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National Museum (Museo Nacional)

Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Discover Costa Rica's Capital City and Museums
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Private San Jose City Tour with Lunch
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San Jose Walking Tour including Central Market and Lunch
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This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa Rica's history and culture.
  • Excellent40%
  • Very good42%
  • Average14%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“butterfly garden” (177 reviews)
“old fort” (43 reviews)
“pre columbian” (55 reviews)
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Hours Today: 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM
Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Reviews (1,027)
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201 - 210 of 577 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2016

They had every thing from gold items to butterflies. They had a great collection of pre Columbian artifacts and art to see. Well worth the time to see.

Thank Russell L
Reviewed March 28, 2016 via mobile

I liked my visit here...the museum had very interesting and unusual exhibits like the butterfly enclosure, a display of government carriages from the 1800's and historical displays explaining indigenous peoples, local government and insignias. The building itself was unique and the price was right. A...More

Thank Brad S
Reviewed March 28, 2016 via mobile

The museum surprised me with its size. The butterfly enclosure with various butterflies intrigued me. Then it led me to a beautiful courtyard surrounded by museum galleries..... Interesting and gave me an insight into the young history of Costa Rica..... Takes about 2-3 hours... And...More

Thank Raj-Iyer
Reviewed March 26, 2016

The National Museum was worth a visit - at the time they had a fascinating exhibit on colonisation on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The disques are very interesting too! The butterfly garden is lovely and there's lots to learn about pre-columbian gold and...More

Thank Hannah C
Reviewed March 26, 2016 via mobile

Building itself is a really interesting and going through the butterfly enclosure to get in was good. A small to medium selection of the highlights of Costa Rican history and wildlife. Well worth doing if you are in San Jose.

Thank Jim H
Reviewed March 25, 2016 via mobile

The fortress was built in 1917 and was originally a military barracks: the exterior walls still have many bullets lodged in them from the country's 1948 civil war. It became the site of the museum in 1950. This is a beautiful structure. It over look the...More

Thank Eloim-Ellis
Reviewed March 24, 2016

The exhibit signs are in Spanish and English. The butterfly exhibit was a nice surprise and very pretty. Make sure to take a walk around the exterior of the museum to check out the bullet holes in the walls from their civil war.

Thank e9tac
Reviewed March 22, 2016

This was our first attraction we visited when we arrived in San Jose. It was a great way to learn about the country. The exhibits range from historical and fact-focused to a bit more interactive. We loved the butterfly garden and the courtyard inside the...More

Thank katequeue
Reviewed March 19, 2016

You learn a lot about the efforts to make this old fort a national museum after the army was eliminated and then a lot about the indigenous people through the invasion by the murderous christian spanish to modern efforts to modern efforts to preserve the...More

Thank David M
Reviewed March 18, 2016 via mobile

Anyone who doesn't enjoy the riot of Butterflies at the entrance is missing something in life. I/we are culture vultures . For us, the old fortress and the artifacts were a real draw. Kids in school with a sense of curiosity or class work in...More

Thank Joe C
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Questions & Answers
Brooke E
January 9, 2017|
Response from bdstephen | Reviewed this property |
It has been free while they are remodelling. At normal times are free 1 day/week
January 7, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from rainiershadow | Reviewed this property |
8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. great place to visit
October 8, 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from markremarks | Reviewed this property |
As others have said, many of the exhibits have English information as well as Spanish. I don't speak Spanish either but I enjoyed my visit.