San José Shopping

  • Market area from the bus
    Market area from the bus
    by grandmaR
  • Mercado Artisanal in San José
    Mercado Artisanal in San José
    by Pieter11
  • I can't find a picture for this tip!!!
    I can't find a picture for this tip!!!
    by Firestar24

Best Rated Shopping in San José

  • penumbra's Profile Photo

    Fuerte Bellevista: Flea Market

    by penumbra Written Sep 1, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bargin Bazarr

    There isn’t much to buy in Costa Rica that you couldn’t buy cheaper somewhere else but its fun to rummage through a market even if you don’t buy anything. The are some markets on the west end of downtown, but the area always feels disreputable. On the east end of downtown is a nicer market that has a better feel to it.

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  • besbel's Profile Photo

    Centro Comercial Multiplaza: "The" Mall in San José

    by besbel Updated Feb 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Centro Comercial Multiplaza (from website)

    Located in the Centro Empresarial Forum, it is the place for shopping. You can find anything of the highest quality in there, from goods (like clothes, sport outfits, jewelry, groceries, souvenirs) to services (beauty saloons, restaurants, cinemas, etc.). Their prices range from less expensive than average to really expensive, but that depends on the item and the store.

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    Moravia: Moravia: the Point for Souvenirs

    by besbel Written Mar 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Moravia is the area of San José where you will find streets full of souvenir stores. There is a HUGE variety of little things to remember San José and Costa Rica, from keyholders to clothes, leather and glass articles, ceramics, etc., and at the lowest prices and special discounts for volume. Take your time for choosing!

    What to buy: There are tons of Costa Rican souvenirs, however, the one I recommend is the typical Costa Rican that you won't find anywhere else: the wooden carriage of coffee. You would find it at any size, any color and any prize, and Moravia offers them all to you.

    I mention this because the other stuff like glasses, pens, exotic animals, bookmarks, etc, can be found also with similar characteristics in other countries, but with the name of the country/city changed.

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  • besbel's Profile Photo

    Avenida Central: Avenida Central

    by besbel Updated Mar 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Avenida Central

    In downtown San José you will find Avenida Central's nine blocks in a sort of promenade, where you will find anything, from restaurants, clothes' shops (including Payless Shoes Source, where I bought some sandals) pharmacies, internet cafes and, in general, all types of commercial activity. Go and take a look!

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  • Everywhere: Coffee

    by Grootpiet Written Jul 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Costa Rican Coffee is just exceptional, especially after weeks of watery American brew...

    Cafe Britt is the big name brand you'll see almost anywhere, and they also have a nice plantation with tour, restaurant etc. just outside San Jose. Try the Tarrazu and Tres Ríos Valdivia for something different. They have also recently brought out a range of Pervian coffees which are pretty good.

    Other brands to look out for are Oro and Rey, all of which you can generally find in supermarkets.

    What to buy: If you're planning on buying a lot of coffee, Cafe Britt has an online site which is cheaper and much more convenient to the US & Canada than lugging it back from Costa Rica. www. cafebritt.com

    What to pay: $7.95 per bag, mostly with free delivery. Buying a case of 20 and splitting with friends makes for a great price.

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    Mercado Nacional de Artesanías: Handicrafts and Art

    by Firestar24 Updated Apr 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I can't find a picture for this tip!!!

    We walked into the centre of San Jose for a bit a shopping and a nose around and I was quite disappointed by the shops... There were millions of shoe shops, but nothing really startling. We had a good walk around and found a good place to have lunch and wandered back to the Hostel to get changed for the night time. On the way back, just a couple of blocks from where we were staying, we found The Mercado Nacional de Artesanías. This shop/market holds a fantastic display of Local handicrafts and artwork at bargin prices - it really is worth a look. I can't believe we nearly missed it!

    What to buy: Woodwork is really big here - particularly rosewood boxes set with tiny handpainted tiles - I should have taken a picture of mine for these pages - it's really beautiful.

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  • pollon's Profile Photo

    a local shops gallery...: watch batteries...

    by pollon Written May 6, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Templo de M��sica

    What to buy: definitely cheaper are the watch batteries: here in italy they are normally expensive and I had with me such an old wrist watch that a new battery wouldn't have been worth so I thought to ask for its price, once found where (in CR you buy them in jewelry shops) and it was incredibly cheap...
    In the pic the Templo de Música in the Parque Morózan.

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  • Pieter11's Profile Photo

    Mercado Artisanal: A nice souvenir market

    by Pieter11 Written May 26, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mercado Artisanal in San Jos��

    At the eastern part of the citycentre of San José there is a very good souvenir market called "Mercado Artisanal". It is a narrow corridor that is built on the Plaza de la Democratia: the corridor is completely surrounded by small stalls and is about 100 metres long. It might not be a huge market, but it is a very good and pleasant way to do your shopping.

    In this market you'll find everything that you can possibly look for: clothes, hammocks, statues, pens, jewelry, musical instruments, games, kitchen gear, and so on. The bargaining is pretty good here compared to other places in Central America: never pay more then 70% of the price they ask you.

    Happy shopping!

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  • penumbra's Profile Photo

    Mercado Central – Central Market

    by penumbra Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Market Entrance, Avenida Central - Calle 6
    1 more image

    Established in 1881, this hall has an entrance at each corner of the block. Essentially, the market contains street vendors that have moved indoors so that you can browse more leisurely if it rains. As with all markets, watch your valuables at all times. Other markets nearby are the Borbón, a block north, at Avenidas 3-5 - Calle 8, and the Coca-Cola bus terminal and market, Avenidas 1-3 - Calle 16.

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    La Rueda: Souvenirs of Costa Rica

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Apr 13, 2007

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    Karen Selects a Mounted
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    La Rueda is one of many gift shops to be found in Moravia, a suburb of San Jose. Here we found a very wide selection of unique local craft items as well as cheaper souvenirs.

    Karen and I bought a mounted and framed "Morpho Helenor," which is a large iridescent blue butterfly indigenous to Costa Rica. The specimen we bought was labeled as being raised in captivity by government permit, and not taken from the wild. We were fortunate to see a couple of these beautiful tropical butterflies on the wing while in Costa Rica.

    At La Rueda we also found a refrigerator magnet and postcards for our collection.

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  • pollon's Profile Photo

    on the street...: regalito...

    by pollon Updated May 6, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grupo Explosion

    What to buy: why not a CD (even if I expected I would have regreted it as when not in that atmosphere any more but...) of that music you have heard all afternoon long during the parade of the last day of the Carnival by the Grupo Explosion...
    I had already got a couple of postcards with the whole group as they had noticed me taking them pics and after I bought the CD, they ran after me for a "regalito", as they called it, their calendar, I found it sweet...

    What to pay: lots of things here are cheaper maybe thanks to the good exchange with US dollar but not the CDs, whether you buy it on the street or in a shop, they cost the usual price you pay for them here in italy...

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    El Gran Cacique: Fine Local Crafts

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Apr 13, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Karen in front of El Gran Cacaqui
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    El Gran Cacique is gift shop in Moravia (a San Jose suburb) which specializes in local hand made crafts of leather and wood. Here we found a beautiful wooden bowl with a lid which was just what we had been looking for to store packets of artificial sweetener on our kitchen counter at home.

    Our house is already so full of trinkets from our travels that we no longer buy souvenirs from countries we visit unless it is some item we can put to practical use, so we were especially happy to find just the wooden bowl that Karen had in mind.

    El Gran Cacique is next door to La Rueda, in our previous shopping tip.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Art. La Carrsona Tipica: Mercado Artesania

    by grandmaR Updated Jun 9, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Market area from the bus

    We walked around the Central Market, and went into an arcade ( Art. La Carrsona Tipica) with a lot of little shops to get souveniers. We looked around and priced things (it took a long time to figure out how to ask for a nativity scene), and went back at the end of our trip to get gifts for people that we hadn't gotten anything for and also some extras. However we did most of our shopping in Sarchi.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Esmeraldasy Creaciones Dieciocho Skilates S.A.: Free Trip

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 3, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our last morning, we decided to take advantage of a free trip into town from the Hampton Inn, in return for visiting a jade shop. They gave us a very interesting tour, and then afterwards picked us up and took us back to the hotel.

    What to pay: I bought a jade fish for my SIL and paid $40.00

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  • Snipernurse's Profile Photo

    Wait to Buy

    by Snipernurse Written Jun 3, 2008

    San Jose is not the best spot to buy your suvenirs. If this is your first stop and you see lots of things you would love to have, just know that most everywhere you go in Costa Rica will have the same stuff. Take time at first to learn the market to gauge what prices are good and which are not. Wait and see several shops until you decide on what you really like. I found San Jose to be a bit pricier, and selection in other cities to be better (like La Fortuna). Always know that if you buy more from one person, the bigger deal you will get

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