Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
4.5
Historic Sites • Theaters
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8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Since 1897, this elegant theater has been a source of pride.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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  • Simbet
    Minneapolis, Minnesota971 contributions
    Great guided tour!
    We spontaneously bought tickets for the guided tour a bit before one of the English-speaking tours started. We thought the actors presenting the tour made it really fun and interesting, and the theater is totally gorgeous. We were glad we went! We did stop and have an early lunch at the attached cafe beforehand - it was fine. We had no trouble finding a place to sit, but after our tour, in early afternoon, the cafe was packed - so this might be something to consider if you decide to wait until after the tour and you're almost "hangry" to grab a bite.
    Visited January 2020
    Written February 20, 2020
  • B0bNM
    Fredericton, Canada124 contributions
    A really fun tour!
    This was our second visit to the Teatro Nacional. We arrived at mid-morning so decided to have a coffee break in the Alma de Cafe, the theatre cafe. This is a beautiful room with marble floor, high frescoed ceiling, dark wood furniture and dark wood carving. Tickets for the theatre tour need to be purchased at the kiosk outside. While waiting for the English tour to start at 1 PM, we had lunch at the theatre cafe again. The cafe really filled up but the food and service were excellent. As mentioned by others, the tour is conducted by 2 actors who play different roles and relate the history of the building and some past events. It was wonderful to sit in the plush red seats of the main theatre and see the lavish reception room upstairs that had gold leaf details. The building surely is a national treasure and this was a fabulous, fun tour.
    Visited February 2020
    Written March 7, 2020
  • jbourgeo
    Seattle, Washington25 contributions
    Creative tour of a historic and artistic treasure
    Admission to museums in San Jose is not cheap for foreigners, I hesitated to sign up for this tour (about $11), but am very glad I did. The tour included two guides who acted parts, as well as coming out of character to tell us much of the history of this national treasure, which is an active theatre but also used as the "state house" The tour was about 1/2 hour, and you could stay after to review the many art and artisan works. It is truly a one-of-a-kind place, worth your visit. I hope the fee pays the guides and guards, and helps preserve this national treasure.
    Visited February 2020
    Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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longandshortofit
Overland Park, KS140 contributions
Jan 2020
We agree with all the reviewers who recommend the tour. It is given by two actors from the theater company, playing roles from the building's history. Rather than coming across as cheesy, it was an entertaining way to explain the interesting history and features of the building. The building is beautiful, very ornate. We were particularly struck by the floor that, after the chairs are removed, can be raised from below to bring it level to the stage. The story of the mural Alegoría al Café y al Banano was also particularly interesting.

The ticket office, on the outside of the theater to the left, was closed over lunch hour. There was a small line to get tickets when it opened just in time for the 1:00 tour.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane K
Venice, FL3,993 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We’ve been on many theater tours around the world and this one was the best! They had actors tell you the history of the building in a very entertaining way. The tour lasted 55 minutes. The tours are scheduled hourly in English and Spanish depending on the hour. You buy tickets at the ticket booth on the outside of the building to the left.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

M.KN
Edmond, OK7 contributions
Jan 2020
On our last day in San Jose we happened to pop in the lobby of the Teatro National to avoid the rain. We ended up going on a short tour of the theater. It was a great way to enjoy a piece of Costa Rican history. The place itself is absolutely beautiful inside and the tour guides in period costume add to the charm. Beautiful artwork and a chance to brush up on interesting facts, such as being in the place where every four years the outgoing Costa Rican president hands over the power to the incoming newly elected president, make this a worthwhile destination when in San Jose.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Juan C
Las Vegas, NV400 contributions
Dec 2021
This beautiful and historic place is really worth visiting. I recommend taking the complete tour of the theater and listening to the guide tell the story of the theater while you walk through the beautiful rooms and access the seating area and the stage. Everything very impressive. There is a cafe inside with very good offers of food and drinks. You can access the theater cafe without having to do the full tour, although I really recommend doing the full tour.
Written January 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

County-Hunter
Tacoma, WA3,162 contributions
Jul 2022
So, we were disappointed in that we didn't get to see the inside. The Teatro has changed it's policies and you can no longer just walk up and buy tickets. They are now assigning tickets by time slots. We were on part of a larger city tour of San Jose and since we didn't have the time to wait around till the next opening, we had to forego our visit, despite the fact it wasn't that crowded.
Written August 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill R
Tannum Sands, Australia447 contributions
Feb 2021
We wanted to see the National Theater. We checked at our hotel and they said that because of COVID, there were no performances but, for a small fee, you could go in and see it. We went to the theater, engaged the two men who were at the front. One said we could only go in if we took the tour. When we asked when it was he replied at one oclock and one hour, It was 12:30 so we waited the thirty minutes before the ticket office opened. Once it did, the ticket lady said the tour was at three and only in Spanish. We didn’t go. We would have been happy to pay a fee just to walk in and see the theater. It is impressive on the outside.
Written February 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

liverpool1023
London, UK839 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
You could argue that the charms of SanJosé city are difficult to discern. The allure of this town is certainly less obvious than other capital cities. The Nat Theatre however is a real gem in the rough. A testament to the coffee barons new riches of the late nineteenth century it has been co opted by the nation as a symbol of statehood.

The style is a inspired mash up of neo Palladian, baroque and most noticeably French neo-classical. The interior is opulent - due to imported Italian marbles, art work and statues. Allegorical frescoes are impressive. The principal one shows coffee pickers and agricultural workers. The coffee workers look suspiciously like well fed, happy peasants from northern Italy.

We took the 45 minute guided tour in English that was both fun and informative; the two guides had a great double-act going and answered the many questions well.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ezbreezy
Calgary, Canada12 contributions
Feb 2020
Not only is it worthwhile to visit this theatre just to see its architectural beauty, our tour guides provided truly the most enjoyable tour experience I've ever had. The guides are 2 actors who played roles permitting them to talk about the theatre's building and use , conveying information is a super-fun way. It was simply delightful. Forty-five minute tours are held in English or Spanish.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chandra
London, UK27 contributions
Jan 2020
The theatre is an interesting building and the guided tour is worth it if you have a spare hour or so in San Jose. It is presented in an unusual manner by two actors - great fun. There is also an atmospheric cafe on the premises - a perfect setting to discuss arts and politics over coffee and cake.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vdelcastillo
Sydney, Australia222 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
Must see, what a place! The preservation is stunning, the tour was $6 per person. They have English and Spanish and they start at 1pm every hour. Beautiful building. There’s a cafe inside which looked great but we ended up going to Cafe Rojo. Walking around it felt like we were in France. Great job taking care of the place!
Written January 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Teatro Nacional Costa Rica - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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Teatro Nacional Costa Rica is open:
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