Downtown San José does not, for the most part, make most tourists places in Costa Rica. Most people don't want to spend time visiting San José, but you really miss seeing a real part of Costa Rica. Sure it's congested and smoggy, but a lot of people go to visit New York City. And although you can now fly directly to Liberia, so you can hit the beaches without stopping even in San José, the fact is that most people are still flying at San José International Airport, so why not take a walking tour downtown of San José?
This is the route my friends go to when visiting Costa Rica. Depending on how much you sign up for this tour, it could take several hours, even a full day.
If you have a rental car it is very cheap. I like parking in the Omni mall, so I will start this tour. Make your way east of 4th Street, Central Avenue, near Plaza de la Cultura, where you will see a lot of people and pigeons hanging out with street preachers, comedians and musicians, who preform live. Across the market is the famous Teatro Nacional. It opened its doors in 1894 and is beautiful. Guided tours are available. In front of the theater is the Grand Hotel de Costa Rica. Which is the best known hotel in Costa Rica. It was the most exclusive and luxurious hotel in Costa Rica. They have a nice outdoor cafe where you can grab a coffee or a drink and a snack. Their ham (ham sandwich) is delicious. There is also a casino inside the hotel if you are gambling.
Back to the theater and on the grassy steps on 5th street is the ICT tourist information center. It is open Monday-village 9-1, 2-5. From there, you can enter underground exhibitions on the market, including the Golden Museum, which features pre-Columbian artifacts. Admission is $ 6 and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The main road from Plaza de la Cultura was made in a pedestrian mall, so you can walk freely, because cars are not allowed. Be careful about your valuables and do not wear jewelry that can be stolen by thieves. Here you will see many shops and restaurants that pay attention to both sides of the streets.
Some good stops include La Casona, which is outside the pedestrian mall, just look to the right of Calle Central and you will see. It is a two-story building full of typical souvenirs from Costa Rica. You can take care of all the gifts for friends and family right here. You will also see Universal Bookstore, which is one of the oldest stores in Costa Rica. You can buy gadgets, maps, books and more. You will also see another wonderful Lehmann Bookstore.
There you will see a large democracy monument in Costa Rica, which is a group of humble peasants who are humbly but proudly up. It is in front of a large building, which is Banco Central. Keep going and you'll go to Gloria, Costa Rica and the largest store. In La Gloria is Banco de Costa Rica, a huge black marble building.
Make your way to Mercado Central. The market is crowded with shops, restaurants, stand products and more. It covers the entire block of Central Avenue 1 and calls 6-8. This is a wonderful place to take in the daily lives of Costa Rican locals. You will also find some interesting dishes and meat on display. There are herbs sold for medicinal use with claims to cure diseases.
If you are claustrophobic or you don't want the crowds to not visit the market! Two blocks away is the historic Correo Central building. If you are a stamp collector, check the second floor where they have a Costa Rican Post History Museum with rare and old stamps on display.
Turn to the square from the culture, heading north, past the ICT offices and the Gold Museum.
You will see a park in the middle of the city, which is Parque Morazan. It is close to the Aurola Holiday Inn. In the center of the park is the Temple of Music, modeled after Le Trianon in Paris.
Head 2-3 blocks north and run into the Bolivar Park and San Jose Zoo location, which is open daily from 9-4: 30 am. Admission is approximately $ 2.00.
Heading east, you will pass Parque Espana, which is full of plants and trees in the middle of the city. Continue on Avenida 7 and you will see Casa Amarilla, which is the home of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has a beautiful park in front. Both donated by Andre Carnegie. Nearby, the National Tue-Sat Cultural Center opens 10-5. It houses a museum and theaters. Nearby is the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, also open T-Sa 10-5. Admission is $ 3 and they have art and exhibits from around the world.
On the hill on Ave 7 is the Biblioteca Nacional, which is the national library. It faces the largest park in the city, Parque Nacional. See National Monument honoring the battle of William Walker filibuster again. The statue was made in the Rodin Studios in France and shipped to Costa Rica.
Along the park street, you will see the statue honoring Costa Rican hero Juan Santamaria, who holds his flashlight and the Legislative Assembly that holds the congress in Costa Rica.
Two blocks south of Parque Nacional is the Museo Nacional open on Sundays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. This is a very popular tourist attraction. Admission is $ 4 and you will reach the tour of the former Fort Bellavista. You can still see the bullet holes in the Civil War of 1948. Excellent exhibits in Spanish and English.
The next stop after the museum is the Plaza de la democracia. You can see it from the museum. It is newly built in 1989 to commemorate democracy. It features a statue of the hero of Jose Figueres from the civil war of 1948. Former president who disbanded the army after the civil war. The market is full of tempting market stands that sell everything from clothing, jewelry, to hammocks and crafts.
Places to eat
There are several great places to grab a quick bite, a cup of coffee or a cold beer. For a nice cup of coffee and a delicious bagel, yes, bagel-Bagelmen is a must. Located on Central Avendia in downtown Barrio California.
Cafe from the inn on the pedestrian walkway south of the national museum. More local in nature. Good things.
Giacomin. Coffee pasta and Italian style. Located near the center of Fischel pharmacy.
Manolos, which is right on the pedestrian mall. Excellent casado and delicious corals.
There is also a pop from the city center just around the corner from the Plaza de la Cultura on the pedestrian mall. The best ice cream in town.
If needed, you'll find all the franchise stuff in the city center, such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Macdonald & # 39; s, Taco Bell and Wendy's & # 39; s. For something more Latin fare, try Rosti-Pollos, which is in the center of Cine Vanidades.
There you have it. An excellent walking tour in the center of San José, which reaches all the wonderful places. So wear comfortable shoes and have fun!