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“City Center - Lots of Activity” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Plaza de la Cultura

Plaza de la Cultura
Avenida Central at Calle 3, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Ranked #26 of 39 attractions in San Jose
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Downtown's main plaza often hosts celebrations, demonstrations, performances, etc.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“City Center - Lots of Activity”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

If you were to pick the center of the city this would be it. Buskers regularly entertain here; it is flanked by the Gold Museum, the National Theatre, and the Restaurant Gran Oro.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“City life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

A plaza for the people, the statues are intriguing but the life of the everyday is here to enjoy. Watch people feed the pigeons, hang out with friends, discuss the news.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sallisaw, OK
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Heart of the city”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

The cultural plaza is where just about everyone hangs out sometime or another. It's crowded, noisy, and full of all kinds of streetlife, from everyday Ticos and tourists to the scammers to the truly downtrodden. It's well patrolled by the police, and they'll keep you safe. They may not keep your stuff safe.

In this plaza, you'll find the National Theatre. This is truly a must see in San Jose. The Hotel Gran is another historical building. Under the pedestrian plaza are wonderful museums, holding treasures of jade, gold, and banking history. And when you've had your fill of culture, walk across the plaza and have a Big Mac. It's a one-stop cultural haven.

There's no telling what you may find here. We visited in early December, with fair weather and mild temperatures. There were street performers, face painters, trinket hawkers, money changers, the everpresent drummer and ocarina blowers, and Christmas decorations. It's worth a day and night in San Jose, just to see the sights of the plaza and surrounding paseo. But, much more than a day, and you've run out of things to do.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Disappointing City Center”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

For being the main plaza at the center of the capital city of Costa Rica, Plaza de la Cultura is definitely lacking. Basically, it is filled with people trying to sell you thinks or hand you advertisements, as well as lots and lots of birds that know no fear and will literally swarm you. (Oh, and there will also be people trying to take your picture WITH the birds, for that matter.)

That being said, there are nice things about the Plaza like lots of nice eateries and one of the finest sites in San José: el Teatro Nacional. If you visit San José, you´re bound to come across this plaza at one point or another so make the most of it!

Insider tip: there is a tourist information office located on this plaza next to the Claro store.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Escazu, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nice Stopping Point in San Jose”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

La Plaza de la Cultura is a nice little place to pass some time while headed else where in San Jose or Costa Rica. There is some decent shopping (if you are from the US, it may not seem very impressive), Teatro Nacional , Museuo del Oro, el Gran Hotel Costa Rica and the cafe 1820. There are often street performers to entertain tourists and children. If you are not a fan of pigeons, you have been warned. There are many of them and people feed them so don't expect them to go away any time soon. I usually pass through the Plaza to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat before traveling around Costa Rica. You can get some nice souvenirs here as well!

Visited September 2012
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