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“Wide variety of interesting exhibits” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Museum (Museo Nacional)

National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
257-221-4429
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Top Rated
$48*
and up
San Jose City Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #15 of 78 things to do in San Jose
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa Rica's history and culture.
Hayward, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Wide variety of interesting exhibits”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

This museum was quite a surprise. The artifacts display cover Pre-Columbian history of the indigenous people from more than 12000 years ago up until the Spanish arrival. Several displays show the artistry in stone sculpting - similar to what is found in Mayan culture. The stone spheres found in Costa Rica (some on display) are found no where else in the world. The spherical perfection of these stone is worth your time, even if other parts of the museum are not very impressive; e.g., the butterfly garden. While there, they also had a Japanese doll collection on loan which added something extra.

Visited February 2013
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390 reviews from our community

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Atlanta
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Superb Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We saw this on our own as part of a personal extension we made to our tour to see San Jose. This Museum really gave us a feel for Costa Rica's historical background, and it was extremely interesting. Not to be missed.

Visited February 2013
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Costa Rican History”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We enjoyed our visit to the museum - it gave a sense of history to our first visit to Costa Rica. The building that housing the museum is interested and I enjoyed the butterfly park at the entrance.

Visited March 2013
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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“A little taste of Costa Rican History.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Small museum with several areas, all demonstrating part of CR history. Our favorite area was the natural history rooms with artifacts and scenes from ancient life in Costa Rica. Good value and worth a trip if you like natural history.

Visited January 2013
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Winthrop Harbor, Illinois
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

My husband and I stayed in San Jose an extra couple of days just to check out the museum. This one is very interesting facts about Costa Rica. There is a butterfly garden inside too. It housed lovely Morpho Butterflies. The butterflies are drab on the outside of the wings but a vibrant blue on the inside of the wings only noticeable as they fly. There is a spot in the museum that looks out over San Jose and if you go to the west just at the edge of the property the shopping begins. The shopping seems to go on forever.

Visited March 2013
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