If you are in San Jose for at least a few hours, you are bound and should go to see the Teatro Nacional in the center of downtown (I walked around downtown for about 5 hours the night before I was to fly out). Built in 1897, it attempts to be reminiscent of the ornate grand opera houses of Europe. For such a small and modest country, the Teatro Nacional offers a pretty good national theatrical center. It has a very beautiful interior of marble and gold. I thought the lobby outshined the rest of the interior. It overflowed with beautiful dark & light marble including the walls, floors, and columns. Inside the actual theatre, the tropical wood floors are quite rich and beautiful. When going up the stairs, make sure you look up at the ceiling to gaze at the large murals depicting Costa Rican life at the time of completion. This is very worthy of the money and time.
Cost: $3 (1,450 Colones at the time)
San Jose` has a variety of things to see and do and experience. I of course didn't get to do them all, but I enjoyed the food, the culture, the night life and of course the shopping. The restaurant where I showed pics of the food was excellent, as was the one on the mountain, although that was quite a trip to get up to and also a little more expensive.