San José Travel Guide

  • San José
    by BLewJay
  • San José
    by BLewJay
  • San José
    by BLewJay

San José Highlights

  • Pro
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    nphau1016 says…

     A lot of culture to see 

  • Con
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    nphau1016 says…

     A lot of people in a small space 

  • In a nutshell
    nphau1016 profile photo

    nphau1016 says…

     The capital of Costa Rica is not an overhwhelming city, with friendly people and a lot of places to shop 

San José Things to Do

  • Teatro Nacional - Beautiful Little...

    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...

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  • A great Experience

    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...

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San José Restaurants

  • Traditional Costa Rican food

    After a long day of traveling (L.A. - Houston - San José) and taking a well deserved nap in our hotel room, we decided to give the Rincón del Conde Restaurant a try. We didn't have to get into the car and drive anywhere, just put on our clothes and walk across the grounds to the restaurant. It wasn't crowded so we were able to choose our seats. Our...

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  • Introduction to a local custom

    We only stayed in San José for one day, so after getting our SIM Card at Walmart, we headed back to the car rental facility to pick up a GPS for our trip north (as mentioned before, it's highly recommended). After getting our navigation buddy squared away, we asked the guys behind the counter if they knew of a good place to eat. He said, do you...

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  • Golden Grain: a piece of France in CR

    European cuisine with the best French cook in town in an environment of flowers, tropical trees and singing birds...it is like Paris in the Tropics... Continental cusine with local savour...Steak with a black bean sauce...incredible..a lot of tropical fruits...wine selection is wide....

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San José Nightlife

  • The city that never sleeps...

    When you get to San Jose and are ready to go out and have a great time, start asking around and find out where the really big club scene is in town. Away from the direct downtown, I think that we had headed north and east a bit, only like a 10 minute drive. This party club central was full of, I kid you not at least 30 bars and clubs inside a 3...

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  • Cheap party lots of fun

    San Jose upscale neighborhood offers various night spots and bars.....Come early go home late......Spent all night drinking Heinken beer (Heinken has a production plant in Costa Rica) and had the time of my life only spent $30 US.....relatively safe, but you must go at night with people who live in San Jose, as a tourist it would be very easy to...

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San José Transportation

  • You will definitely want a 4-WD

    Our trip was a fly and drive vacation, so we flew into San José, got on the shuttle, headed to the Adobe Airport Office, rented a Hyundai Tucson AWD/SUV and drove it to our destination(s). There are a few highways in Costa Rica, but most of the roads are divided (with traffic in each direction) and many of the places you will want to visit are...

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  • Busy Streets

    When getting into a taxi, always amke sure that they tell you how much their rate is, because we were misled one time when getting a ride across town to one of the central club areas and were very overcharged.

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San José Shopping

  • Everything you need

    We have an unlocked phone which we use when traveling to other countries. So as soon as we land, we head to the telephone shop to purchase a local SIM Card. Well we asked the locals where we can purchase a SIM card...they said go to Walmart. Easy...there was a Walmart Supercenter near our hotel, so we loaded up the SUV and off we went. Got to the...

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  • Good English Books on Costa Rica &...

    This bookstore is nothing elaborate but has a good selection in its open setting. The majority of the books here are in English. Although not the megabookstores of the US, it has a fair selection for a small location. If you want some reading material on or regarding Costa Rica (including several pamphelt types on food), this a great place to go. I...

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  • Have you ever seen tongue?

    Inside Mercado Central they sell everything...Any kind of meet, spices, seafood, herbs, clothes... well, go there see for yourself You don't have to buy tongue. Many restaurants in San Jose have tongue in their menu. No clue!

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San José Warnings and Dangers

  • Electronic Equipment

    The customs in San Jose is a bit backwards & will assign the term "Computer Equipmrnt" to any item that they think uses electricity. If you are bringing 2 or more computers per person they will try to put a tax on it or make you leave a deposit on it. In some cases, your passport could be stamped with a 6-month restriction on electronic importing.

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  • Airport Departure Tax

    The Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose charges a $26 departure tax to leave Costa Rica. This is totally separate from the taxes included in your airline ticket.There are two (that I saw) locations in the ticketing area where you queue to pay the tax. You have to pay this tax & receive documentation before you can be issued your...

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San José Favorites

  • Changing money

    When arriving in San Jose....the currency exchange will change your US $, but your US dollars must not have any marks on them, no pen stains, no corners missing. Same as banks, bring passports in order to exchange your dollars. Avoid people wanting to give you change as you exist the airport, they're pretty good at robbing incoming tourist that...

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  • Not at Night

    For those who have traveled in a third world country one would agree with me that Downtown San Jose is OK during the day but extremely dangerous to be around in at night.......There is a Casino in the downtown region, but other than that there is nothing there to do and see.......Highly advised to stay away at night.....VERY DANGEROUS !!!!!

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