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2016

There is lots of interesting stuff there: an exhibit about the fauna of the country, rooms set up as they were in colonial mansions, and most interesting of all, several rooms of pre-Colombian, copper, gold and ceramics. Less interesting were three room of plaster reproductions of European Renaissance and ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. There was a lot of walking,... More 

Thank EEM88
1 review
Reviewed 12 February 2016

very good info on pre-columbian peoples and culture in Costa Rica. Beautiful jade and gold artifacts

Thank boobarb47
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 February 2016

A place certainly worth a visit while in San Jose. The only thing that bothers me is that all entrance fees in Costa Rica are based on US dollars and not on the countrys currency wich makes it, in many cases, quite expensive for non-US visitors in comparison with fees asked for many activities in most industrialized countries. There is... More 

1 Thank Jacojo
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 7 February 2016 via mobile

This museum had very interesting exhibitions. It is not too big, so kids can do it easily. Unfortunately dungeons werent open.

Thank Mikko S
Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2016 via mobile

The vaunted maricopas are not in residence during February, it appears, and museum entrance fees are not inexpensive in San Jose. However, the museum is housed in a 1917 former Army fortress, with some nice views of the city and surrounding mountains. Nice flora in the butterfly area even without them, and the rest of the museum is given over... More 

Thank honorhood
New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2016

I went here on my first day in San Jose. There is a lovely little butterfly garden as you enter and the remaining of the museum had some nice artifacts. It would be more interesting if I was on a guided tour.

Thank browneyes284
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 6 February 2016

A little bit of everything - archaeological artifacts, history, local artist exhibits, natural history, in a historic building, plus butterfly garden. It can all be done in half a day and you have a great overview of Costa Rican history and culture. Especially good for first time visitors to CR. Mysterious stone orbs carved centuries ago. No one knows what... More 

Thank Laurie G
Level Contributor
50 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2016 via mobile

Worth the time to explore the rooms of displays. Some of the taxidermy was truly in sad shape others absolutely impressive.

1 Thank awagner2287
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2016 via mobile

Admission $9 per person. Our two year old was free. Small, cute, our daughter liked it. The building is a fort that they converted into a museum. You can see bullet holes on some of the exterior walls. From the roof there's a nice view of the city. Pretty little butterfly garden when you walk in, then up a ramp... More 

Thank chulu

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?