Most often travelers come to Costa Rica and want to head straight to the beach, the Arenal Volcano, the rainforest or any other place in Costa Rica that is not the city of San Jose. It used to be that there was not much to do in our capital city, but here´s a great list of things to do in San Jose if you have to are staying an overnight or even if you feel like exploring our urban side.
San Jose City Tour
What a great way to get to know San Jose! This tour is a hop on hop off chance to see the museums, the National Theatre, the Cathedral and many little eateries. City Square tours offers four routes and pick up is done at most hotels within the San Jose area. It runs every day of the year.
The local fair
If you are in town for a Saturday or Sunday, we encourage you to find out where that weekend´s farmer´s fair will take place. If you are lodging at the Intercontinental Hotel at Escazu, for instance, farmer´s fair is held on Saturdays and you will find not only great cheese and tortilla choices to munch on, but also a happy crowd that goes there every single weekend. People of all colors, ages and ethnicities will greet each other with hugs…it is as if every farmer´s day is an International Hugs Day, everyday.
Chocolate tasting and tour
Costa Rica´s best known for its coffee, but in fact, cacao was our main export produce way before coffee became so famous. And so, after many years of being left in the oblivion, you will find many great Chocolate tours that salvage all the years lost. At Sibu Chocolaterie, you will learn about Costa Rican Cacao history and you will taste cocoa as it was prepared overtime. It is open everyday except Sundays.
You will find great indigenous collections in Costa Rica. One of our favorite places to see Indigenous findings is the Museum of our Central Bank. The shop there is enticing.
Wheel cart painting
Only an hour away from San Jose but still within the Great Metropolitan Area you will find wheel cart factories where all of our very traditional and still current wheel carts are painted. Don Eloy´s factory is the best known wheel cart workshops, and painting lessons can be booked most days of the week.
San Jose at night time
If you feel like heading out for the night, we actually offer two very different ambiences in the East and West sides of San Jose.
Our East side is bohemian, artistic, service is very laid back and ambiance is key here. Little restaurants at Barrio Escalante will offer a wide array of great tastes and smells. Kalú is great for an afternoon coffee, Sofia Mediterraneo offers great Mediterranean fare, and Olio is great for tapas.
Our West side is more posh, modern and fresh, service is on point and food is more gourmet. If you prefer your meat perfectly done and you do not mind a stiffer environment, then Furca and Doris Mediterraneo as spectacular choices for delicious meat. If you like Peruvian: la Divina Comida is divine…. and if you are looking for some great Italian food, then Bacchus is the right choice.
So you see, there is plenty to do while in San Jose. And if you still want to head a bit further away for a great coffee tour or a visit to Peace Waterfalls, you can certainly book a half or full day tour and come to sleep at the capital.